(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats Wayne P. DeAngelo and Eliana Pintor Marin sponsored to increase awareness about bedbugs and prevent the spread of the pests in New Jersey schools was recently approved by the full Senate, moving it closer to final legislative approval.
The bill (A-2583) would require the Department of Education to produce and publish a bedbug fact sheet on its website. Information on the fact sheet would include: the dangers of bedbugs and how they spread, how to detect bedbug infestation, how to recognize symptoms of bites and ways to prevent and eliminate infestation.
“When parents say ‘Don’t let the bedbugs bite,’ what they may not realize is that their well wishes are no match for the invasion of these pests,” said DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “The information on this fact sheet can help parents, students and school staff familiarize themselves with the signs of infestation and hopefully limit the level of panic and stigma typically associated with bedbugs.”
The Commissioner of Education would produce the fact sheet in consultation with the Commissioner of Health and the National Pest Management Association. The Department of Education would be required to notify school districts of the availability of the fact sheet on its site and make updates as necessary.
“Unfortunately, one individual unknowingly bringing a bedbug into a classroom can lead to widespread infestation followed by a stressful and costly process of extermination,” said Pintor Marin (D-Essex). “By providing for the dissemination of information regarding bedbugs and creating awareness, this legislation will enable New Jersey residents to be proactive about avoiding these issues.”
The measure was approved 38-0 by the Senate on Dec. 17. It was approved by the full Assembly on Dec. 15, but since it was later amended by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee, it must go before the full Assembly again for final legislative approval.