Student Brings Bedbugs to School; Questions Raised on Donated Mattresses

November 14th, 2014 (Huntsville, AL): Student Brings Bedbugs to School; Questions Raised on Donated Mattresses

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAAY) – Huntsville City Schools officials say Westlawn Middle School didn’t get a bedbug infestation after a child showed up with the parasitic insects.

The bugs likely came in contact with the child after he slept on a used mattress. Because of policy, school personnel sprayed chemicals in the school as a precautionary measure.

This incident brings to light concerns raised when people donate mattresses to secondhand stores.

Saint Vincent DePaul Thrift Store manager Carolyn Payne says people who donate mattresses should do inspections before calling them to pick up the item.

“Make sure there’s no stains, no mildew, no wet sports on the mattress,” Payne says. “You should also inspect it for any infestations.”

Neighborhood Thrift Store director Jamie Bush says these problems can sometimes be avoided for these high-demand items, but sometimes the mattresses become ruined because of improper storage.

“Someone called with a mattress…they wanted to donate,” Bush recalls. “Unfortunately they left it outside and when we went to get there roaches have crawled out of the mattress, and they had cut grass and grass had flown up all on the mattress so it was wet.”

Bush says if the mattress is in a condition where you wouldn’t want to sit or lay down on it, then they likely won’t accept it.

“We don’t want anything that a customer cannot take home and immediately be able to use.”

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