It turns out those critters found at North Mianus School earlier this month weren't bed bugs.
Rather, they were chimney swift bugs — apparently left behind by birds nesting in the school's exhaust and chimney. And while students and staff are away for winter break this week, an exterminator has been cleaning the vent and chimney of the elementary school at 309 Palmer Hill Rd. in Riverside.
In a statement, school officials said that according to "Dr. Gail Ridge of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station Department of Entomology, the particular type of bug that has been found at North Mianus School is a Chimney Swift bug (Cimexopsis nyctalis). It is in the bed bug family, but is not a “bed bug”. It does not feed on humans; it feeds on birds. These bugs are very small and have very similar characteristics and are often confused with bed bugs."
Bugs found nearly 2 weeks ago in the school attic and chimney were sent to Ridge for analysis. The attic and chimney areas were cleaned, steam treated and vacuumed and active bed bug monitors were placed on the second floor in the staff bathroom and second-floor corridor. The monitors did not give any indication of the presence of bed bugs, according to school officials.
Officials said that during this week's break, an exterminator was going to clean the vent and chimney and install a mesh barrier on both to prevent further nesting of birds. "Ongoing monitoring of the attic will continue until there is no further evidence of chimney wwift bugs. There is no longer a need to treat the entire building," officials said in a message to school parents.
The news of possible bed bugs in North Mianus came on the heels of a bed bug awareness workshop for parents in late January. The workshop was held Jan. 25 after the discovery of bed bugs at the Hamilton Avenue elementary school last fall.