Hernando school buses treated for cockroaches

Posted at 10:53 AM, Apr 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-06 18:39:22-04

165 Hernando county school buses are currently being treated for bugs, after school bus drivers complained of cockroach infestations, school district officials said.

At least 50 buses had reports of cockroaches, district officials said.

Parents told ABC Action News they are deeply concerned about the presence of cockroaches so close to their children.

One Spring Hill mother, Nicole Baker, said her two kids ride one of the infested buses.

"Those kids are touching where those roaches were crawling, they're putting their fingers in their mouth, they're putting their fingers on their eyes," she said.

Baker said Hernando County School bus drivers reached out to her on Facebook after she created a social media post explaining the issue. She said one driver told her via private message that kids were screaming Thursday about roach sightings during her afternoon route. Not knowing what else to do, Nicole said the driver told the kids to "stomp on it."

"It's a safety issue, it's a health issue, and they don't feel they are being given the optimum work environment," Baker said.

Baker said a school bus driver told her drivers have been complaining to the district's transportation department for at least two months about cockroach problems, and until last week, the transportation department did nothing. Hernando County Schools deny that, with representatives saying they responded as soon as they found out about the reported problems.

Hernando County School Spokesperson Patrick Keough said the district is now doubling their pest prevention efforts on district school buses, doing routine maintenance four times a year instead of the standard two times per year. This would be in addition to any concerns reported to the transportation department by drivers, he said.

So far, all 50 buses that had cockroach complaints have been treated and district representatives said the rest of the buses will be treated within the next few days.

The district cannot confirm at this time what may have caused the multiple infestations.