INFESTATIONS of cockroaches and bedbugs in Glasgow's schools are rightly alarming and must be a real worry for parents.

It is also deeply unpleasant for school staff, who will be concerned about unintentionally taking the problem with them to their own homes.

But this isn't a schools problem - it is a problem of poverty.

And pointing the finger at individual children or families is absolutely the wrong thing to do.

Authorities have been working in areas where there are pest problems but it is extremely difficult to eradicate.

Even if a school is thoroughly fumigated, unless the issue it tackled at source - in the community - then the issue won't go away.

And to tackle that problem means tackling poverty.

It is responsible of schools to hold sessions for parents about how to deal with bedbugs.

However, one of the necessary steps to get rid of them is to wash clothes and bed linen on a high heat or use the heat from a tumble drier to kill them off.

That's sound advice, but it does nothing if families don't have washing machines or tumble driers.

It's also advised, in serious cases, to throw away badly infected mattresses but not all families can afford to replace a mattress.

Then, if mattresses are disposed of, where are they taken?

If they are dumped on the pavement, other families, in dire need, may take an infested mattress into their own home with the problem continuing.

The issue is also yet another by-product of unscrupulous landlords in the area.

Responsible owners and housing associations can spend a fortune on properly treating an infestation.

But if one or two privately owned properties in a close refuse to do the same then professional services are a sticking plaster and not a solution.

It's right to be shocked by infestations of bugs and roaches in our schools.

But the real indignation must be at the fact children are living in such conditions.

Pest infestations are a dire problem but lifting families out of poverty and into good quality housing is the only solution.