Insect Infestation Concerns in…S’chach


The institute in Eretz Yisroel headed by Rav Moshe Vaya, the renowned expert in bedikas tolaim, insect infestation in foods, released an alert regarding insects being found in, of all things, s’chach. There is a concern that bugs in s’chach will fall onto one’s table on Sukkos and into one’s food, thereby causing one to transgress several issurim unwittingly. The Aruch Laner (Tosefes Bikkurim, Siman Tof Reish Nun Zayin), in his time, warned people not to hang flowers in their sukkah from which “small worms and mosquitoes can fall…and through this, the mitzvah of sukkah becomes a mitzvah haba’ah b’aveirah if one swallows bugs with food…”

In green s’chach, such as palm fronds, tree branches and shrubs with green leaves, one might find small insects such as aphids. Dry s’chach, such as S’chach Keinis and reeds, one may find other insects.

When you buy s’chach or before placing the s’chach on your sukkah, hold the s’chach vertically above a white surface, such as a large sheet of white paper or white cloth, and bang the s’chach down hard and see if small insects fall to the surface. If small insects are found, spray insecticide into the s’chach and after a few hours shake the s’chach so that the dead insects fall out. This can be done as well with the help of a brush or vacuum cleaner.

Many are unaware of the possibility of there even being concerns with infestation in s’chach, and each type of s’chach is different. Yidden are encouraged to be aware of this.

{ Israel News Bureau}


  1. R’ Vaye says that if you spray it you have to wrap it up for at least a few hours to suffocate the bugs. There are also other options. Listen to R’ Vaye’s recording – 01197225325588 025325588
    on the answering machine

  2. I saw these alerts and didn’t think it was so common until i checked my brand new schach that I bought last night here in Yerushalayim… I banged it against a white table a few times and sure enough, there were tons of tiny little bugs crawling around! Rav Vay is saving many people in klal yisroel!

  3. Perhaps there are bugs, but that was always the case: there are and always were millions of species of insects all around us. How come this issue was not discussed in Rishonim, Acharonim or poskim from a generation ago?! When an individual quietly accepts a chumra that may be midas chasidus. When a chumra is being created and forced upon the kehal – that might be considered halomeid beToroh shelo kehalacho.


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