Bedbugs Found In Rutherford Co. School - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Bedbugs Found In Rutherford Co. School

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by Shannon Royster

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Students and teachers at a Rutherford County Middle School discovered one of their students had been exposed to bedbugs.

The bedbugs were discovered Thursday at Whitworth Buchanan Middle School. Officials with the Rutherford County School System said the bugs were visibly seen on a student's belongings.

The school immediately contacted parents.

"They saw bedbugs on the student's belongings and some eggs and that's what notified them," said James Evans, a spokesman for Rutherford County Schools.

School officials said one of the students unknowingly brought them from home.

"We take the belongings of the students," explained Evans. "If we find them on belongings, we a take a clear plastic bag, isolate them from anything else, and we send them home that way."

In addition to being notified, parents also received a letter from the school.

"Bedbugs are becoming a very common community nuisance," said Evans. "We're addressing it just like we've done a lot of similar issues in the past, like lice and staph infection."

An exterminator was called in the same day to fumigate the area, and so far none have been spotted.

Bedbugs have been described as the size of Lincoln's head on a penny, flat, and reddish brown in color.

Officials said they can be difficult to see if they're hiding.

"By nature they're nocturnal, so during the day they like to hide in backpacks or jackets or purses," said Evans.

The bugs have also been known to hide in clothes.

"That includes any kind of piles of clothing on the floor get them off the floor," said Brian Todd with the Metro Public Health Department.

The first few steps have been vital in controlling the spread of the bugs.

"If you're washing in hot water and you're drying on high heat, that will many times kill the bugs and the eggs," said Todd.

Often times, the problem has to be combated at home.

"There's no rhyme or reason to it," said Evans. "Bedbugs hitch hike on students, and that's how they get in the school."

One other school in Rutherford County had a similar issue with bedbugs this year. Those parents were also notified.

Fortunately bed bugs have not been known to carry disease, but they could leave behind an itchy bite.

Email: sroyster@newschannel5.com
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