CAPITOL HEIGHTS, Md. — Authorities in Prince George’s County have notified parents that bed bugs have been discovered at the Walker Mill Middle School in Capitol Heights, according to a letter from Principal Erin V. Cribbs.
Prince George’s County School officials are describing the situation as an "annoyance," not a health hazard.
In a letter to parents the principal and the county’s chief school nurse said: "finding a bed bug does not mean our entire school is infested."
"It is unlikely for bed bugs to reproduce and spread in schools," the letter said.
Officials say professional exterminators are being called in to treat and monitor the results for at least a month.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency: "While bed bugs are not known to transmit disease, their presence may cause distress and health issues for many people."
The agency’s website notes bites are itchy, can become infected and could cause an allergic reaction in some people.
Because bedbugs are described as an "annoyance" and not a disease threat, "students with suspected bed bugs are not to be excluded from school," according the the letter sent home to parents.
According to the US EPA, bedbugs can hide in wall cracks and behind wallpaper and are most likely to bite at night while a person is sleeping.