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School bans backpacks in bedbug battle

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By Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

WEST END, N.C. — A North Carolina school district has a fight on its hands and it’s taking drastic measures to stop it before it spreads.

West Pine Elementary School is battling bedbugs. School officials told WRAL that it had a “couple of incidents.”

One bug, identified as a bedbug, was found a few weeks ago. A second was found this week.

Dogs, trained to sniff out the pests, were brought into the school. They found five more, WRAL reported.

But school officials don’t know where they came from.

So to prevent the spread of the bugs, or additional bugs being brought in, the school is asking that students not bring backpacks into the building temporarily. They’re also returning all books issued to students.

And there will be no homework assignments for students the rest of the week.

Four students have shown symptoms of bedbug bites, which can be itchy, but don’t pose additional health risks, WRAL reported.

Students have spring break next week. During that time, the school will bring in pest control who will either spray or use a heat treatment to get rid of any potential infestation. Dogs will return in two weeks to see if the precautions were successful.

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