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Bed bug found in Biddeford Middle School

BIDDEFORD (WGME) -- A single bed bug found on a Biddeford Middle School student's clothes has prompted a letter home to parents.

The superintendent says the parasite was found Thursday. The school immediately sent a letter home to parents telling them about the problem and what symptoms, like a small swollen mark, if their child is bit.

The superintendent says bed bugs can be quite common and there's no need for panic.

"From time to time in the winter, as kids leave clothing or bring clothing into school, it's fairly common," said Superintendent Jeremy Ray. "We like to do our best to inform parents when we find one at school. We know parents are concerned about that and we want to protect everybody."

Ray says one of the best ways to protect your child from bed bugs is to remind them to keep their clothes clean and away from other students' clothes.

"It's important to hang up jackets and book bags in lockers and not leave everything piled together," said Ray.

Atlantic Pest Solutions says bed bugs are one of the most common pests they deal with. If you spot one, they say you should clean your clothes and linens right away.

"Clean clothes you don't even need to wash," said Ralph Blumenthal of Atlantic Pest Solutions. "Just run it through the dryer. Go through a regular cycle, the hottest cycle possible except for dedicates so they're not ruined. Otherwise, a wash and dry in a regular cycle should eliminate the problem."

The school says the possibility of an outbreak is unlikely.