Bedbugs curtail NC summer camp at college

August 4, 2010 8:18:28 PM PDT
An outbreak of bedbugs has brought an early end to a 4-H science camp on the campus of North Carolina Wesleyan College.

About 115 students in grades six through eight were at the school in Rocky Mount this week to learn about topics from biotechnology to hurricanes.

Travis Burke with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service says some of the campers had bedbug bites Tuesday, forcing the cancellation of camp a day early.

Burke says the campers are back with their families and doing fine.

College spokeswoman Susan Best says exterminators are handling the pests. Best says the bedbugs won't affect the start of classes later this month. Burke says 4-H will again have its science camp at Wesleyan next summer.

Click here to learn more about bedbugs at Wikipedia

Meanwhile, there are several experts that warn we are on the verge of a bedbug pandemic.

"Go through the walls, they can travel anywhere, if people are going back and forth between rooms, they can actually catch a ride on either luggage or any type of supply, you know, any types of items that move," said Chad Child with Bulwark Exterminators.

To help take a bite out of the recent wave of bedbugs, a local dog named Scout is spending his days sniffing out the bugs all over the Triangle.

"He's obsessed with bedbugs, he dreams about them," Logos K9 owner Jeremiah Smith said.

Smith says he and Scout have been busier than usual, finding the creepy crawlers nearly everywhere.

"VA hospitals, dorms, single family homes," Smith said.

St. Mary's School Dean of Students Josette Huntress Holland says they haven't had any problems with bedbugs, but still want to make sure they stay bug free. They say they're covering mattresses with protectors and continuing to do quarterly pest control.

"We know that probably in some parents' minds they'll want to ask, 'have we had experience with bedbugs' and our answer is 'no, we have not' and we certainly are taking lots of precautionary measures," Holland said.

NC State, UNC Chapel Hill and Duke universities say they seem to be problem free too and hope to stay that way when fall classes start later this month.

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