Tennessee middle school closes due to bird mite infestation

FILE PHOTO: Bird Mites (University of Wisconsin)

TELLICO PLAINS, Tenn. (WATE) – Monroe County Schools closed Tellico Plains Junior High School and moved students to Tellico Plains High School after multiple students showed up in the school’s clinic with mites on them.

Monroe County Schools said bird mites were discovered in an area of the gym on May 2. Fourteen students who had been sitting in that area of the gym reported to the school nurse they had mites on them.


The gym was closed until May 10 for pest control treatment. After the building was reopened, Monroe County Schools said a student reported to the nurse with suspected bird mites.

The building was closed again. The next day, the school system said the building was treated with a thermal fog, as well as crack and crevice treatment.

As a precaution, on May 15, students were relocated to Tellico Plains High School for the remainder of the school year. Monroe County Schools said they had follow-up treatments in the gym as well as the main building of the junior high school.

Monroe County Schools Coordinated School Health Supervisor Jackie Gray contacted the Monroe County Health Department, Centers for Disease Control and Tennessee Department of Health about the incident at the junior high school. The school system said Gray also talked with the State Department of Education Coordinated School Health Office who confirmed that the school district had taken appropriate action regarding the mites.

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