A charter school in Southwest Philadelphia was closed Thursday due to a bedbug infestation.

In a letter to parents, the Southwest Leadership Academy said the source of the bedbugs was not known but that the school at had to close for 24 hours so licensed pest control specialists could treat its buildings at 7101 Paschall Ave. and 6901 Woodland Ave.

“The health, safety, and comfort of our students and staff is among our highest priorities,” the school said in a statement. “Upon learning about the presence of bed bugs, school leadership took immediate action in securing a thorough inspection and treatment.”

“We notified all parents and staff of the situation and asked them to monitor their homes for bed bugs and take immediate action should they find or suspect the presence of these pests," the school said.

Students in kindergarten through eighth grade attend the school.

Bedbugs, which feed on blood and usually attack at night, leave painful, itchy bites mostly in straight lines on shoulders, backs and arms. They do not directly cause disease, but scratching the wounds can result in serious infections and scarring.