VILLA PARK (CBSLA.com) — Rats have invaded Villa Park Elementary School leaving some students and teachers covered with itchy red bites.
In April, Mika Slagle said she and her parents found itchy red bumps on her back.
“It just felt like these little things just crawling all around me on my body. I could see them crawling 3678891on my desk, everywhere, on my books, on my neighbor’s desk,” the 11-year-old said. “It’s just scary. It’s just worrying to worry about your health.”
According to Orange County health officials, the bumps on the 5th grader’s back came from bugs that live on rats, which had infested the School.
“They figured out that if there are rodent mites which are what these bites are caused by, there has to be rodents. So they started setting traps, which led to lots of rats being found,” Mika explained.
She wasn’t the only victim. Other students and teachers were too.
Parents who went to a meeting said they were told rats were found under some portable classrooms. A few weeks ago, children and staff were moved out.
On Tuesday, vector control workers were on campus to eradicate the rodents.
The superintendent of Orange Unified School District released this statement:
“The District is aware of the rodent issue at Villa Park Elementary School. This issue was first discovered when some staff and students reported bug bites, which through the investigation, were identified to be rodent mites. While rodents live throughout Southern California in bushes and trees, it is likely that these were disturbed with work preparing to demolish the vacant 1920’s buildings on the campus. We appreciate the support of the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District and will continue to work with them to resolve this issue.”
The superintendent said two classes had been moved to nearby Serrano Elementary School on Monday as a precaution.
“Just remove them and get some new portables for the children so that the campus going forward is a healthier campus next year,” said parent Kathleen Enge.
“They want to prevent this from happening, and I think they will. I really do think they will,” said Robert Slagle, Mika’s father.