Rat Infestation Spreads At Orange County Elementary School

VILLA PARK (CBSLA.com) — More children have ended up covered with a rash from bugs after rats and roaches invaded a room at their school. The problem was supposed to have been taken care of but students and staff are still dealing with the infestation.

The children will be out for the summer Thursday, and for some, it can’t come soon enough.

Robert Slagle’s 11-year-old daughter is one of the kids who was bitten by mites that live on the rats. A photo of the bites on Mika’s back was taken in late April, and it has happened again.

Mika Slagle left Villa Park Elementary school at lunch Monday after the fifth-grade class was displaced once again because of the ongoing rat infestation on the Orange County campus.

“I’m more scared, I’m more worried. I don’t want to come back,” Mika said.

Mika’s dad got a hold of a map of her school that Vector Control put together last week after inspecting Villa Park Elementary. The rat problem is extensive according to the county experts, and they recommend that several classrooms and buildings remain closed. As trees were trimmed, rub marks from rats on the side of the multi purpose room were clear.

The superintendent says the school district is working on the issue. However, getting rid of the rats should happen when school is out, according to a biologist with vector control, otherwise the mites problem will become even worse.

“If you kill the host the animal they live off, they will be looking for another blood-meal source, and this case it will be people,” Robert Cummings said.

Vector Control is recommending that any hole bigger than a dime be filled so rats can’t crawl into the classrooms. Officials say this needs to happen before the old building is torn down. Then the rats must be trapped and exterminated and the mites killed with pesticide.

Officials say the rats are roof rats and do not carry disease.

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