‘They Could Hear the Rats in the Ceiling': Mother of Student Bitten by Rodent Mites

Ten students and staff at Villa Park Elementary School in Orange were bitten by mites

Vector control workers this week set traps at an elementary school campus in the city of Orange after reports that students and staff were bitten by rodent mites that have infested some of the campus buildings during a pending demolition.

Katherine Roncancio said her fifth-grade daughter at Villa Park Elementary School has been coming home with bug bites since late April. She kept her daughter out of school this week because of the problem.

"They could hear the rats in the ceiling," she said.

The Orange County Register reported that 10 students and staff suffered mite bites. School officials said in a statement that students in two classes were moved to a nearby school on Monday. A third class was moved to a different place on campus, the Register said. A total of nine classrooms and four buildings were infested, officials said.

Mary-Joy Coburn, a spokeswoman for the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District, said that the agency started receiving complaints about rodents at the school last month.

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