CALEXICO — The pest control problems at Enrique Camarena Junior High School here are not as bad as they seem.
At least that’s what Calexico Unified School District officials and members of the school board have been saying about the mouse sightings in and near the school’s multipurpose room/cafeteria.
“We started noticing the problem when we had that big rainstorm about a month and a half or two months ago,” said Alejandra Limon, school assistant principal and district spokeswoman.
Limon said the district’s maintenance department and local exterminators were contacted immediately once the school noticed the problem, confirming that mice have been found in the multipurpose room.
She said the majority of the school’s pests were found outdoors near the large trash receptacles.
She said the school’s cafeteria is cleaned and sanitized daily and all utensils and food items are being kept in plastic bins in order to keep the vermin out.
“We haven’t had any reports of anyone getting ill, feeling sick or anything like that,” she said.
Still, Limon estimates the school sees one or two mice daily. They are caught in glue traps in order to keep poison off the campus as a safety precaution for the students.
“We’re following the federal and state guidelines so as long as we’re doing that there’s not too much the city can do,” she said. “We’re following the law in regards to student safety.”
School board members agreed with district administration.
“We probably have mice just like a normal house would, especially if we’re next to a field,” board member Joong Kim said.
Board President Gloria Romo agreed that the mice have been a problem because of natural causes and the district is not at fault, contrary to comments made by City Manager Victor Carrillo on Tuesday in a town hall meeting, she said.
Kim said the district only contacted the city because district officials noticed certain areas needed to be cleaned up, not because it is a city problem.
“If the field mice are there on the property of CM Ranch they are the ones that have the problem of cleaning it up,” Romo said.
“I understand that parents are scared but it’s natural,” she said.