Mosquito mess at Mitzi Bond Elementary worries parents
Students at Mitzi Bond Elementary are having to deal with a pesky mosquito problem in their own backyard that parents tell CBS4 happens all the time.
“I’m actually getting bit right now. We always get bit around here and it’s not pleasant,” parent Taylor Sanchez said.
CBS4 Problem Solvers reached out to El Paso Independent School District to see what a parent’s options were to protect their children after they received a message from the school principal about the problem.
“We know that there’s a lot of mosquitos we actually live up here in the Upper Valley so we’re prepared for that,” Mary Pizana, a school parent, said.
For kids and adults, the relentless mosquitos are an annoying and dangerous problem at the Upper Valley elementary school.
“Our little one is allergic to them also so when he gets one bite, it’s not just one little mosquito bite he looks like little mini baseballs are growing underneath,” Pizana said.
At Mitzi Bond Elementary a large pond pops up on the grounds every year according to parents. Which creates waves of worry across the community.
“My son started coming last year and every time it rains the water stays for days. You have a lot of water right there at the entrance for days,” Sagrario Covarrubias, a school parent, said.
EPISD is asking parents at Mitzi Bond to use mosquito repellant like this one on their kids every morning because of the large pond on campus that sits just feet away from the playground.
“We have a routine that our kids get sprayed from head to toe before we walk out the door, it’s bad,” Pizana said.
But kids can’t bring the spray repellant on campus to reapply it throughout the day. So CBS4 Problem solvers called EPISD officials to find out why.
EPISD spokesman Gustavo Reveles said repellent is considered a medication by district standards. Teachers can’t reapply it throughout the day either.
“Sometimes I use the mosquito repellent but this year I bought the bracelets for the mosquitoes and you use them and I think they work because no mosquito bites,” Covarrubias said.
Instead CBS4 Problem Solvers found out parents can visit their kids during the day to reapply the repellant themselves.
“That’s just not realistic, if you think about it, everybody works, everyone has things going on. We have a big enough pick up and drop off line. Can you only imagine if parents were constantly stopping to make an extra stop to do that?” Pizana said.
Parents are also asked to dress their kids in long sleeves and pants if possible.
“I put pants but no long sleeves, it’s too hot to put long sleeves,” Covarrubias said.
District officials said they do treat pond areas by dropping capsules to stop the population from reproducing.
But parents are asking for more.
“If we could eliminate the mosquitos altogether that would be great but I definitely think that they should reevaluate the whole situation with not having bug spray. I think if the kids can’t have it then maybe the school should be providing it so that teachers can administer it,” Pizana said.
The district said this week’s call to parents was to make sure they’re aware of the current situation so they could take the necessary precautions but this is a problem common in the Upper Valley.