School in Beaverton perplexed by itchy kids

School in Beaverton perplexed by itchy kids


by Erica Heartquist, KGW Staff

Posted on March 21, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Updated Friday, Mar 21 at 9:28 AM

A bumpy, itchy rash.

That's how some kids are describing symptoms while they're inside McKay Elementary School in Beaverton.

The Beaverton School District admits there's some sort of a bug infestation, but three different pest companies haven't figured it out.

"I think that they're pretty bad, there's an infestation," said 10-year-old Henry Shick, while showing KGW the bumps on his arm.

Shick said he's had the uncomfortable bumps on his arms for several weeks.

"Some on my arm itch, but not all the time," he said.

Three weeks ago, students at the school started complaining about bumpy rashes.

It was happening at first only to kids in a few of the first grade classrooms, the district said.

But now they've also found itchy kids in some second and third grade classrooms, too.

"They're microscopic so it's not an obvious like a flea or a bedbug because you can see those," said Beaverton spokeswoman Maureen Wheeler. She said as of Thursday they don't know what it is, though they think it might be a mite of some kind.

"So, is it a mite? What kind of mite? How can we best treat it?" Wheeler asked. "The challenge is also that we have to be very, very careful with the type of pest treatment that's done in classrooms in schools."

They treated the classrooms with organic bug spray after class.

One mom we talked to did not get the letter the district sent home to parents about the issue.

Micha Reschert's second grade son has the rash.

"Some itchy little red spots," said Micha Reschert. "Of course I'm thinking chicken pox, but it didn't seem like that."

The district set up glue traps and collected samples at the school.

They've sent them to a lab for testing, just trying to figure out what's causing the itchy rashes.

"I just want to know more," said Reschert.