Fresno State officials said it is working to capture opossums as students are reporting flea bites on campus.
Several Fresno State students on social media on Monday were reporting their children having bumps on their bodies – and they believed fleas were to blame.
Erika Leak posted on Facebook Monday: “My kids who are enrolled in the [Fresno State] day care have been coming home with bumps. My kids’ teacher confirmed that there are fleas all around school campus and that they have fumigated inside their centers.”
The Collegian could not immediately confirm if the fleas were found at a daycare center.
Fresno State Programs for Children offers three daycare centers on campus for students, faculty and staff who are parents: the Children’s Infant and Toddler Center, Children’s Preschool Center and the Joyce M. Huggins Early Education Center.
In a statement to The Collegian, Debbie Adishian-Astone, Fresno State’s vice president for administration, said the university Facilities Management was also addressing the reports of fleas on campus.
And she said the fleas are suspected to be coming from wild opossums living on campus. It is not clear how many opossums are on campus.
Adishian-Astone said the university’s pest control contractor will be fumigating areas on campus that may be exposed to fleas.
A wildlife control contractor will also be brought to campus to capture the opossums, she said.
The Collegian reached out to Fresno State’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety on Monday afternoon and were told the reports would be investigated.
Adishian-Astone said the Environmental Health and Safety office is monitoring the situation and will continue to work with Facilities Management to “ensure that the attributing factors associated with this problem are properly identified and managed.”
On Friday, Adishian-Astone confirmed one opossum was caught.
She said pest control sprayed for fleas around the Family and Food Sciences, Home Management and the Kremen School of Education and Human Development buildings.
The Facebook post in the Fresno State Book Trade and Advice page quickly gained the attention of several students Monday when Leak first reported the fleas. It led others students to report their kids also showing bumps and that they, too, were possibly bit by fleas on campus.
“This explains my legs the first week of school,” commented Facebook user Denise Vargas. Some students warned their friends, others suggested wearing bug repellent and there were calls to make the Fresno State administration aware of the problem.
The Collegian will report on any new developments.