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CCISD works to control increase of fire ants being seen, felt on school grounds because of recent rain

You know how painful their sting can be. However, it can also be dangerous for kids who receive multiple bites especially if it leads to a severe allergic reaction.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Due to the recent rain Corpus Christi residents may have noticed an increase in fire ant mounds. 

There are concerns about multiple ant beds that can be found at local school grounds. 

If you've ever been bitten, then you know how painful their sting can be. However, it can also be dangerous for kids who receive multiple bites. 

Especially, if it leads to a severe allergic reaction. 

Outside Calk-Wilson Elementary, mounds of ant piles can be seen outside the campus. Ricardo Reyes, Pest Manager for the Corpus Christi Independent School District, said the explosion of the fire ant population is not confined to just Wilson Elementary. 

"This is priority number one for us in pest management because of the possibly of a reaction allergic reaction to these," Reyes said. 

It was almost 10 years ago when 13-year-old Cameron Espinosa, a student from Haas Middle School suffered a fatal allergic reaction to ant bites while on the football field.

The student's death prompted immediate changes, not just across the district, but making its way to the state legislature as well. Making it possible to have EpiPen's available on public school campuses, and off-campus school events.

"Every school now is carrying a pen in case, a lot of times you won't know you are allergic until you are stung," Reyes said. 

And with the recent rain, work orders are starting to pick up. 

"We immediately get out and do a mound drench if its close to the building, or a two step method where we bait and then drench in a weeks time to get the best treatment and get the colonies knocked down after a rain," Reyes said. 

The City of Corpus Christi is also doing its part to protect kids at local parks. 

"When we get a call in from the call center we try to make that a priority, all these ants that are popping up are being addressed," said Robert Dodd, Manager for Corpus Christi Parks & Recreation.

People are encouraged to let the district know about areas of concern regarding ants.  

"Just be very very careful where you walk especially next to sidewalks the ants like to nest next to the pavement," said Reyes.

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