12 On Your Side: Rat problems in an apartment complex

By Diane Walker - bio | email

Posted by Phil Riggan - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A Richmond woman, unhappy with the response she got, after spotting a rat inside her public housing apartment, called 12.

She says Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (R.R.H.A.) responded quickly, but the method they chose, was inadequate.

Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority e-mailed a response to me, right away this afternoon.

It disputes the woman's claim about a rat infestation in a section of Gilpin Court.

But, the mother of two says she called 12, because of what happened Tuesday morning, while getting her girls up for school.

"He ran from under her bed, ran past me and I screamed and I jumped over here."

'He was longer than my feet, bigger than my hand."

"It was huge. I screamed , I cried, I called maintenance."

Angel Crumble's frantic call brought out an exterminator, within 2 hours.

He put down poison bait boxes near the holes in her kitchen.

A poor extermination attempt, says the tenant, since the problem isn't confined to her apartment.

"We sit out on my balcony, we'll see them run out, run up underneath the steps. They run up and down our steps, the children are scared, they're petrified."

"I've seen 2 or 3 come out of that hole, big rats, big rats."

Disgusting, disease carrying rodents that occasionally bite people and eat your food, then contaminate it with their urine and excrement.

Angel checked her food for possible contamination ... We never saw the rat while there ... But, she believes it clawed into some of her kid's snacks.

That's why she says she's speaking up, while her neighbors keep quiet.

"We want to live safe, we want to be able to wake up in the morning and not step on something or not be bitten."

In a statement, R.R.H.A. says the tenant never complained until tuesday. Angel says that's not true. The housing authority also says gilpin court does not have a site-wide problem with rats.

We made a second visit just a couple hours later and found --- places outside that were patched and covered with dirt ....

"They claw their way back out because they are huge"

.... Have now been encased in cement, permanently blocking access.

R.R.H.A. says the cement, addressed an erosion problem under the steps.

The holes under Angel's kitchen sink were also patched today.

The housing authority says angel's complaint is the only one on file and that tenants are counseled and reminded that "all" maintenance issues should be reported. They say tenants can do that, 24-7 by calling 780-8700.

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