'That's nasty': Hopewell families say housing complex is infested with rodents

Published: Oct. 10, 2017 at 3:20 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 13, 2017 at 4:05 PM EDT
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HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) - Several families in Hopewell are turning to 12 On Your Side after they say their public housing complex is infested with rodents.

Tenants captured images of mice crawling into their kitchen sinks and even inside of their ovens at the Davisville community. They say complaining to their apartment staff has gotten them nowhere.

"Mouse droppings. You see that, that's nasty," a woman said pointing under her stove.

The droppings are in the kitchen where she feeds her 7-year-old son.

"I have caught about three of them in my son's room. One was on the trap. As I was trying to get that trap up, another one flew past me," she said.

She's not alone.

"They're in the walls," her neighbor said.

"You hear them? How often?" NBC 12 asked.

"Yes. Every night. All day … My biggest issue is that they're eating through my food. Anything that's in the cabinet -- like dry rice, stuff like that -- anything they can eat through, they eat through it," she said.

She doesn't want her three children to experience this.

"I always put their chips in the closet. When they went in there, they were like, 'Mom, it looks like one of the mice has ate one of the bags of chips.' Had to throw it away. That's unnecessary money wasted," the mother added.

Another tenant also complained to the Davisville leasing office, especially since her son battles an illness.

"They told me they could not move me until I got a note from his doctor stating it was a health hazard, so I got his doctor to write a note," she said.

They moved her to another unit. Turns out, "It's the same thing," she claimed.

On Monday, NBC12 went straight to the executive director of the Hopewell Housing and Redevelopment Authority. He did not want to speak on camera but said he thought the situation had been resolved.

Now he's communicating with the property manager and says he will issue an official statement Tuesday.

"See the little droppings. I done came in here and one is on my stove … One was in my tub. Two were in my sink," one tenant said.

As three families speak out, they're hoping it will lead to a permanent fix.

"I've had one that lives in the stove. The droppings are actually still there," another neighbor said.

"Using the bathroom and one touched my foot. I was like, 'that's nasty,'" a tenant added.

They say they've done all they can do. They're praying their landlord will do the rest.

"I can't do anything. We can't even use the bathroom or sleep in peace," the angry resident said.

HRHA released the following response:

"…This pest management treatment started in July and followed a four week regiment which ended in August.  Reports from the exterminator to Management indicated that the pest issue had been effectively handled and resolved.   Unfortunately, five weeks later the rodents returned.  HRHA was made aware of the continuing problem with the rodents on Oct 2, and immediately engaged our exterminator again to address the current problems.  We plan to meet with residents of this apartment building this week to determine what actions we will take in the short term to curtail this reported infestation and to make their living environment more sanitary.  HRHA will not stop working until we remove and correct all conditions that encourage rodent infestation in our housing communities.  We will effectively rid these apartments and building of rodents and implement a more aggressive follow up protocol to minimize recurrence.  I encourage you to follow up with us in a few weeks to see how we and our residents are doing."

-- Steven A. Benham, Sr.
Executive Director, Hopewell Redevelopment and Housing Authority 

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