Rodent-infested foreclosures are a common problem, exterminators say

Hard to determine who is responsible for cleanup

LANTANA, Fla. - Shakela Watson hasn't spent much time in her kitchen over the last month. The mother of two is disgusted by the uninvited guests coming in from the foreclosure next door.

Since the beginning of May, Watson and her family have seen several rats in their house, they've caught four.
"I haven't cooked, I don't want to touch anything," said Watson.

Exterminator Bob Teuchert says pest problems are common at foreclosed or bank-owned properties.

"It harbors rats because no on is taking care of it, it's not sealed and the rats can do whatever they want," said Teuchert.

A maintenance crew went to the foreclosure last week and found rats inside.

"The property manager explained the place had live rats, dead rats and he said he patched up holes and we shouldn't have new rats," said Watson.

Shakela's landlord says it is the property manager's problem, the property manager say it's Shakela's problem. The issue of responsibility can delay a solution.

"They think it's handled by the HOA and they're stuck. Is it bank owned? They don't know who to contact," said Teuchert.

Shakela's landlord paid for the holes in her apartment to get patched up. Shakela has already paid for one treatment, and doesn't want to fund another.

The family has spent the last few nights bunking in with friends. They haven't seen any rodents in the last few days, but can still hear them in the walls. Now, they're looking to move.


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