Tenants at 7908 N. Florida Ave. thought they did the right thing by calling Tampa City Code Enforcement to complain about bed bugs and mice.
We found out they needed to complain to the state. One tenant did Monday morning and is getting results.
Johnny Garcia Rodriguez, the tenant, is scared to get bitten by a mouse.
“I'm scared to walk with no shoes,” he said.
His Tampa apartment is lined with mouse traps.
The sticky traps, dozens of them, do not stay empty for long.
"We got rats and we got bed bugs and we got roaches," he said.
Garcia Rodriguez complained about the pests to ABC Action News, Tampa City Code Enforcement and, just this morning, the state. A few hours later, a state inspector from the Division of Hotels and Restaurants showed up to take photographs inside the apartments.
"I can't live like that," said tenant Maria McGruder.
Property owner Bill "Hoe” Brown said he'll tent and fumigate the apartments this weekend. But Maria McGruder said her place is overrun with vermin -- an apartment she said she rents for more than $700 a month.
"I got to worry about mice crawling on me. I was sitting in a chair and one just crawled on me," McGruder said.
Last summer, Tampa Code Enforcement accused Brown of running an illegal trailer park behind his Seminole Heights office.
Inspectors declared the property deplorable and unfit for humans. The fallout forced Brown to resign from his post as Tampa's Port Authority chairman.
Garcia Rodriguez is asking the state to take action before he runs out of mouse traps.
"I don't got a choice, and I'm scared to be in my own place," he said.