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Rats crawling over Pinellas County woman at night, destroying her home

Posted at 4:36 PM, Aug 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-07 18:36:09-04

A Largo woman says a rat problem has gotten so bad, they are crawling across her in the middle of the night and destroying her home.

Mischelle McDaniel tells us rats are taking over the inside of her mobile home at the Vacation Village RV Park. So far, she has counted 27 rats inside her house, and she fears there are more inside her walls.

"I got holes all in my trailer and my windows, they crawl at the top," she said wiping away tears, "and then run across my feet."

McDaniel said the RV park, Vacation Village, owns the land, and she rents space from them for her mobile park -- she says because of that, she's told the rats are her responsibility.

"It's not my property, you know, I pay $465 a month," she said.

McDaniel said others have seen rats in the park too, but she's unsure if any others have gone inside.

The City of Largo's community standards division says they have not had reports of rats at the property. However, they say it's common for rodents to be seen in Pinellas County, as it has become a problem.

They say since the feral cat population is declining, they have seen an increase in rats in areas around the city.

The city's code enforcement department would only be able to respond if there are reports of rodents in the community areas where people gather, and not just individual homes.

McDaniel, who has been on disability, said she's on a fixed income and can't afford to hire her own control, and feels the park should be helping with the problem.

"I live on disability, and that's not enough to live on," she said. "I have to go borrow money every month."

McDaniel said a pest control came to her house one time -- and the cost to take care of the problem was over $600.

Vacation Village RV Resort released the following statement on the matter:

The satisfaction of our guests is very important to us, and we work very hard to maintain the resort and its amenities to the highest level. With nearly 300 units on site, we contract a third-party pest control operator to monitor and maintain the property on a monthly basis. With this issue isolated to one unit, we will work with our pest control provider to maintain the common spaces near this area and offer our customers suggestions on ways to help alleviate any pest control issues in their private spaces.

Pinellas County's Department of Health says they tell people to make sure their homes are properly sealed, and no garbage is left outside.

They also recommend that properties don't have open trash cans or dumpsters for rodents.

The City of St. Petersburg offers free rodent control on the exterior of a property, however Largo does not.

For more information on how St. Pete is tackling the problem, click here.