Woman and children living with rats in public housing; city responds

BALTMORE - "They put rocks and this is what they do they just put rocks and dirt on top of it there's one there, there's one here. "

Counting the rat holes.

There are at least a half a dozen.

There are droppings at the back door.       

But rats don't knock; they've eaten their way through the masonry, into the house.

 "You see that it's on this side yeah it's down here. "

At night Chante Watson says she and her four children hear them scrabbling over the drywall as they make their way through the 900 block of Mayodon Court in Brooklyn Homes.

Her boyfriend dug out a nest that he found behind a kitchen cabinet.

Upstairs there are even more holes as she's found droppings among her children's clothing

Her youngest daughter is on a feeding tube and Watson keeps her with her all the time because she's afraid the rats may go after her formula.

They've already eaten through her playpen.

 "What is one to do I don't have any money to pick up and move because I had these issues I feel like I'm just stuck here they know we need them and they don't do." Watson says.

The city has responded.

Deputy Housing Director Anthony Scott says in Watson's case they responded within 24 hours after she told them first on February 12.

She called again on March 13th and Scott says maintenance came again with an exterminator..

Scott says they tried to come back twice last week but could not gain admittance into Watson's home for the exterminator to follow up.

He says rat issues have come up before in this area, and they've been very aggressive to try to fight it, namely stopping people from piling up trash in the alley.

 "It's not just a rat problem they're feeding on a source of food so we're talking to our residents these are the things you need to do so we can eradicate the rat problem so for us we're starting with easy things increasing the abatement we have the abatement company in there twice a month now we're making sure residents are getting educated by flyers."  Baltimore Housing Assistant Executive Director Anthony Scott says.

Now we also talked with Rosalie Pack who's with the Brooklyn Homes Tennant Council.

She says the city gave out garbage cans to every home.

But pack says folks continue to pile up garbage bags in the alley's and at the end of the rows like where Watson lives.

She says the education effort has to be stepped up.

Meantime the city says it will try again to work on Watson's block.

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