Days after the wife of Ariz. was found dead in their house, the crews are dealing with the subsequent rat infestation problem
Crews remove rats from the Peoria home days after the woman was found dead inside
After the woman died, the neighborhood has been grappling with a rat infestation, and some in the area are upset that animal groups are trying to save the rats. Nicole Garcia from FOX 10 reports.
PEORIA, Aris. – Days after a body with clear hoarding problems was found in a Peoria home, the crews are finally addressing a rat infestation problem that has been worrying the neighborhood ever since.
Related: Body found after neighbor reported an odor from Peoria’s home
FOX 10 first reported the incident on September 23, which occurred near 87th Avenue and Bell Road. The fire brigade reacted to a dangerous goods situation in the house after a neighbor reported that he had smelled an odor from the area.
The victim was identified by the police as a 60-year-old woman. Her body was already decomposed when she was found.
Police are investigating her cause of death, but they say she likely died of natural causes. Your identity and the official cause of death will be confirmed by the coroner. Officials said Peoria Fire and Medical Crews responded to medical calls around the house on a regular basis, and the woman who died was known to first responders.
Condition described as “unfortunate”
At the time of the incident, first responders said they were unable to enter the house due to hoarding and unsanitary conditions and had to use a robot and drone to look inside.
Police say this is a hoarding-like situation and conditions in the house have been described as “deplorable”.
Neighbors winced at the sight of rats
Neighborhood of Peoria dealing with rat infestation after a woman was found dead in her home
Since the woman’s body was found, residents of the area have been grappling with the consequences.
“The very next day, Friday morning, I spoke to one of the cops and he said it was one of the worst things he’d seen on duty in 30 years,” said Justin Grubb, who lives in the area. “He said the floor was moving when they finally walked in the house, and then suddenly my neighbor said, ‘Hey, you know, I’m going to set some traps and stuff.’ I say “why? What’s going on? “” Yes, well, you’ve heard of the rats. You’re out here. “
Neighbors believe the woman who lived in the house had about three dozen snakes and several food mice.
“I know she had pythons and was given mice to feed the pythons,” said a person living in the area who did not want to be identified. “I would see them with their little pythons. I would imagine the pythons are much bigger.”
Experts believe the infestation likely began after the woman died.
“Some rats have dropped out and started their own populations, probably consuming all the food available in the house and most likely consuming the deceased. Now they are getting out because there is no more food, ”said Mike Boyle of Burns Pest Elimination.
The people who live in the area hope the rat problem is over.
“I have at least 50 of these in our garden. I have videos and pictures of them on my doorstep,” said Megan Lortes. “I have to carry my children out when we leave the house, which is not often because we are afraid to leave.”
“Hundreds, if not thousands of rats up and down our streets, in our backyards, in our garages,” said Grubb. “It’s disgusting. It is. It’s absolutely disgusting.”
In addition to rats, there is also an odor problem, according to Grubb.
“I have to come by the house to get my mail. You smell it. You smell this house,” said Grubb. “I honestly thought it was my trash.”
In a video that Grubb recorded outside his home, rats can be seen on the move. Grubb said his cat was of great help in keeping the rats out of his home, but that’s not the only thing he and his family are concerned about.
“I’m going to have an operation and all you think about is illness, you know. It’s not just COVID we have to worry about. We now have rats that may, and likely, bring disease to our households, something the county should help us with, “Grubb said.
City Officials: Some contractors refused to address the issue
According to police, the next of kin were usually responsible for handling the rat situation, but the woman who died lived there alone. Peoria city officials say it took them almost a week to find a contractor to take the job.
“We tried to reach out to contractors. It has taken us until today to find one,” said Chris Hallett, City of Peoria’s human services director. “About 12 different contractors who were not ready to do so prior to showing up on site or otherwise.”
City officials say the current contractor they hired will first contain and exterminate the rats. Then they will clean up and clear out the items in the hoard house. Officials estimate the effort will take at least 10 days.
Humane Society, members of the rat rescue group tried to round up rats
In an email, Arizona Humane Society officials said they learned of the situation on Sept. 27 and reached out to local police for more information.
“These rats are domesticated, which means they are pets and not the kind of rats that can do it alone without human help,” read part of the statement.
On September 28th, AHS was in the house with members of the Any Rat Rescue group, trying to round up and capture as many rats as possible for them to treat and eventually adopt as pets.
Some neighbors told FOX 10 that they are upset that rescue groups are on site, displaying food, and trying to save the creatures.
“To be honest, I’m angry with the Humane Society. There is no way to save the rats, just kill them and get rid of them.
However, people involved in the rat rescue effort say the rodents could make friendly and caring pets and should be saved.
“They’re kind, cute animals, like a cross between a cat and a dog,” said Jenna Lillibridge of Any Rat Rescue. “Least likely to bite, also least likely to spread disease.”
“The nephew just told us that there are 3 cages in the house with about 100 rats in each cage,” said Tracy Miller of AHS. “We will try to humanly capture those who stayed here.”
Crews estimate that in addition to the 300 or more rats in the house, there are hundreds more outside.
“Right now, the ones I’ve seen have a lot of hair loss,” Miller said. “It could be from hoarding and living conditions. It could be mange, it could be ringworm, it could be a variety of things.”
Local residents tried to deal with the problem
Even before animal rescue teams arrived in the area, some local residents took it upon themselves to solve the problem.
“We used 16 pounds of rat poison and we can’t control them. You’re in my front yard. You go in my door, right next to my front door,” Lortes said.
Meanwhile, another person who lives in the area has built a mousetrap made of a trash can and a piece of plywood that rats can climb on and then put in the garbage can.
“I want you to camp the house,” said Lortes. “I want that to be taken care of.”
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