WTOC Investigates: Infestation frustration

A rat problem in a Savannah woman's apartment building has gone on for months.
A rat problem in a Savannah woman's apartment building has gone on for months.(WTOC)
Updated: Oct. 25, 2019 at 5:29 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A rat problem in a Savannah woman’s apartment building has gone on for months.

She has pictures of dead rats inside and outside her home. She told her landlord about it, but the problem persisted and she had trouble finding the right agency to respond, so she called WTOC.

As it turns out, a rodent problem in your home is considered a city housing code violation. And in this case, the problem in Roslin Gadsden’s apartment is so bad that the city of Savannah is calling it a “rat harborage.”

Gadsden and our crew were in the middle of discussing the problem when a rat ran from her kitchen into her kids’ playroom and hid under toys.

“Y’all sure it ran over here? It’s probably in a hole or something,” responded Gadsden.

You could see the rat pop out from under a red toy truck and run toward everyone before scurrying out the back door.

Everyone was a bit flustered and had a good laugh after her microphone battery fell and hit her legs, and made her think it was the rat.

At the moment, the rat got a few laughs. But it’s been no laughing matter for her. She’s worried about her kids getting bit.

“When them lights start and it gets dark outside, you know one coming,” Gadsden said.

“I got to sit up and watch all of my kids sleep or have them in one room to watch them sleep. That’s not fair. I’m losing sleep.”

She’s set traps and sealed up holes in her house. Nothing has worked, so Thursday night she stayed at a friend’s house. Friday morning while we were there, the Allen Apartments maintenance crew was there, too, sealing up holes to stop the rats from getting inside.

“We’ve closed up holes and they’ve eaten back through, so we’ve got all our men on it now,” said Roosevelt Eady, landlord at Allen Apartments.

Eady says the City of Savannah issued a notice to correct it, and code compliance officers will be back for an inspection next week.

“We are working on it and we are going to get it straight. We are not going to give up until we get the problem solved,” Eady said.

The landlord says the rats are coming from a wooded area behind the apartment building, and he plans to cut down trees and clear out that area. Roslin just wants other people to know they don’t have to spend months frustrated like her.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, the City of Savannah is the agency that handles these types of complaints. You can report it to the city by calling 311 or by going to their website.

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