Woman, 92, needs help for home overrun by rats

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- An elderly woman's southeast Houston has become a nest for large rats that she said she can't get rid of.

"I tell my friend no come to visit," said the woman who only wants to be identified as Ana.

The moment you walk in to Ana's home, you can smell a foul odor. Ana said it's the smell of rat feces and urine that has compiled over several years. She said the rats crawled in to her home after Hurricane Ike. Her home was damaged during the storm and went months without being fixed. Holes could still be seen in her ceiling and in the walls.

During our interview inside Ana's home, we could hear squeaking and scratching from every corner of her living room.

Ana showed us what happens every day when she put out food for her partially blind dog Babe. Within minutes, we could see a number of rats running by our feet. Some rats were seen scurrying from one end of the room to the other. Most of the rats were large, the size of squirrels.

"It's very, very, very destructive," said Ana. "I don't know what to do anymore."

Ana said she has called a pest control company. Dozens of rats were exterminated, but not all. She also said she got recently conned by a contractor who said he would get rid of the rats. She said she paid $900, but the rats are still there.

In the meantime, Ana said she has no choice but to live with the rats. Three times a day she sweeps up their droppings and shoos them away with a broom. During our visit with Ana, we counted nearly a dozen rats.

"I go to get the toast, the bread is gone," said Ana.

Ana said her wish would be for someone to come help. She said she knows it's a big job, and said because of her past experiences with pest companies, she's not willing to leave her home temporarily while the rodents are being exterminated.
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