Dead opossums plague rental home in Tampa

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jan 31, 2015 in Rat News | Subscribe

Sometimes opossums play dead, sometimes they really are dead. It’s the latter kind that have turned Darcie Shubbar’s life into a stinky nightmare since early November.

“This is my sanctuary,” Shubbar said. “This is my home.”

She’s lived in the house at 8618 N 14th St. in the Sulphur Springs area for five years with her daughter and doesn’t want to move, but feels she has to now, because of the opossum problem.

In November she first discovered an infestation after watching a live opossum about two feet long crossing her floor. “I was screaming because it looked like a rat,” Shubbar said.

Then, the smell started.

There were dead opossums somewhere inside her house, but neither she nor the pest control workers that the property manager sent to sniff them out could locate their rotting carcasses.

“I wouldn’t want to have dead animals in my home either,” said property manager Jill Turlington.

“We’re not slumlords.”

Workers eventually uncovered one dead opossum under the flooring, but didn’t locate the second one until Friday when workers were investigating a stomach-turning odor coming from Shubbar’s heating ducts.

It turns out another dead opossum was cooking on the heating coils.

“Oh, Jesus,” said worker Mike Haddix when he discovered the pungent carcass.

Tampa housing inspectors have been tracking the problems, and ordered property managers to secure openings underneath the house and in the attic to prevent further infestations.

“We will hold them accountable,” said Tampa Neighborhood Enhancement Director Sal Ruggiero.

“That’s my message.

“Hopefully this is the last animal that we will uncover, ” said Turlington.

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