Inside cleaning of St. Petersburg ‘rat house’ set to begin

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Feb 5, 2015 in Rat News | Subscribe

A rat-infested home in south St. Petersburg recently received a long overdue cleaning.  

With the fumigation done and the rats dead, now comes the hard part: cleaning the inside of the home.

Florine Brown, 29, had anywhere from 500 to 700 rats in the home. She said she started with just a few pet rats in the 10th Avenue S home and that it got out of control.

The rodents eventually were found in the walls, ceiling, drawers, furniture and even under the sink.

“I let it got out of control with the rats,” Brown said “I didn’t know what to do.”

Cleanup has been underway at the home for about a month. Today, crews will begin gutting the inside of the home.

More than a month of trapping took care of most of the rats. The home was tented in January to kill off the rest of them.

Crews will remove walls, carpets, cabinets and furniture, which are all soaked in rat urine and feces.

“Because of the hazards involved, we are going to have to have full respirators on,” said Laura Spaulding with Spaulding Decon, a cleaning service that usually cleans up crime scenes. “(We’ll wear) full personal protective equipment. It’s definitely a hazardous environment.”

Work inside the home could take up to a month. Spaulding Decon is cleaning the home at no cost.

Brown, who has been receiving counseling for hoarding, said she is sad to see the rats go, but is glad the home will be cleaned.

“My plan is to make it more like a family home like my grandparents. This was their home for many years before they passed away,” Brown said. “So I would like the home to be like how they would have wanted it to be.”

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