Rat infested home in St. Pete gets much-needed help

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Feb 8, 2015 in Rat News | Subscribe


A home in St. Petersburg infested with rats received some much needed help Wednesday afternoon.

City officials moved in when family members called for help after they discovered hundreds of rats living in the home of Florine Brown.

Brown says she purchased three rats and didn’t know that one of them was a male.

The three rats soon had a population explosion, but Florine Brown didn’t think it was a problem.

“They were my family. I loved them and I feel they loved me too,” said Brown.

Brown cared for the rats and fed them, but admits they had taken over her life.

“I never thought I would end up in this situation, I never did. I never thought I would be the one with over 500 rats in the home and then live in this condition,” said Brown.

Coworkers noticed a smell on her clothing and hair and Brown says she couldn’t keep the house clean.

“I could clean up the house and the next day, it’s just back to where it was because the rats, they take over. They took over the home,” said Brown.

Florine Brown’s grandparents purchased the home in the 1970’s.

When her twin sister noticed a problem, she tried to do something about it, but Florine resisted.

Flora Brown finally called St. Petersburg city officials for help.

In December, the city began trapping rats, but eventually the rats avoided the traps and neighbors began to complain the rats were becoming a problem in their homes.

Wednesday, two Citrus County pest control companies stepped in to help. Accurate Pest Management and Citrus Pest Management tented the home and added poison gas to kill any rats that remain in the home and garage.

“It’s just not right. I couldn’t walk away from it, knowing I had the capability of taking care of it,” said Tony Winebrenner with Citrus Pest Management.

The two companies donated their services for free.

Florine Brown had tears streaming down her face when she talked about “her rats”.

“I worry about the rats that are inside the home that are going to be, I would say slaughtered,” said Brown.

Her twin sister says her Florine needs help.

“She only went for one counseling session and she swears she don’t need to go to counseling,” said Flora Brown.

In less than 48 hours the rats and anything else in the home will be killed by the poison gas.

Family members say they hope Florine Brown will get the mental help she needs, so the situation doesn’t grow out of control again.

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