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Officials working to help pregnant mother living with vermin infestation

RICHMOND, Va. -- Officials with the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA) said they are working to fix a vermin infestation in a pregnant mother’s apartment following a CBS 6 Problem Solvers report.

RRHA spokesperson Orlando Artze said crews are working to fix the issue in Brittany Duncan’s apartment because it is a health and safety issue.

Artze said crews laid down more sticky traps and patched up two holes on Friday that mice may be using to access the apartment.

Additionally, Artze said that if the vermin problem continues over the weekend they will look to relocate Duncan to another apartment within that complex.

Duncan told CBS 6 that her apartment has been inundated.

“I’ve killed at least, and I’m not lying, probably 30 or 40 mice here,” Duncan said Wednesday from her Whitcomb Court apartment. “It’s rats. It’s mice. Some are this big. At this point, I’m at a loss. If they’re not doing anything, what am I supposed to do? It is an infestation and I can’t handle it on my own."

Brittany Duncan

Duncan posted pictures and videos on social media after a harrowing experience a few days ago in her son’s room.

“He said mom there's a baby lizard on my floor. I was like what is that? It was a whole rat with blood. and it was moving and stuff," said Duncan. "My son now can’t sleep because he’s so scared. He comes into my room crying because he hears the mouse squeaking. It’s horrible.”

The pregnant mom says it is a huge health/safety concern. She’s worried about what she might be breathing in and how it’s affecting her other children.

“When I posted my video on Facebook, a lot of people said they have the same problem but they don’t know how to go about the situation. So I was like no, I’m not living like this. Not my kids. They deserve way better. Just because I live in the projects doesn’t mean I have to live like this,” Duncan added.

Artze previously said crews would do a thorough assessment of the apartment and try to identify the source of the rodent infestation so they can treat it at the source.

If it requires chemicals, he says the family would have to leave their apartment for a little while. In the meantime, he says their maintenance team went to the home Tuesday to do some work.

Duncan says they came in and repaired the stove and replaced some of the cabinets. Still, she says that’s not enough. She won’t be satisfied until all of the rodents are gone.

A Richmond health department officials said because this is a health/safety issues, they have the authority to conduct an inspection. If things are so egregious, a citation could be given to the owner, which is RRHA.

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