Local/State

Flea invasion engulfs Germantown block

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

An invasion of fleas has caused a nightmare for residents in the 5500 block of Devon Street, as a number of them cannot even walk outside their homes before being attacked by fleas.

Donna Robichaw is just one of the Germantown neighbors who have been battling an invasion of fleas, having to spray constantly with a pesticide.

In order to speak to another affected neighbor, Robichaw quickly ran up to Dawn Leak's door and ran back, but still managed to get attacked by some fleas.

Leake lives next door to a vacant house where neighbors say a former resident was breeding dogs and where they believe the problem originated.

"We bomb, you get the fog, we have to bomb every day," Leake said.

Leake says she's had to buy over $200 in bug bomb foggers to deal with the fleas in her home and she doesn't even have pets.

"It's ridiculous that you have to live like this and we bomb and it's nothing that my landlord can do because he bombs, he came here yesterday, he sprayed, he bombed," Leake said.

The legs of Leake's four children were covered in flea bites illustrating the severity of the problem.

Leake says her family is sleeping in the car due to the fleas.

Several neighbors say they've called the city, the health department, License and Inspections, the SPCA and they were either given the run around or told this was not the kind of problem they dealt with.

"We're reaching out for help, for them to come in and do something with [these houses] that are terribly infested," block captain Kirk Lawson said.

Late today, Action News was able to reach Councilwoman Cindy Bass whose represents this district.

She immediately contacted the managing director's office, the health department and L&I urging them to address this serious health issue.

Not only is she concerned for the residents here, she fears the problem could spread beyond this block if it's not addressed quickly.

UPDATE: Councilwoman Cindy Bass told Action News Wednesday two vacant homes on the 5500 block of Devon Street will be declared dangerous and uninhabitable.

One will be demolished and the other will be fumigated and sealed shut.

In addition all of the homes on the block will be fumigated, as well

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