Hernando woman says smell from rats is making her sick - WFLA News Channel 8

Hernando woman says smell from rats is making her sick

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Justin Penfold holds a rat from his breeding facility. His neighbor is not happy about the smell coming from the breeding houses and compost piles. Justin Penfold holds a rat from his breeding facility. His neighbor is not happy about the smell coming from the breeding houses and compost piles.
Linda Armstrong says the smell from her neighbor's property makes her sick. Her neighbor breeds mice, rats and rabbits. Compost piles from the bedding, feed and droppings can be seen just beyond Armstrong's fence. Linda Armstrong says the smell from her neighbor's property makes her sick. Her neighbor breeds mice, rats and rabbits. Compost piles from the bedding, feed and droppings can be seen just beyond Armstrong's fence.
Justin Penfold has several compost piles on his property that is produced from rats, mice and rabbits from his breeding facility. His neighbor is not happy about the smell coming from the breeding houses and compost piles. Justin Penfold has several compost piles on his property that is produced from rats, mice and rabbits from his breeding facility. His neighbor is not happy about the smell coming from the breeding houses and compost piles.
BROOKSVILLE, FL (WFLA) -

On a two and a half acre lot in Hernando county, Linda Armstrong says she used to enjoy living in the country.  But now something has changed that.

"The odor is awful.  It comes our way most of the time," says Armstrong.

The odor Armstrong is talking about is from compost piles on the next door neighbor's property.

That next door neighbor is Justin Penfold, who owns the property that is used to breed rats, mice and rabbits.  Penfold says the compost piles contain bedding, feed and droppings.

He says, The piles are going to have a little bit of odor to it.  I mean anything that breaks down or decomposes is going to smell."

Linda Armstrong says the smell is so bad at times that it makes her sick.

She said, "One day there wasn't anything outside.  I went to the back yard and came around the front.  There it was.  Right there on the front porch.  I smelled it for like 20 or 30 seconds and went inside and almost threw up."

Armstrong says the fans on the breeding houses also send the smell of rodents toward her house. 

She contacted the Hernando County Health department.  They told her, "When he dumped the manure out or when he stirred it, it would smell and I would have to stay inside."

Penfold, the owner of the rats says the compost piles turn into a nutrient rich soil that can be used for gardening.

"If you ever look at the bag of your garden soil, it is usually some sort of composted manure," Penfold said.

Armstrong says there is also a fly problem.  The county told Penfold as long as the flies are not breeding in the compost it is ok.

Penfold says he is willing to move the compost pile close to Armstrong's fence if Armstrong stops contacting the county.  But Armstrong says that's not good enough. She wants the rodents to be removed.

"The rats need to go to in order for me to be well," said Armstrong.

Penfold says that is not going to happen.

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