BARTOW, Fla. (WFLA) – A Polk County mother came to 8 On Your Side for help after months of living in a mice-infested apartment.
“I shouldn’t have to even be talking to you guys. It shouldn’t even be at this point,” said Sharron Potts.
Potts’ despair is rooted in fear and disgust.
She and her three young children have lived at Carver Village, a federal government-subsidized housing complex owned by the Housing Authority of Bartow, for eight months.
She’s caught at least 32 mice in traps. After that, she lost count.
In the morning, Potts wakes up to droppings on her countertops, in her stove and in the cabinet above the stove.
That cabinet has a gaping hole that leads to the attic.
“You can hear them scratching in the attic,” she said.
The mice terrify her kids.
“They scared because they see it through the week, on a nightly basis,” she said.
Potts has reported the problem to the Housing Authority office.
Pest control workers came out twice. They placed a panel on the front and back doors and suggested mice traps.
The problem continued.
“This building right here is infested,” she said. “Whatever they’re supposed to do, they need to do it. I don’t know what they’re supposed to do. I want to see it taken care of.”
8 On Your Side’s Staci DaSilva called around to find help for Potts.
The Housing Authority of Bartow’s office is closed on Fridays.
Finally, after being tossed from agency to agency, the Bartow Code Enforcement office reacted with concern.
After viewing 8 On Your Side’s video of the mice feces, Jimmy Dean, a code enforcement investigator, brought a team out to Potts’ apartment for an inspection.
The team quickly determined the mice were, in fact, coming from the attic, just as Potts suspected.
“We’re going to have them come in and seal up all these holes. I’m going to check the outside for any other holes then we’re going to require them to get an exterminator out here,” Dean said to Potts.
Dean called Stella Black, who Potts refers to as the “landlord” at Carver Village.
Black walked through the apartment with the code enforcement team but shooed WFLA’s camera away. She declined to comment.
Dean said the Housing Authority of Bartow has two to three weeks to come into compliance before the city takes the violation to a court magistrate.
“I’m not going to just walk out of here today and that’s it. I’m going to be following up. I’m going to do a notice of violation and hold them accountable,” Dean said to Potts.
“I am glad that they are here and praying that something gets done about this situation,” Potts said as code enforcement was surveying her building.