Family Says Rats Are Taking Over Their Home

PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) Rats bigger than cats are invading a South Philadelphia rowhome, according to a family. They want answers from the Philadelphia Housing Authority.

Instead of taking videos of her 1 and 10-year-old boys, Johntaya Johnson has been busy shooting these new members of her family.

"I am terrified. I am scared. Sometimes, I don't want to sleep here," she told FOX 29. "These rats will bite you and they will hurt you."

The videos taken almost every day for weeks show the rats-- literally coming through the woodwork--eating right through the walls of the family's Dorrence Street home. It started 2 months ago inside the property owned by the Philadelphia Housing Authority.

"We scared. We scared to death," said Johnson.

So how big and bad are these rats? Big enough to steal an entire steak dinner from the kitchen counter.

"The whole steak was gone off his plate. Macaroni and cheese smeared on the counter. I called him and said, 'Oh my god his food is gone,'" she said.

Neighbors think the house next door may be the cause of the recent infestation. Although no one was home when we were there, we've learned the city's Department of Licenses and Inspections has taken that neighbor to court for a long list of code violations. But for now, the rats rule this house.

The family says they can't afford the $500 an exterminator says will fix the problem and they say they've contacted the PHA at least 5 times and can't get anyone to show up. They want the problem fixed or a new home.

"I don't feel safe in this house, not with no rats. I never lived with rats before and don't want to," Johnson explained.

FOX 29 reached out to the Philadelphia Housing Authority. A spokesperson promised they will look into this case. The family tells us the department of health has agreed to pay a visit to the home tomorrow.