By: H. TRUMAN CHAFIN
November 15, 2012
WILLIAMSON - An elderly resident on Oak Street hasn’t been sleeping well as of lately, for fear that one of the large rodents that has been killed inside and outside of her home will make its way into her bedroom. According to the homeowner who has spent many years in the location where she spent many years with her late-husband and raising her children, her home no longer provides a sanctuary of peace and security, but instead holds feelings of fear and unrest.
Mae Stallard, a well-known retired educator who has been, and still remains involved in numerous civic organizations, has always been diligent in her dedication to the betterment of the Tug Valley area and its citizens. Now, she faces a dilemma of her own.
A house that is located beside of her that was vacant for a while, but that was left with a large amount of garbage and rubble outside, has become a haven for rats. Now, the large rodents that have measured as large as 10 inches not including their tail, have ventured next door to Stallard’s home, seeking new territory.
Stallard and her son have done everything possible to rid their home of these pests that are known to carry diseases that can be fatal to humans, including having an exterminator inspect the home and set traps, baiting steel traps that are often used to catch small animals such as opossums and squirrels, as well as utilizing a variety of poisons in hopes of deterring the invasion.
“We have killed a total of 16 rats, and I’m here to tell you that I’m at my wits’ end,” said Stallard. “These rats have eaten holes through my walls, my floors and ceilings, not to mention all of the articles of clothing that have been chewed to pieces by the rats. I can’t relax and I barely sleep. This ordeal has really taken a toll on my nerves and my health.”
Williamson Police Chief and City Unsafe Building Commissioner Jerry Mounts visited the location, and told the Daily News he issued a citation to the residence on one side of Stallard’s home and plans to revisit the location to see if the renters have complied with the order to clean and remove the trash piled behind the home. As of Thursday when the Daily News visited the location, the garbage was still in place.
“The house on the left said of Mae’s home was recently vacated, and I spoke with the person who was paid to clean up the premises and he stated that he removed numerous bags of garbage, so I feel that this location may have been where the rats first came to,” remarked Mounts. “I will be inspecting the home to her right tomorrow, performing a follow-up from last week. I’m also in the process of performing a title search to make sure we hold the property owners responsible, as well as those who rent.”
“I am praying that we can get rid of these rats and get our lives make to normal,” said Stallard. “This has truly been a nightmare I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I know that I can’t handle much more of this.”