TroubleShooters: Rat house rescue in South Philly

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A family in South Philadelphia says their house has been overrun with rats from an unoccupied house next door.

We're calling this one Rat House Rescue.

Rodents running rampant have the Thinner family worried about their health and safety!

The Thinners have even temporarily moved out of their South Philadelphia home.

"But all my neighbors on this side of the block have all these rats running around in their houses also. We really need help," said Donald Thinner.

Thinner says the rodents are coming from the unoccupied house next door.

"I had to build this to attack anything moving. The device worked well because I caught one at least as big as a boot," he said.

But the Thinners began seeing so many rats, that they contacted the Action News TroubleShooters.

We called Aardvark Pest Company to assess and on their visit, they found a mouse and two rats - one was pulled out of a drawer.

The Action News TroubleShooters contacted Philadelphia's Licenses and Inspections.

Construction codes specialist Shane McNulty met us at the Thinners' house.

"We're pretty much homeless right now because of this situation and we need some help immediately," said Thinner.

L&I had already issued a violation notice for the unoccupied house, specifically for the pipe in the back, which L&I believes is giving the rats access to the Thinners' property.

Legally, L&I must give the absentee homeowner a month to respond before they can proceed and eventually get a judge to order the absentee owner to fix the problem.

But in the meantime - "We've had Vector come out with the Health Department, they've put the traps underneath so far. I reached out to them again today," said McNulty.

L&I is also asking the city's legal department to compel the owner to allow L&I inside.

"We need a court order for entry," said McNulty.

So the Thinners aren't back in their home as of yet.

"But I do feel better that L&I is going to be there to help us," said Thinner.

"We're going to follow through with this and get you a resolution," said McNulty.

We will continue to follow this one and if you have a deserted house in your neighborhood causing problems, click here for more information from Philadelphia Licenses and Inspections.

Plus click here for more information on The Aardvark Pest Company.

If you need help with a problem visit, email, or by calling our Call for Action volunteers at 1-866-978-4232 Monday through Friday from 11am - 1pm..
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