Neighborhood Nuisance: Owner of cockroach-infested home speaks out

Local government is now involved
The Health Department posted an orange sign on the door saying the home is unfit for human habitation.
Published: Sep. 28, 2023 at 9:02 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The owner of a cockroach-infested home on Hayden Street is sharing her side of the story, after neighbors reached out to 13 Action News saying the infestation was spreading to their homes. Following our story, local government is taking action too.

“Now, I’ve got the health department and the City of Toledo all over the house. I no longer have a job, so I can’t even pay to get a dumpster out there. Now, I’m going to lose the house for sure,” the homeowner, who wants to remain anonymous said. “I just want my side of the story heard.”

She says she was planning on either selling or remodeling the house, but she doesn’t have the time or the money right now. Regardless, the City of Toledo and Lucas County Health Department are ordering her to take care of the mess and infestation.

“I’m doing what I can, but the way it’s looking, the city is going to take it,” she said.

The city issued two nuisance orders, giving her 72 hours to clean up the overgrowth and trash and 30 days to fix exposed wood, gutters and downspouts. That 72-hour notice expires Friday. If she doesn’t meet the deadline, she could face fines.

The health department gave her 10 days to remove all garbage and debris and hire an exterminator for the cockroaches. She missed the deadline. They’ve issued a new order giving her until October 20 to comply, otherwise, the department may take legal action.

The health department has also declared the house unfit for human habitation, meaning no one can live inside. The homeowner and her fiancée have been living elsewhere for about a month, visiting the home every week to pick up mail.

They say they wish their neighbors had come to them with their problems.

“I understand about the nuisance, I do. But the neighbors should have come to us about the mess,” said fiancée Todd Camp. “To those who -- all the neighbors, we apologize for all that. We really do, but it’s just a lot to do for two people on a single income.”

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