Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Carmel on the Case: Termites
Summers in South Florida are notorious for termites. For most of us, tenting is not only an expensive option, it's the only option. But for one local mom, terminating the termites requires county assistance. Something she hasn't been able to get for three years. In tonight's Carmel on the Case, investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero tries to exterminate the problem once and for all.
WSVN--You could say Tanisha graham and her five children have some uninvited houseguests. Termites have taken over her apartment. They're everywhere - in the detergent, the kitchen, and the kid's bedroom. So many, the creepy crawlers have even been caught crawling all over her newborn.
Tanisha Graham: "A little under three weeks ago, I laid her down on her play pen pallet and I walked into the kitchen to make her bottle. When I come back, termites are crawling all over her. that's how bad it is."
Unfortunately, Tanisha can't just get up and move. As a school bus driver, her apartment is subsidized by Broward County. Without it, she says she'd have nowhere to live. But what's really bugging her is she's been complaining about the termite terror for the past three years.
Tanisha:"They'll have someone come in and say there are termites and yet nothing gets done."
When we contacted the Broward County housing authority, it told us the unit couldn't be nspected because of all the clutter.
In a written statement, the county told us the one thing tanisha could do is remove the "accumulated garbage and debris."
But tinisha maintains that's an excuse. For her, the evidence is obvious. And termites have nothing to do with housekeeping.
Tanisha: "They're flying in your face. You wake up; they're on you. Nobody wants to live like that. The kids don't want it, I don't want it."
Termites however may just be the beginning of her problem. Richard Silvani of environmental pest systems evaluated Tanisha's apartment.
He found an insect invasion including ants and cockroaches.
Richard Silvani from Environmental Pest Systems: "The problem that they're going to pose is that they are carrying micro organisms, germs, bacteria on their body. They are going to track over the dishes, the plates, the food items. They could contaminate those items and could potentially make somebody sick."
After 7 news contacted the county, it sent an exterminator out. He was not happy to have us there.
Pest Man: "It's a little uncomfortable to have a camera in front of me. I'm not an actor so."
And he didn't want Tanisha's help.
Tanisha: "You're going so fast, how can I tell you where the termites are? You're not even looking at what I'm telling you."
Pest Man: "I don't need you to tell me. I'm going to inspect and what I find, I'll put in writing."
And after his report and our calls - this is the result.... a tent....killing the termites as we speak. For Tanisha and her children it's been a long time coming.
If you have a story for Carmel:
Call her in Dade at 305-627-CLUE
Or in Broward at 954-921-CLUE