Family takes action at flea ridden home, neighbors thankful

Posted at 3:35 PM, Oct 07, 2017

LANSING, Mich. (WSYM) - People living in one Mid-Michigan neighborhood woke up Friday morning to find what they’re hoping is the beginning of the end for flea problems on their block.

FOX 47 News first told you about a home on the 1400 block of Park Avenue Thursday.

The home is infested with fleas. It’s gotten so bad that neighbors’ homes, yards and pets are infested too.

Tracking down the homeowner has been difficult for the City of Lansing and even some family members.

City of Lansing Code Enforcement is unable to do anything about the problem because there is no ordinance addressing a problem related to fleas, leaving neighbors helpless.

After the story aired on News 10, help arrived.

A member of the homeowner’s family stepped in to help.

“You can’t leave the house like that for neighbors,” said Eljay Humphrey, a member of the homeowner’s family. “We need to do something.”

That’s exactly what Humphrey did Friday morning. With more than $200 worth of store brought pest control, Humphrey rolled up his sleeves and went to work.

“We have to help because nobody has to live that way, you know,” said Humphrey.

Not only did Humphrey bomb the home, he sprayed the yard repeatedly along with neighbor’s yards.

When FOX 47 News' Clayton Cummins knocked on the door of the home in question Wednesday, he left 30 seconds later with fleas crawling up his pants.

The story was no different for Humphrey who also had fleas crawling on his arms and legs after trying to treat the property.

“It’s going to be a process and not something that you can just do overnight,” said Humphrey. “It’s going to take a couple of weeks but if we can get them stopped, slowed down and come in fall with the rain that’ll help.”

For neighbors, the summer has been dreadful with fleas slowly spreading from the abandoned home.

Casey Brown lives nearby and is now breathing a sigh of relief.

“We're just very thankful...,” said Brown. “My wife and I's jaw dropped today when you called us and in just two days’ time that something like that could happen, it's pretty amazing.”

Brown remains hopeful for a flea-free life.

FOX 47 News got in touch with Lansing mayor Virg Bernero's office Friday.

Randy Hannan, Bernero's chief of staff, tells FOX 47 News the mayor saw the original story and plans to work with the city council on changes to the ordinance that would allow the city to take action before things get out of control at another property.

FOX 47 News contacted the Ingham County Prosecutor's office for an update on the three dogs taken from the property back in August when the home was red tagged.

We haven't heard back.

A warrant has been issued for the homeowners arrest on an animal cruelty charge.

Lansing Police found her and took her to a hospital for a mental-health evaluation.

FOX 47 News will continue to follow this story and provide updates as soon as we learn more.