A neighborhood flea infestation forces a family into a hotel

OKLAHOMA CITY – Exterminators are calling it the worst they’ve ever seen.

A swarm of fleas is calling a metro neighborhood their home.

Neighbors in the area of NE 16th and Bryant say the problem is so bad, their homes, yards, and clothes are teeming with pests.

In fact, the County Health Department is even involved.

But the worst part is for the time being, they’re stuck with the itchy swelling and bumps.

Delonia Lowe says, “This is basically where the fleas are coming from.”

For a month now, Delonia Lowe feels like everywhere she turns she’s surrounded by fleas.

“I need help,” says Lowe.

Wednesday, with her own money, she hired an exterminator to get rid of them, for now.

The exterminator told her it was so bad that he would do it for free.

“The exterminator that came out said they had never seen so many fleas that it was an epidemic,” says Lowe.

But this isn’t a problem that originated from her house. She says stray dogs and cats live in a foundation vent just next door, attracting the swarm.

“When we would come out the house the fleas were so bad they would be resting in my driveway,” says Lowe.”So basically when we drove up put our foot out the car, fleas were covering our legs.”

Her daughter is covered with bites up and down her legs. Her hair has even started to fall out.

“It’s no longer you just have a few fleas and that’s between you and your neighbor,” says Lowe. “It has affected our quality of life.”

Fed up, Lowe and her girls packed their bags and got a hotel room with money she says they don’t have.

After calling and calling, she says she’s been given the runaround asking the city to force her neighbors to fix the problem.

But the health department says it’s just a slow moving process.

Administrator Troy Skow says, “I totally understand that but we still have a due process even in the worst cases that we work. That’s the problem with our jobs.”

So now, they wait.

But she says they can’t be the only ones in the metro with a problem like this. She wants anyone who does to know you’re not alone.

“I can certainly see how people can get in a state of hopelessness, reaching out to agencies that say these are the services they provide and not having their needs met,” says Lowe.

The health department says this process takes so long because they have to give the owner a fair amount of time to fix the problem.