Updated: Friday, 20 Aug 2010, 6:20 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 20 Aug 2010, 4:18 PM EDT
ORLEANS, Mich. (WOOD) - A tiny trailer in Ionia County has a become a cockroach command center.
Cockroaches have taken over the abandoned home on the west side of Long Lake in Orleans Township and are making their way through the neighborhood -- infesting at least a dozen homes so far.
Neighbors complained that the Ionia County Health Department hasn't done enough to stop the spread.
"OK, here's a large cockroach," neighbor Gregg Hammond said, while pointing out the bugs in the home's threshold. "Any of these little black spots that you can see jumping around are either fleas or baby cockroaches. That's a baby roach; there's another baby roach. That's a good one."
Nearby residents say they started noticing the infestation at their homes about three weeks ago. The trailer's previous resident had left boxes of food before moving out.
"People said the ground made them dizzy because there was so much movement on the ground, that's how thick they were," Orleans Township Supervisor Jim Patrick said. "It certainly could be a health hazard to the whole community. The homes here are quite close together."
Neighbors say they've done all they can -- surrounding their homes with white Boric Acid to fend off the bugs. Most keep an arsenal of bug killer. They say the health department was slow to respond to their complaints. They want the home debugged and hauled away.
"Until the source is eradicated, we're just going to keep getting reinfested like we have the last three weeks," Hammond said.
On Aug. 11, the Ionia County Health Department condemned the home because of the cockroach infestation.
The roaches have flooded the home next door.
"I came downstairs at 1 or 2 in the morning and reached in to turn on my light with my right hand," neighbor Evelinda Onstott said. "When I turned on the light, I seen it and there was cockroaches all over my hands, and I just seen them all over. There was big ones, little ones, looked like fleas. And I just started jumping, screaming, and I grabbed this Boric (acid) and I just started spraying."
County records show the home and small lot at 2715 Cottage Drive was owned by Robert Cusack of Lake Odessa before it was sold on a land contract last year for $30,000.
Neighbors said the trailer recently changed hands again. 24 Hour News 8 has not been able to reach the current owners.
The township supervisor says the health department might have stopped the spread with a quicker response.
"To me, it should have been like the house is on fire, come now, so they could see them and determine what needs to be done here," Patrick said. "The people need some leadership."