Bridgeport mom to spend Thanksgiving at friend's house due to mouse infestation

A Bridgeport health care worker says her apartment is so badly infested with mice, she and her kids will be forced to spend Thanksgiving at a friend's house.
Officials say rodent infestation increases dramatically during cold weather months.
Shakeema Hodge, of Bridgeport, is a 44-year-old single-working mom, and says she went into nursing because she simply likes to help people.
However, Hodge says she's the one who needs help now because mice have taken over her apartment. She’s been documenting the infestation with her cellphone.
"That's all you hear at night -- you hear them scratching,” says Hodge. "They're everywhere! My kids can't sleep in the bed so we sleep right here."
The mice infestation has forced the single-working mom and her four kids to make the tough decision not to have Thanksgiving in their apartment.
"It's like I'm living in hell. It's bad,” says Hodge. “I wouldn't want [anybody] to live like this. Nobody deserves to live like this. It's crazy."
She says the mice are everywhere and the problem has become so bad she can't use her stove anymore because the rodents are living inside of it.
"We can't eat here. I can't even have Thanksgiving here now. The mice are living in the stove. There's droppings everywhere."
Hodge, who grew up in Stamford, says she works long hours and dreads coming home to the multi-family house.
Deputy director of Health and Social Services Sumit Sharma says this is not an isolated case and that it’s the same story every year. When the temperature drops, rodents want to come in from the cold by invading the places where people live.
"Every year when the winter comes, the rodents want to find a warm place so they come inside,” says Sharma.
He also says if you're a renter like Hodge, it's a landlord's responsibility to hire an exterminator and make a good-faith effort to manage the problem until the infestation is either reduced or eliminated.
“If they're not compliant, then you can call our health department -- housing code department -- and then we'll go out and inspect,” says Sharma.
However, Hodge says she's reported her landlord and nothing has been done -- it’s only getting worse.
"I was kind of embarrassed, but I can't be embarrassed [any] more,” says Hodge. “It's not my fault. It's my landlord's fault.”
The landlord did not respond to News 12's request for a comment.
Sharma says thoroughly rinsing out containers before throwing them out is one way to keep your garbage can from becoming a hot spot for rodents who are already attracted to the warmth inside your home.