PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Earlier this year, 3 On Your Side helped expose a “House of Horrors” in Glendale where a family unknowingly was living in a home that once had 60 cats inside and was even deemed uninhabitable by the City of Glendale.
Now 3 On Your Side has uncovered another disturbing situation. But, this time it’s a case of rodents lurking behind the walls of a newly purchased home.
A Phoenix house felt like "home" when Erin and Jonathan Barth initially came across it.
Just a few months ago, they were first-time homebuyers when they found the house and bought it.
For the couple, they thought the house would the perfect place to raise their newborn triplets who keep them busy.
"It's been incredible, it's been a lot of work, they were born just a little over two weeks ago and they're three little blessings."
But, not long after moving in, the Barths tell 3 On Your Side they started hearing scratching noises coming from behind walls.
So, they hired a pest control professional to investigate. And, a video was taken by Urban Desert Pest Control when the big discovery was made.
".... guess what? that's not pepper."
"that is disgusting. That is disgusting, all rat feces."
When the ceiling above the tub was removed, it came down with a significant amount of rodent feces.
It wasn't exactly what the exterminator Brad Olsen was expecting.
"For rodents on the inside of the wall, inside the home, droppings and urine, it's probably in my top 5 worst ever."
Jonathan and Erin were left horrified and disgusted. Before they bought the house and had a professional home inspection done, but the inspector was "NOT" required to report "the presence or absence of pests such as wood damaging organisms, rodents or insects."
They and their newborn triplets were forced to live in a house where rats were running rampant.
"In some areas we're talking inches deep and every inch of the surface area was covered."
As a result, Olsen said rat traps had to be put out everywhere.
"We caught three rats in 24 hours after the traps were set."
Problem areas were sealed off with wire mesh to keep the rats from re-entering the home.
Some of those problem areas were even in the home's cement foundation underneath the bathtub and had to be blocked off with rocks and more wire mesh.
“This is just to keep the rats from coming in.”
It was also discovered the rats were entering the house through water pipes, causing major plumbing problems.
Stuck with thousands of dollars in repairs, the Barths say the sellers minimized the rodent problem in their disclosure report, and contacted 3 On Your Side to investigate.
"We have just blatant falsehood in the disclosure statement ad."
In reviewing the report, 3 On Your Side found one line that asks: "Are you aware of any past or present plumbing problems?" and it was checked "no" by the sellers.
Then, in another line, the disclosure report acknowledges the home did have "past rodents."
An attorney for the sellers also sent 3 On Your Side a letter saying the disclosure report was filled out accurately and honestly.
The Barths say they're left disappointed and worried. They're concerned how they'll pay for all the repairs, and now question their health.
"We need to have this bill paid, honestly, it's put my family under a lot of stress, we're not sure about the health effects of this."