Overgrown field leads to rat, snake infestation; Mid-South woman says she’s killed 14 rats


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Mid-South family is desperate for action after an overgrown county field leads to unwanted visitors.

The Fahhoum family calls their backyard a sanctuary. For the six years they’ve lived just off busy Houston Levee Road. They try to start their mornings enjoying a peaceful cup of coffee in their backyard.

But shortly after the pandemic hit, they were met with numerous uninvited guests.

“We have had rats, we’ve had snakes, we’ve had possums, we’ve had raccoons,” said Michele Fahhoum.

The reason is a four-acre field that runs behind their home. The county used to keep it mowed and cleaned, but that stopped after COVID spread. Residents began calling county officials in late April, but the field has remained untouched.

The Shelby County Land Bank, Parks and Grounds Department and even the Mayor’s Action Line have not gotten any results.

“It felt like they were passing the buck,” Fahhoum said. “Trying to get a connection with someone to answer a phone was the hardest and most frustrating thing to do.”

 More than 100 homes live against this field, giving critters and rodents a lot of access.

“We have families here. Knowing that this is happening to me, they have to be experiencing at least a partial of what I’m going through,” Fahhoum said.

WREG reached out to the county looking for answers, but we have not heard back.

Meanwhile, Fahhoum has a battle on her hands, saying she’s now killed 14 rats and counting in her back yard. They’re the most common visitor, entering through a crack in her fence along with snakes that love to make a home in her garden.

After staying patient through the summer of COVID, she’s hoping for results before cooler months set in.

“Just because we’re in a pandemic does not mean this grass is going to stop growing,” Fahhoum said. “I understand we’re in a difficult situation, but we have to learn to adapt.”

Shelby County does show a work order to mow that field, but they’ve had “two work orders” before and accidentally mowed the wrong area.

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