Call 4 Action " Brownsville woman living in roach infested apartments

Usually when a house has cockroaches, the pesky critters scatter when people come in.

But not in Esmerelda Barrera's house, it TMs as if the roaches are the tenants and Esmerelda is just a fearful visitor in her own home.

"The roaches have been coming in more and more, said Esmerelda.

Even as we interviewed Esmerelda, who called on us to take action, roaches were crawling up and down her wall and across her furniture.

The mother of four has been living at Miguel Laundry Apartments in Brownsville for about a year.

She can't even cook without roaches falling from pantries and climbing onto her stove.

The apartment is also riddled with other problems, from bad pipes, to foundation issues.

"It's very hard, addes Esmereldad. It's extremely hard.

The building has nine units which are mostly occupied by people living on social security according to Esmerelda.

Many of the residents, who talked to us off camera, for fears of being evicted, say they have nowhere else to go. Esmerelda can't afford rent anywhere else, since one of her children has epilepsy and one is asthmatic.

But the roach infestation is now posing a hazard to their health.

"The main problem associated with cockroaches is they can carry bacteria and they tend to go places where they can pick up bacteria, said Dr. Brian Smith with the Texas Department of State Health Services. But the main problem is related to allergies. The cockroaches parts and droppings are associated with allergies in some children.

Esmerleda turned to Action 4 because she claims her landlord refuses to fix any of the problems.

"She wants to charge us to do fumigation, said Esmerelda.

She says she has used everything to kill the roaches but they just keep multiplying, just like her concerns for her family's livelihood.