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Flood victim says Orkin treated her home for mold, Orkin disagrees

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BATON ROUGE - A flood victim says she's stuck with a moldy mess even after she paid a professional to treat her home for bugs and mold.

Cheryl Davis has been paying her mortgage and her utility bills for the last two years on a home she can't live in. She says it wasn't supposed to be this way after she hired Orkin to spray for mold.

"I can't imagine anyone else going through this," she said. "They don't want to take responsibility for it."

Tuesday morning, Davis sat in her FEMA-issued Manufactured Housing Unit sifting through documents with 2 On Your Side's Brittany Weiss. The MHU sits on her property, in front of a structure she called home for years.

In August 2016, she got four-and-a-half feet of water in her house. The place was gutted soon after and that's when she says she discovered termite damage in the bathroom. She contacted Orkin to schedule an appointment to treat the damage which she thought included mold.

"I said, well once I finish with the termites I've got to find someone to treat the mold he said, 'Oh we treat mold,'" Davis said.

Her check stub shows she paid Orkin about $1,700 to do both in October 2016. Davis says she was told to let the house dry out and then hired a contractor to hang drywall. Soon after that she noticed a bad odor, which turned out to be mold behind the drywall.

She hired a professional to test the air quality in her home and that person found that the mold count was four times the legal limit. At that point Davis says she started contacting Orkin, but received little response from the local, regional, and corporate levels.

"They told me they don't treat mold, nobody would talk to me," she said.

Davis got a lawyer and filed a lawsuit against Orkin for the damages she incurred. Meanwhile, the mold in her home was getting worse. Another reading in April 2018 showed the mold count was 10 times the legal limit. Orkin wanted to settle out of court and Davis recently learned what that meant.

"By December 2018, I was told that they wanted to pay me a $2,500 nuisance fee," she said.

The damage to Davis' home is beyond repair, but Orkin tells 2 On Your Side the treatment done at her home was not for mold but for fungus. It provided the following statement to WBRZ.

We are saddened to hear about the mold issues Ms. Cheryl Davis is facing in her home as a result of the 2016 floods. At Orkin, we know how difficult recovering from natural disasters can be, and we pride ourselves in providing pest management services to help customers protect what is most important to them.

The treatment at Ms. Davis’ home was completed to reduce fungus growth and mitigate the risk of termites at her residence. The treatment contract did not cover mold prevention and specifically recommended hiring a mold remediation contractor to mitigate the development of mold.

Orkin cares deeply about its customers and is committed to providing excellent services in the pest control industry. We will continue to work with Ms. Davis and all our customers to ensure their satisfaction with our services.

Davis maintains that the phrase "mold treatment" was spoken and stated in her paperwork multiple times.

"My daughter-in-law was here, we have witnesses, he said they're coming in to treat the mold," she said.

Paperwork provided to Davis by Orkin shows photos and descriptions of the treatments used on her home, including "Mold-Care," "Bora-Care," and "Moldicide."

The entire process has Davis very upset, angry, and confused. She only hopes others haven't had to go through the same thing.

Davis says she has been working with Restore LA and is in the beginning process of receiving funds to rebuild her home. She has to front the $9,000 demolition bill and the moldy home must be disposed of in a safe way. While she has plans to move out of her MHU and into an apartment to start the construction on her new home, she says her fight with Orkin is not over.

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