Donora residents report street overrun with roaches

DONORA, Pa. — Neighbors on a street in Donora say their homes are being overrun by roaches. They are frustrated that the borough is not doing more to help.

Matt Vitalbo and his wife, Nicole, bought a home on Castner Avenue in Donora in 2019. They gutted and renovated it in time to bring home their baby boy, but quickly made a horrible discovery: their dream home had roaches.

“Our house is immaculate. You won’t find a speck of dirt on the floor,” he said. “I am terrified to let him play on the floor. I’m terrified to walk in my own house without shoes on. I stepped on one yesterday.”

The Vitalbos showed Channel 11 photos of roaches inside and outside, including a trap filled to the brim with bugs trying to get inside.

“They’re smart. They find their way in. I’ve sealed so many holes, entrances, any way they can get in, but they still make their way in,” Vitalbo said.

Neighbors said they think the bugs are coming from a nearby home that has been cited by code enforcement.

Donora borough leaders said multiple citations have been sent to the offending home, totaling about $600 in fines, and letters were sent to all of the homeowners reporting a roach infestation. The letters advise people to exterminate, keep their homes clean and limit where they eat. Officials said that, by law, they can do no more.

The homeowner of the house in question said she does not have a bug problem but did receive the citations.

Meanwhile, Vitalbo has 11 months of receipts from a pest control company, frustrated that he and his wife are spending hundreds of dollars a month and still have roaches. He feels the city needs to do more.

“I chose Donora,” he said, describing officials’ response as “disheartening.

“I chose to invest in your town, and when it comes to helping your local homeowners, you don’t do anything,” he said