Texas' health and human services building is overrun by rats

Part of the job of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission is to make sure that buildings operated and regulated by the state are clean and free of pests. However, it turns out the agency is dealing with an infestation of its own.

A spokeswoman for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission told the Texas Tribune on Wednesday that the agency's headquarters in Austin is currently overrun by "several hundred" rates.

The agency says that renovation and construction of the building have contributed to the infestation.

According to the Austin American-Statesman, the infestation is so bad that the agency is taking the unusual step of spending $60,000 out of its budget to hire a private company to deal with the problem. Usually, pest problems would be dealt with by the state facilities commission.

One spokeswoman admitted to the Texas Tribune that if a nursing home or mental hospital had a similar infestation, the Health and Human Services Commission could cite it for "unsanitary conditions."

Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.

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