RIDGEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Where’s the Pied Piper when you need him?
Ridgewood is known as a quiet, bucolic, upscale town. Recently, though, there’s been an influx of some uninvited new residents: rats.
Homeowners at Howard Road and Bennington Terrace are being told that since the infestation appears to be centered on private property, it’s up to them to take care of the problem.
“The other kids in the neighborhood, they’re screaming or yelling when they spot them. It’s funny but scary at the same time,” Giovanni Regina told 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck. “At first I thought they were wrong, I thought it might a squirrel with a skinny tail.”
Regina said the critters aren’t the only wildlife that have paid a visit to the neighborhood.
“Turkeys in the past, we’ve had foxes, so maybe rats are just the natural progression of the wildlife,” Regina said.
On Tuesday, the village’s health department went door to door to speak with residents.
Health Supervisor Dawn Cetrolu said that the village has only received two official complaints and that this isn’t a village issue.
“There’s no village property to put out traps on. It’s all private property so they have to do it,” she told CBS 2’s Alice Gainer.
Homeowner Mike Zuckerman complained about the infestation and thinks that the village should help with the extermination cost.
“Rats pose a public health risk, so we were hoping the village would assist in getting rid of them because our fear is that if we eliminate them on one person’s property and somebody else doesn’t take care of it they’re just going to continue to become a nuisance,” he said.
Officials and residents said that new construction nearby could have forced the rats to move.
“Tonight when my husband comes home we’ll be looking around for any droppings,” Olivia Ojdanic said.
Ojdanic has a 1-year-old son, she said that she doesn’t care where the rats come from as long as they go away.
“It’s germs. They’re dirty. I don’t want to get sick. I don’t want the little one to get sick either,” she said.
For now, residents said that they plan to foot the bill for an exterminator.
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