WALDWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — After finding them all over their property some Bergen County residents say rats are taking over the neighborhood.

“It’s frightening to think that a child could get bit by a rat,” Lucy Wanklin told CBS2’s Marc Liverman.

There were forty-three dead rats found in less than a month. Waldwick resident Lucy Wanklin said she’s been dealing with the problem at her home on Wanamaker Ave.

“We started off slowly; two, three, four, then all of a sudden ten then fifteen, and now we’re up to forty-three,” she said.

She’s not alone. Laurie Summer lives a block away.

“Never had anything like this happen,” she said.

Summer says she found two rats running all over her yard.

“One was a full size rat, and one was smaller,” she said. “I’m from New York, we saw them in the subways. You don’t expect to see them in your backyard in a suburban area.”

Summer said she saw the rats in her backyard running toward her home. That’s when she called an exterminator. They setup rodent baits the same day, but even that didn’t stop the rats right away.

“I found a dead one in my driveway where I park, dying actually,” she said.

So where are they all coming from?

Some residents blame a new apartment complex still under construction, but animal control services associated with the borough said otherwise.

“The rats have always lived here. What has changed is some environmental things such as road paving, people doing home upgrades, people feeding birds that brings rats onto the property , people growing gardens bringing rats onto the property, that is why they’re so visual at this time,” Carol Tyler, Animal Control explained.

A borough administrator said they’ve heard three complaints about the rats since June. They said the health department is surveying the area, and they plan on teaching residents how to abate them.



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