HILLSIDE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Rats are running rampant in one New Jersey neighborhood, and residents say it’s time the township puts a stop to it before the rodents take over.
CBS 2’s Marc Liverman went to Hillside to check out the unwelcome animals.
It’s not really the type of neighbor you want scurrying across your lawn.
“It’s horrible, it’s disgusting to see them walking around the area,” said one Hillside resident, Adrian Dios.
“Thursday I found one running across the street,” added Hillside resident, Carlos Lopes. “Friday when I got home, there was a dead one no farther than three feet away from my house.”
The rats seem to be everywhere, according to residents. Three rats have been spotted in less than a week and and they say it’s only getting worse.
Some Hillside residents like Carlos Lopes have been living with these conditions for years. Some of the rats are dead while others are still alive.
“It’s not a comfortable feeling,” said Lopes. “You can’t even take your kids out to play in the backyard, because you don’t know if one’s gonna be running through.”
Lopes also says the rats are chewing holes right through his fence. And his biggest concern isn’t even that, but that the rat’s are urinating on his children’s toys.
“He’s gonna put stuff in his mouth,” said Lopes.
Hillside Mayor Dahila Vertreese says the problem and slow solution is a combination of many different things.
“We’ve had a couple of developments, a lot of unearthed property, we have some sewer issues that we’re handling,” Vertreese said.
Even an exterminator doesn’t seem to be doing the trick, but the mayor hopes a new Clean Cities grant Hillside was recently awarded, does.
“We plan to purchase garbage cans and hopefully help people who don’t have access,” said Vertreese. “At least it’s a beginning to making sure that they’re being responsible for what they produce.”
The mayor and council are also working on getting out a new ordinance. It can also help to cut your grass regularly as that gives one less place for these rodents to hide.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rats can spread more than 35 diseases.