Rats run across roads, yards in northwest Ohio

TOLEDO, Ohio – Rats are running across roads, scurrying through yards and burrowing beneath dog houses in Toledo. Local officials blame the

increase in furry pests on construction work and a large number of unsold vacant properties. "This was the first summer that rat complaints outpaced noise complaints," Toledo City Councilman Tom Waniewski told The (Toledo) Blade.
Rodent control workers had baited 199 manhole covers with rat poison by Friday — part of the health department's rat abatement program.
One of the workers, 37-year-old Brian Hahn, told The Blade that the rats are the kind typically found in sewers — "very similar to what you'd see in New York or Chicago."
Toledo resident Brian Vanderhorst says he's been fighting off rats trying to find a new habitat in his home since some nearby properties were razed to make room for a wider highway.
"They are all over the place," said Vanderhorst, who often wakes up to find rat droppings on the floor.
He lays traps around his home and said his dogs have caught several rodents.
Debbie Muranyi lives near the highway construction, too, and said rats have grabbed food from her dog's dish. Her husband set a spring-loaded trap with peanut butter and Cheerios and caught a rat about a foot long.
"It's scary," she said. "The rats here have been very large."
Alan Ruffell, who directs the health department's environmental health division, said he isn't aware of any recent rat bites.
The health department said it hopes that the rat population will decline when the city switches to an automated trash collection system because rats can't gnaw through garbage cans.
Information from: The Blade, http://www.toledoblade.com/

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