They’re scampering down sidewalks, running across streets and hiding out in garbage cans.

First, the rats were scarce — one or two in the grass every once in awhile. Then, they started showing up more frequently, scampering across the street in front of Carlos Lopez’s home.

Now, Lopez is seeing the rodents on or near his Hillside property just about every week, and he wants the township to fix it.

“I don’t think it’s right paying the amount of taxes that we do in Hillside, because they’re extremely high, and yet we got to be going outside and double checking the radius of the house (for rats),” Lopez said in a recent phone interview.

Carlos Lopez, who lives on Silver Avenue in Hillside, said he has seen rats near his home almost weekly recently. (Courtesy of Carlos Lopez)

Lopez has lived in his home on Silver Avenue for five years and began noticing rats when construction began in the area a few years ago, he said. Since then, the rats have shown up increasingly frequently — leaving droppings on his property and chewing the wood fence around his house, he claimed.

Although he said he has hired an exterminator to come to his home four times, spending hundreds of dollars in the process, the rats remain. Lopez said he recently saw five rats in four days and worries the rodents might pass disease to his two young sons.

Some residents wrote on Facebook that they had also seen rats in other sections of the township, although other people said their neighborhoods were rodent-free.

Mayor Dahlia Vertreese on Wednesday said she was aware of rats in Hillside when she campaigned for the mayoral seat last fall. Health department employees have been inspecting properties every three months – laying down bait, picking up dead rats and checking for new burrows, Vertreese said.

“Some of the residents have brought up these concerns because they’ve seen dead rats, which means the extermination efforts are actually working,” she said by phone.

Other people living on Silver Avenue recently said they had spotted rats on the sidewalks in front of their homes, in the street and in their garbage cans. One man said he found two rats dead in his living room.

Some people said they worried the rats might carry disease, while others simply did not want to have to see the unsightly rodents.

Richard Lewis, who …read more

Source:: New Jersey Real-Time News


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Rats overrun N.J. neighborhood as exterminators try to keep up

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