Neighborhood Nuisance: Residents on Vermass Ave struggle with rat problem

Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 8:30 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Neighbors on Vermaas Avenue near Eleanor in Toledo say it’s not uncommon to open their trashcans and have a rat pop out at them.

Fred Spieler has lived in his home for 5 years, he says the rats have always been a problem. “They are the size of squirrels some of them. And I’m like ‘how it cant be.’ I thought I had a rabbit back there one day jumping, and it was a rat.”

Spieler says when he comes back at night, that’s when the rodents are most active. “I work third shift so I usually see them when I come in. I see them running across the street or in the grass. I usually get one every morning, but now that it’s cold I haven’t seen them. But I’ve probably had three or four dead ones laying in my driveway,”

Multiple residents on Vermaas are animal owners, so the presence of rats causes an even bigger concern. “Now my dog is trying to get to them, and I guarantee her dog is trying to get to them. It’s not good, it’s not sanitary. I don’t want to take my dog to the vet because he’s trying to bite rats. And they’re huge, they’re huge,” says Spieler.

Another resident who chose to remain anonymous say’s she loves relaxing in her backyard, but the rats have made that an unenjoyable experience. “You can hear them in the back against property lines, like scurrying through piles of leaves. We try to keep everything as picked up as possible back there so they don’t have anything to burrow in. But it’s definitely an issue.”

The City of Toledo says it does not handle rodent issues unless they are coming from a city source. The Lucas County Health Department heads the Rodent Control Program. Online the health department has an area to submit rodent complaints and also has tips to get rid of rats and keep them gone.

The residents of Vermaas Avenue say they want the rats eradicated, but in a way that does not harm other animals living in the area.

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