Why Toledo is in need of a Pied Piper – Offbeat – Crazy World

Rats roam the streets, scurry through yards and rummage under dog houses in Toledo. Local officials blame construction work and a large number of unsold vacant lots for the increase in fur pests. “This was the first summer that rat complaints overtook noise complaints,” Toledo City Councilor Tom Waniewski told The (Toledo) Blade.

Rodent control staff had baited 199 manhole covers with rat poison by Friday – part of the Ministry of Health’s rat control program.

One of the workers, 37-year-old Brian Hahn, told The Blade that the rats are the kind you normally find in sewers – “very similar to New York or Chicago.”

Brian Vanderhorst, of Toledo, says he fought rats trying to find new living space in his home as some nearby lots were razed to make way for a wider freeway.

“They are everywhere,” said Vanderhorst, who often wakes up to find rat droppings on the floor.

He lays traps around his house and says his dogs caught several rodents.

Debbie Muranyi also lives near the highway construction and says rats pulled food from her dog’s food. Her husband set a spring-loaded trap with peanut butter and Cheerios and caught a rat about 30 cm long.

“It’s scary,” she said. “The rats here were very big.”

Alan Ruffell, who heads the Department of Health’s environmental health division, said he was unaware of recent rat bites.

The health department hopes the rat population will decline when the city switches to an automated garbage collection system because rats cannot gnaw through garbage cans.

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