"This house is like a horror movie, but sadly it is real."
That's how a Vancouver man describes one of the homes in his neighbourhood, which he says is "out of control" with rats.
While multiple neighbours have filed complaints with the city, the man, who we will Mark, says nothing has been done to address the issue. His name has been changed to protect his privacy.
"Walk by [the house] after dark and you will see no less than a couple of dozen rats climbing out of the pots or scurrying around your feet," the exasperated resident tells Vancouver Is Awesome.
"They keep bird feeders to feed the rats."
The neighbour directly beside the infested dwelling now has their own rodent issues. "[The home] is now also crawling with rat holes all over their yard," he describes.
Another resident further down the block has also developed rat problems, he adds.
Rat problems in Vancouver
City of Vancouver Assistant Director of Community Standards Koji Miyaji confirmed with V.I.A. that the city received rat complaints about the property in question and sent an inspector to visit in January. After speaking with the tenant, the inspector learned that the "property owner retained a pest control company to take care of the rat issues," reads a statement.
The city added that rat-related calls are dealt with on a case-by-case basis and city inspectors "follow up quickly on complaints related to private property and issue orders to property owners" to address problems.
Keeping properties clean and well maintained goes a long way in preventing rats from becoming established. Wood piles, building materials, abandoned mattresses and poor exterior building maintenance can provide nesting opportunities. Poorly maintained or managed backyard gardens or composters, garbage bins that are open, overflowing and/or litter and waste on the ground surrounding bins can provide sources of food for rats.
Visit Vancouver's rat and mice page for more information about how to deal with rat-related concerns and when to call 311.