Exterminators help rat-infested neighborhood

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – A Newport News neighborhood over run with rats is getting some help. 

10 OYour Side started investigating the situation Monday night, and after our story aired, a local exterminating company called with a solution.

When we saw your story on WAVY 10, we understood this is a community issue when the rats are at this level of infestation, said Cory Newell with Commonwealth Exterminating.

The rats are coming from a vacant home on the corner of 73rd Street and Madison Avenue. Newell said the infestation is probably one of the worst they’ve ever seen — and they’re going to tackle it at no cost.

There has got to be a large population inside that house for them to start venturing outward, added Brad Ray, also with Commonwealth Exterminating.

Ray and Newell were in the neighborhood Wednesday evening, setting up almost 40 bait traps with poison. The traps were put in the yards closest to the infested home.

What we’ve done, we’ve created a perimeter, Newell said.

They also offered the same service to the owners of the infested home, whom city officials say are June Brown and Barbara Simmons. They’ve already been cited from the city and given 30 days to clean the issue up. Brown and Simmons turned down the offer.

You know, the biggest problem is [the rats] got a spot there like a harborage area that we just don’t have access to. It would be nice if we could get in there,” Ray said. “The main issue is a safety risk, and they also damage homes and cars. The rats chew on wiring.

I feel frustrated at the lack of concern by the owners, added neighbor Barry Fernandez.

Ray said the traps won’t completely get rid of the rats, but it will put a dent in the population. The only way to make sure they are gone would be treating the infested home.

10 On Your Side also spoke with Peninsula Health Department Officials who saw our report on Monday. They call the situation “disturbing” and have decided to investigate.

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