TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Neighbors in west Toledo are speaking out about uninvited guests into their neighborhood, rats.
They want them gone, and demand help doing it.
Neighbors said it's getting worse in their area, and sometimes feels like an uphill battle to get rid of the rats in their neighborhood. They're asking the health department to step in now.
"What is it that your department is going to do to help us," asked Kathleen Gray, a property manager in west Toledo.
Several neighbors came together from the Kenwood-Sheridan area to discuss the rat problem they are facing. While the health department says they've been working in the area, neighbors wanted answers.
"Why didn't you bring that information with you tonight," questioned one neighbor at Wednesday's meeting.
"What information," asked the health department official.
"About what you've done," answered the neighbor.
Health Department official at the meeting explained he does not perform the baiting, but said he would bring results to neighbors about what they are doing.
Kathleen Gray manages several properties in the area and says her residents have complained about the rats. She says she has paid a private company to help their address the neighborhood issues, but she wants action.
"All we're asking is for help because the health department says they can't go on private property, okay," said Gray. "At least point us in the direction of where we can get the help."
Wednesday the Toledo Lucas County Health Department did offer advice to neighbors at their block watch meeting at the Sanger Branch Library.
Officials suggest neighbors find the source of the problem, bait their yards, search for burrows and get rid of obvious food and water source options. They say rats will eat about anything, but high on their list bird food and waste.
Ken Roshak has lived in the area for close to 25 years and attended his first block watch meeting Wednesday in hopes of learning more about the rat issue.
"I'm a bird feeder, I like to feed the birds and you know I don't want to contribute to the problem, but I want to find out what the experts are going to say about it."
Experts said it's a maintenance issue. They want neighbors to take care of their property and the department will search for other sources contributing to the problem and work to get results.
Some neighbors say the rats came when construction started in their area. While leaders explained construction does contribute to the issue, it's likely not the only cause. Health Department officials say they want residents to bait their property and report issues here to their office while they treat the public properties.
Neighbors said they are willing to work together with the city and health department to solve the issue and get rid of the rats.