LOS ANGELES - It's a story that will make your skin crawl. A Sherman Oaks homeowner was recently faced with a whole of unwanted tenants – rats!
Imagine having more than 100 rats running around your attic and all across the house. In fact, on one of the mornings, the rats were spotted by the bed.
"They were going into the living area, on top of the counter, the bedrooms and nobody wants to wake up with one next to their bed," said Heather Goldfarb, of Rodents Stop.0
Rats are known to reproduce fast. The little creatures can have litters of as many as 14 every three months. Goldfarb, a general manager of the rodent control company, said the growing number of homeless encampments may be playing a role.
"It's unfortunate to blame it on homelessness, but with people living on the streets you have the additional trash, additional defecation, food waste and things like that," Goldfarb said.
Those encampments also have a lot of nesting material since, she says, they like paper, fabric and things like that for their nests.
She says when encampments are cleaned up, the rats are still around and can travel up to five miles to find new digs.
Meanwhile, back at the rat-infested Sherman Oaks house, the rat control company did everything they had to from killing the rats, plugging up holes, blasting smoke inside to find cracks where the critters could make entry and more.
The old owners fled when coming face-to-face with the rats. We couldn't reach them, but this infestation also became a big issue for the new owner who happens to be a contractor and wants to fix it up.
"In order for me to do the demolition or any new renovation, I need to get rid of the rats first," said Samson Maymon.
Maymon says the rat infestation has held up the permitting process.
"We have to make sure that everything is clean from rats before we move on to the renovation," Maymon adds.
Experts say to try to prevent a rat infestation:
- Cut back your trees and shrubs. Rats like to hide.
- Cut off access to food, water and shelter
You can try a do-it-yourself measure to control the rats or bring in a professional.