“It was like something out of a movie,” Cheektowaga resident Sam Guida told 7 Eyewitness News. “I thought I’d see one but I mean I’m not even exaggerating, it was like a couple dozen that I saw.”
Guida recorded his shocking discovery with his cell phone and sent it to 7 Eyewitness News. That video captures rats scurrying along the brush and running along a dumpster, just feet away from his home.
Sam Guida and his partner have lived in the Hickory Sub division for a little under a year but it was just a few weeks ago they noticed the critters while walking their dog.
This neighbor says the sightings are becoming more and more frequent.
“I’m seeing so many now,” a concerned Guida said. “To me it’s infested, like you’re past the point of just a small rat problem.”
This concerned neighbor says he believed the rats were active because of overflowing dumpsters at nearby Garden Village Apartments.
Guida’s calls to the apartment manager went unreturned as did ours, but an interview we conducted with the Erie County Health Department confirmed his suspicions.
“This is a pretty extensive apartment complex and a pretty extensive rodent problem,” Dolores Funke told 7 Eyewitness News.
The Director of Environment Health for Erie County says the rodent issue at Garden Village has been on their radar for nearly 18 months.
Health Investigators say they’ve found dumpsters overflowing and food sources to keep the rats coming back for more - and the warm weather has only intensified the problem.
The director says her agency has worked with the complex to clean up their act and they’ve even issued the management company fines.
Those tactics haven’t been enough but Funke says they will continue to press the complex for change. “That will entail a commissioner's hearing, potentially more fines,” the director said.
As for concerned neighbor Sam Guida, he says he just wants the situation resolved before they reach his property.
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