NIAGARA FALLS, NY (WKBW) — “There's a horrendous rat problem here. They're like everywhere,” declared Kyle Walker, resident, Niagara Falls. “Every day you see rats.”
Some residents in the City of Niagara Falls who live on 56Th Street say there is a significant rat problem in their neighborhood and they want the city to help.
“You see them walking across the street in the middle of the night,” replied Edward Mayberry, resident, Niagara Falls. “And I’ll be driving down the alley in the morning, 7 o'clock and you'll see them run across the street."
That alley runs behind the home of Mayberry and Walker. They say some people aren't putting their garbage in totes and others are illegally dumping trash in the alley.
“They leave garbage all over. The squirrels get it. The rats get it and then they just run rampant,” described Walker. “They come in our yard. They get in our garbage. They run on the side of my house and there's a little hole there and they crawl in there.”
Neighbors tell me the rat problem is so extensive that they're making holes under a house.
“I see rats. I’d be mowing the lawn and they're just like domesticated,” Mayberry described.
Residents suspect the problem could be linked to the nearby Covanta Niagara, an incineration plant.
“I don't want to point fingers at them, but I’ve never noticed it until the past three years and they're getting really, really bad,” Mayberry explained.
I took those concerns directly to Niagara Falls City Administrator Anthony Restaino who tells me he's already looked into conditions at the facility.
“I’ve been in contact with the plant manager. They have a pretty intensive rodent control program at their facility. I’ve actually been in contact with the county health department who substantiated what plant manager from Covanta told me that that really isn't the source of the issue,” responded Restino.
“Have you been flooded with calls on this problem?” Buckley asked. “It's been on and off, to be honest with you — that's why sometimes we thought that things maybe have subsided, but we've been checking those three streets — 56TH, 57TH, and 58TH Streets,” commented Restino.
Restino says the city's Department of Public Works has been checking for illegal trash and high grass to try to help the situation.
"The source of the issue is probably excessive trash, storage of debris in yards, or dog feces. Those are all violations of the city ordinance and if we are aware of where they are located then we can address them,” explained Restino.