Party may be over for rat pack that invaded neighborhood

Party may be over for rat pack that invaded neighborhood »Play Video

People living on a Northeast Portland street hope the party is over for a group of rats that invaded their neighborhood.

Seneca Alexander, Sr., said the rats came because a neighbor has been putting out large amounts of bird food on the ground. He said he has counted as many as twenty rats feasting on the food.

"I've seen them partying up and down on the block," said Alexander. "This is the grossest thing I've ever seen in my life. Like, yuck!"

Alexander said the rats have damaged items in his garage and he is worried they will bite his son and his cat.

"It's a hazard all the way around," said Alexander.

After KATU aired a story about the rat invasion, the neighbors leaving out the bird seed said they will no longer put it out. And they called in an exterminator to take care of the rats who appear to be living in their bushes.

"As soon as it happens, it'll be nice," said Alexander. "Because it's a nuisance, you know."

A rat expert from Multnomah County Vector Control said people can call the department at 503-988-3464 if they think there is an infestation in their neighborhood.

Multnomah County Public Health Vector Specialist Chris Roberts said an inspector can come out and investigate. He said having rats on your property is a code violation, but inspectors try to work with tenants or property owners to take care of the problem, rather than punish them.

Roberts said rats come to an area in search of food, and the number one problem is bird food on the ground. Next, he said, is open compost bins or piles and suggests you put a lid on your bin. Third, he said, is pet food left outside.

Here is more information about rat infestations and how to prevent them from Multnomah County.