Rats running rampant in Warwick - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Rats running rampant in Warwick

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Residents in one Warwick neighborhood are fed up with the spike in rat sightings since a sewer construction project began a few months back.

The construction has torn up the city streets, as the city is trying to connect homes to a sewer system.

But this project has led to the invasion of Norway rats, the only rat species found in southern New England, experts said.

"It's not fun having rats run loose," said Ron Guarnieri, a 42 year resident in the Governor Francis Farms neighborhood. "It's shocking [and] surprising. We've never seen rats here."

Residents in the neighborhood have been passing out fliers to other people to warn them about the rats and what they can do to prevent them from spreading.

As sightings sky rocket, so are calls to exterminators.

Tony DeJesus, vice president of Big Blue Bug Solutions, said getting calls in the summer time for rats is rare. He said they usually become pests in the winter when it gets colder.

Besides giving you the creeps, he said rats can do some damage to your yard.

"Rats gnaw constantly. Their two front incisors grow about two inches a year," he said.

DeJesus added that any kind of construction, whether on the public street or at your own home, could disturb the nest and cause an infestation.

"The vibrations and things can make some of the rodents run and seek out new locations. They don't feel safe there anymore," DeJesus said.

Residents in the neighborhood have been working closely with Warwick's Ward One Councilman Rick Corley to come up with a solution.

"Sewer work has obviously disrupted the neighborhood and stirred up the animals that live there," Corley said. "The end goal is to find the nest."

Corley said he's been in touch with sewer officials and the mayor to find a fix.

Corley expects the City Council to take up the issue by the end of the month.

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