Destructive roof rats plague residents

Destructive roof rats plague residents
Published: Sep. 8, 2016 at 1:35 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 8, 2016 at 2:18 AM CDT
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(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A destructive rodent problem has been plaguing many in the city and has left residents desperate for some relief from rats.

From Germantown, Cordova, and East Memphis, it seems as there is nowhere that is exempt from the roof rats.

"It seems like this summer, it got worse," University District resident Joe Brandenburg said. "Well, at first, I thought it could have been a ghost."

The creepy creature roams through the yard and crawls through houses. But, they're certainly not a ghost.

These creatures are more than annoying; they're destructive. They bring havoc to homes, ruining electrical wires and even harassing dogs. Now, these roof rats have residents from the University District to East Memphis searching for some relief.

Joe Brandenburg and Drew Cadenas live in different neighborhoods, but have dealt with the same problem for years.

"It sounded at first, I thought maybe it was squirrels on the roof," Cadenas said. "But, then as more and more of them go into the house, it sounded like small cars running across the ceiling."

Cadenas said he contacted the Shelby County Health Department for help, but two months after filing the report, he only received a letter when inspectors came to his home.

The letter said they conducted an inspection attempt, but after that, Cadena said there was no other action take against the creature by county officials. He feels they should do more to help those battling the destructive rodents.

"There's rats running in the parking lot back there. The whole area is full of rats," Cadenas said. "And they're not doing anything about it. It's up to us and the neighborhood. People in the neighborhood are spending thousands of dollars on this."

The Shelby County Health Department said they do not do remediation on roof rats--only street rats.

They said the increase in the rodent problem could be the result of the recent construction in the area. For that, they said there is not much inspectors will be able to do, because the construction itself is what is displacing the rats.

Eliminating the problem remains in the hands of the residents.

If you are faced with trying to rid your home of roof rats, contact a private exterminator. They will come to your home and seal off any cracks in the building or even add strong steel mesh to openings in order to prevent them from getting inside.

Copyright 2016 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.