'We catching rats about a foot long out here': A rat infestation in Cumberland now deemed under compliance

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HARLAN COUNTY, Ky (WYMT) - In Cumberland, a rat infestation has the community of Pride Terrace on the lookout. Officials were able to pinpoint a particular problem area and provide some relief.

"Initially we received a text from one of the residents in the neighborhood," said Paul Browning, District 3 Magistrate for Harlan County. "It was certainly a harbor for rodents."

Unsanitary conditions led to Solid Waste Enforcement being notified. They soon came up with a plan.

"I guess helping him, help himself," said Browning.

Officials are limited to what they can do because of private property laws. They provided bins for the community to do a massive purge.

Surrounding neighbors say they are fending for themselves and using sticky traps.

"Yeah we gotta set these traps every night and we catching rats about a foot long out here," said one man who did not want to be identified.

"I mean as soon as I open my door, phew, it's running off my porch and I'm like wow," said one woman who also did not want to be identified.

In talking with Health Environmentalist Justin Curry, he says a lot of times your property can be affected by what someone else is doing on their property. He offers advice for anyone in a similar situation.

"Remove the food source," said Curry.

The main source? Dog and cat food. A chemical in the food acts as a repellent to rat poison.

"I've seen it where you can have isles full of regular food like cookies, snacks, and bread. The one place that is going to get raided is the dog food aisle. They are going to go into that because basically it's the equivalent of hey I'm going to do something I'm shouldn't do and here's the cure," said Curry.

But the best advice of all is to hire a professional exterminator.

"A lot of times you can try to catch a rat or poison it and it comes back inside of that home to die. They will have steps and measures they can take that you cannot buy and a lot of times their methods will begin to bait the rodents outside of the house," said Curry.

Officials with the Harlan Health Department and Solid Waste representatives have cleared that area as back to being under compliance.

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