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Jun 6, 2012 7:55 PM by Lacey Steele

Several in Pueblo West say about a thousand rats have to go

It's a rat problem in Pueblo West.

Those living there say they've had it and have dealt with it long enough.

We went to South Camino Santiago Drive to find out more on the infestation.

It's the smell of dead rats that gets to you during the day.

Residents say the rats stay in their holes during the day and mainly come out at dusk.

The home owners there say they're killing some, but they can't keep the population under control.

Some rats have seen the wrong end of a BB gun, and others find the poison.

"We kill about between five and ten a day," said Marie Giannetto, whose tired of dealing with the rats.

Still, others make their way into traps.

"I caught two today," said Giannetto.

That's only a few out of the thousand believed to live in the ditch behind the homes.

"They came in after we had a big rain, and they all floated down from up north," said Danny Vonhemel, whose home is near the rats. "They settled in here."

All around several homes you can find rat droppings.

On sidewalks, up to back doors, and this makes some worry about diseases, although there's no proof right now they have anything.

"If these rats and mice carry it or get it and then carry it, I've got to protect my grandkids," said Giannetto. "I've got to protect all the kids because I have a lot of company."

It's causing some to change things, like getting rid of stuff the rats hide under.

"I see their feces around the hot tub, so I've got to get rid of it," said Giannetto.

They tried to coax them out in the daylight, but nothing seemed to make them want to leave their holes.

"Wouldn't you like it cool?" asked Giannetto. "We all like to go inside where it's cool. That's what they're doing now."

They say they've done all they can.

There're just too many to take on.

"This takes pros to get rid of it," said Giannetto.

Hopefully there will be some relief soon.

Those at the fire department in Pueblo West say they are going to burn the ditch for two reasons.

It's a fire hazard and a rat nest.

"I know when they burn it, they're going to kill a lot of the weeds and things, and maybe we can get those cotton rats out of here," said Vonhemel.

The fire department says those who live near the ditch will get more information on the burn later.

Both residents we spoke to say they called the health department and were told nothing can be done unless there's proof the rats have a disease.

Those who live there are also concerned about the field full of weeds behind the drainage ditch, which is a fire hazard and could house more rats, but the Committee of Architecture in Pueblo West says they are sending a letter to the Catholic church which owns the field asking for the weeds to be taken care of.

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