MONROEVILLE (KDKA) — “Dead rats! We had one in our backyard on Wednesday.”

Cindy Woodward says that homeowners in the Garden City neighborhood of Monroeville have been wrangling over a persistent problem with the rodents since last spring.

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“Because my dog found a rat – and it was probably 10 or 11 inches,” said Michele Bittner.

Bittner is convinced that a densely wooded borough-owned hillside running behind the houses is a possible source.

“That hillside has not been touched in 36 years,” she says.

Last May, the adjacent Heartwood Drive was infested. They are apparently migrating.

“My neighbor found a 16-inch long rat in her yard,” says Bittner. “My other neighbor, four houses away, found baby rats playing in her trash.”

Borough workers were here Tuesday, says Woodward.

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“They’re going to come around and bait, and educate us how to bait because we have so many pets,” Woodward added.

“We’re finding out that it could be a much larger problem, an area wide problem,” said Dave Zazac, of the Allegheny County Health Department.

The Health Department is now also getting involved. Their inspectors will be out in that neighborhood Thursday morning.

“Look for signs like burrows, holes in the ground,” he said.

“Everyone’s concerned,” adds Bittner. “We all have animals. There’s children here.”

The Animal Control Officer in Monroeville is actively working on eradicating the rats, and has told neighbors he’ll go door to door if he has to.

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