PORT ORANGE, Fla. - After nightfall, rats can be seen at one Port Orange house on Brandon Lane. Michelle and Ken James live next door and say it started after their neighbors moved out at the end of last month. They say the rats are everywhere.
“Hundreds! Hundreds! I can say the first couple of days, right here there were 20-40 just looking at me,” Michelle says.
Around two weeks ago, they say several dumpsters were placed in the front yard and filled with trash from inside the home. Then the rats started coming out and spreading to other properties.
“My husband's literally out here with hoses, with brooms, with baseball bats! We're knocking them off the fence, we're knocking them off the walls," Michelle explains.
Neighbors have been setting up traps with poison.
“I’ve spent a couple hundred dollars of my own money trying to protect my property,” adds one neighbor.
The rats are getting as far as the neighborhood behind Brandon Lane.
"There was a dead one on the roof. Then my son's best friend, who lives 12 houses down, says she saw two of them in her garage,” explains another neighbor.
Public records show the property is owned by a company called Arenas Homes LLC. The City of Port Orange says they have been in touch with them and are working on this case. Code enforcement has also posted signs on the property.
In a statement, the city says in part, "Yes, there was a rat infestation in the house and the owner is taking measures to rid the property of these rats." They add that they have explained to neighbors that “code enforcement has done everything they can according to city codes including issuing a notice of violation to the owner.”
The city says code enforcement will meet with the homeowner and pest control on Friday.
“I’m just very eager to see what those next steps are, and I hope they make a difference before they get in our house.”