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Rat problem spreading in Green Bay

GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - City inspectors in Green Bay are dealing with several calls each day about a spreading problem...rats.

At his home near Marquette Park last fall, Bob Zdiarstek says he caught a rat about 18 inches long.

“I thought it was a muskrat, but it was an actual rat,” Zdiarstek told FOX 11.

Zdiarstek hasn't seen one since, but city officials say many of his west side neighbors have.

“It kind of started in the near downtown area,” Bill Paape, the city’s compliance inspector, told FOX 11. “It made sense because of the factories and the water sources, but in the last several years, you kind of started seeing them pop up in the residential areas.”

Paape says most complaints are coming from residents in the 7th, 8th, and 9th aldermanic districts on the west side. He says the worst among the region is the Marquette Park neighborhood.

This week, city officials began stuffing mailboxes to alert residents about the issue. They hope educating the public about rats can help solve the problem.

“The biggest thing that folks can do is storing their garbage correctly,” said Paape.

The city also recommends setting out bait and traps. Eliminating excessive food sources, yard vegetation and water sources is also suggested.

City inspectors will be in the affected neighborhoods in the near future. They'd like to hear from residents if they are having any rat issues. The number to call is (920) 448-3300.