Columbus Public Health Investigating Possible Rat Infestation In Clintonville


Members of the Clintonville Area Commission have unanimously passed a resolution that could lead to the resurrection of a city program aimed at controlling what they call a rodent infestation.

Residents in North Clintonville are complaining of a rat infestation and now Columbus Public Health is getting involved.

Columbus has dealt with city rat problems in the past, but a $275,000 per year effort was concentrated in Downtown, the Short North and the University District.

In Clintonville, one man reported killing 30 rats over the last several months.

Ellen Echenrode won't even let her dogs out in their fenced in yard because there have been sightings of rats during the day.

Echenrode shared pictures of dead rats and says they have overcome her property on Beechwold Boulevard.

She says the problem has gotten so bad that they've had to line portions of the base of their fencing with bricks.

"Big holes and I have varmint guard that comes out and they bait the traps and I have one in the backyard and one in the front yard," says Echenrode.

Area commissioners say Echenrode is not alone in Clintonville.

"We've had over 50 people report sightings of rats just within the last couple of months," said Dr. Kristopher Keller who represents District 8.

He showed 10TV what he calls rat report clusters. Keller says although there have been no reports of bites or diseases, he does fears it's only a matter of time.

He recommends residents do not overfeed wildlife, do not leave pet food out overnight and avoid making a compost pile.

Jose Rodriguez with Columbus Public Health says they are looking into these complaints and conducting a disease survey to determine if the rats are creating a health risk beyond being a nuisance.

Echenrode says she knows first-hand how bad the problem is and is hopeful her neighbors will listen to the experts.

"They can't kill the problem or finish the problem off until people stop feeding them, so if there's food on the ground that's where they (rats) are going to live," she said.