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Virginia Beach neighbors say rats are invading yards, homes

Posted at 10:41 PM, May 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-08 22:57:52-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A few unwelcome guests have made themselves at home in one Virginia Beach neighborhood - rats. Signs of the rodents turned up in some yards and homes along Sullivan Boulevard in Aragona Village.

Steve Sahr has been living in the neighborhood for two years and said he’s been dealing with the issue since January. He showed News 3 rat droppings on a wood pile in his yard.

“Rat feces,” Sahr said. “These rats are huge; they got big, gray heads on them.”

Not only did the rats invade his yard, Sahr said they also made their way to his roof.

“Eating the corner of my house,” he said. “Chewing through there. Kept me up all night.”

Sahr isn’t the only one. His next-door neighbor Kathy DeVore has seen them, too.

“Three rats were on my roof the other night,” said DeVore. “They are gigantic.”

Homes along Sullivan Boulevard butt up against Jones Memorial Park Cemetery. Neighbors believe the rats are living in vegetation along the fence and are getting into their yards through a burrow.

“There’s a hole, runs right in there,” said Sahr. “It’s a perfect place for an animal to live.”

Virginia Beach Code Enforcement inspectors said they’ve given the cemetery two violation notices for tall grass and debris. The most recent violation was issued this past Wednesday, May 6.

To date, no violation has been issued for rats. Inspectors tell News 3 they couldn’t find any nests, droppings or even the rodents themselves.

That news is not sitting well with homeowners.

“It’s horrible, horrible,” DeVore said. “I mean, it’s horrible.”

Sahr fears the problem could turn into a bigger one if not addressed.

Related: Norfolk woman says apartment infested with pests, forced to stay in hotel

“It’s very frustrating,” he said. “It is nasty back there. I can’t believe they would let her have that like that.”

News 3 was unable to reach the cemetery’s owner for comment.

The code inspector said there’s no way to know for sure where the rats could be coming from and that they’re doing everything they can.

Sahr said it’s not enough.

“You pay your taxes. You do what you’re supposed to do,” he said. “Call code enforcement, they want to do everything but take care of the problem.”