His customers don’t call him “filthy Rich,” but a pest control expert is worried rats are going inside homes via toilets and other plumbing.
There is a lot of the rodents around Buffalo, and part of the reason is when the city’s sewers are flushed with rainwater.
“It starts out small, maybe a five-inch filet or a half-pound filet,” said Jody Taya, owner of Top Hat Pest Control. “Then all of a sudden they’re the size of cats.”
Taya is in charge of rodents in homes, and said he has to do extensive rounds in suburbs like Williamsville and Tonawanda, checking the toilets to see if they leak water and rats can enter homes through waste.
He said one popular way is with storm drains in town. The small rats are able to dig into tiny pipes and get out of there through sewer drains.
“It’s basically a sewer leak,” he said. “It’s usually just ground water. People don’t really care.”
Taya said when the rain starts to fall, with water diverted through the sewer system, a rat can colonize and a food source can be found.
“From there, it becomes a whole animal, a factory, and it’s going to increase in population, because they’ve got everything they need,” he said.
Taya, who lives in the city, said he sees rats about 10 times a year.
“It’s overwhelming, because they can move around almost instantaneously, which is kind of unnerving,” he said.
Fox 4 caught up with Taya in the middle of his game of hide-and-seek in the back of his business. It took just a few minutes before he found a rat in his drainage pipes. He said this does not mean he has a problem in the region, but feels the population will increase.
Taya said there are lots of ways to avoid rat problems, and he has simple advice.
“Just always be vigilant,” he said. “As we all know, there are no mistakes. It can go either way.”
Taya said he will look into the problem after he has his technician show him exactly where the problem lies.
“As for storm sewer pipes, you can see worms come through this pipe and then they move along,” he said. “But, you can tell when there’s an animal in the pipe. They’re kind of creepers.”
Doral Matt Koras contributed to this report.
Fox4News contributed to this report.