An Ottawa mother says a rat infestation has made her home unlivable.
“I don’t want my kids getting bit,” said Shelley Ann Burntey.
“And I don’t want my kids getting poisoned.”
Burntey says she and her three young sons, are scared to live inside the home on Elmira Drive.
“It started a few months ago,” said Burtney.
“I don’t sleep anymore because I can hear them at night.”
An emotional Burtney wiped away tears as she pointed out the places where rats have emerged from in her house.
“I went for cereal and omg there was a big urine spot and cereal box with feces,” said Burtney.
“I clean up for my kids, I get up at 4:15 [in the morning] to wipe it all up and make sure the smell is out of my house.”
Burtney says she has had several close calls with the rats.
“We were lying in bed and there was a rat right there,” said Burtney.
“I just barrel-rolled my son out of bed.”
Burtney’s landlord, Ottawa Community Housing says it has seen an increase in rats across the city, saying in a statement to CTV News:
“The tenant has been reporting rodents issues in August, and we have dispatched the work orders to our contractor. They have put in baits, trapped and removed rodents a few times at this address. They are continuing to monitor to help remediate on the situation,” said Melany Chretien, director of corporate communications for Ottawa Community Housing.
“Our Integrated Pest Management team is working proactively with specialized service providers, and especially with tenants, in our efforts to get rid of rodents in the affected OCH communities through mitigation and prevention; and by encouraging tenants to report infestations to our Call Centre.”
Data from the City of Ottawa shows that there has been a stark increase in complaints of rats on private property. In 2017, the city received 261 complaints, 328 in 2018, and so far this year, there have been 499 complaints.
Councillor Mathieu Fleury, who chairs the Community Housing Board, says it's not just a social housing problem and the city needs to do more to rectify the issue.
If you have a problem with rats, the first step is to notify your landlord, and you can also call the city’s 3-1-1 number for help.