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Master Splinter spotted on Fleming

Ivana Pelisek | Interrobang | News | November 2nd, 2009

An infestation of giant sized rats has been occupying vacant homes along side Fleming Drive and Farnsborough Crescent in the city of London.

Health inspectors and bylaw officers discovered rodents, some the size of squirrels, near the many residences that are not kept tidy and are garbage infested.

After tenants who live in this particular area of the city made a number of complaints, the City of London along with health inspectors cracked down on one house where reported “fresh droppings” had been discovered in one tenants' washroom.

“I've never seen anything like it,” said London city councilor Bernie MacDonald to the London Free Press.

Macdonald has been representing residents of east London for the past 20 years.

City Hall is pushing for a new law, which will have tenants face a fine upwards of $5,000 if properties are not up-to-par and violate healthy living conditions for those who occupy the area.

Orest Katolyk, manager of By-Law Enforcement for the City of London said city hall has been working effortlessly with the health inspection department in order to get this issue of rodents under control.

“Garbage is the main problem,” outlined Katolyk.

“If someone leaves bags of garbage outside…then you're inviting rats, squirrels, raccoons etc. to tear open the bags…inviting a health problem,” added Katolyk.

According to Katolyk, approximately two years ago the University of Western Ontario experienced the same type of problem near their campus. Since that rat infestation, the garbage problem diminished due to some important educational messages put forth by the city and health officials of London.

Fanshawe recently opened a third residence for its students on campus leaving demand for off campus housing lower and landlords with more vacant properties near the campus.

Katolyk agreed vermin can be a problem in any neighbourhood, but as long as tenants and landlords are educated on how to better manage their garbage, they should be free of these creatures.

Katolyk suggested homeowners should keep all waste out of sight and in tight garbage containers secure with lids.

No one has been charged in neglecting the vacant homes but charges could soon be coming if tenants and landlords of these residences do not follow warning signs handed out by health officials.

According to Katolyk, proper education remains the number one priority to further avoid vermin from spreading in and around the neighbourhood.

“Landlords should be providing areas where garbage can be stored,” added Katolyk.
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