SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Pacific Beach residents are fed up with rodents and other pests in their neighborhoods. They say they're taking over.
County vector control tells 10News, some of the animals can get in through the smallest of spaces. For instance, rats only need an opening the size of a quarter. Mice need only a space the size of a dime.
“I actually saw a family of raccoons just walking across the lawn," said Raisa Luna, a Pacific Beach resident. "There are actually a ton of them around PB. I’ll be driving by and they’re just crossing the street.”
Other animals are popping up in homes.
“Since April we have met a bunch of rats, mice, roaches, possums, raccoons," said Dustin Nieder.
For Nieder, it’s not just the diseases the animals can carry that worry him.
"Well they killed our monitor lizard, I think. Those animals can't be stressed, and we’ve got just rats all the time after the sun goes down you hear them all night," he said.
10News Reporter called the county to see why there may be a sudden surge in animal numbers.
Ecologists with vector control say it’s hard to pinpoint one thing, but they wouldn’t be surprised if winter rains enhanced conditions.
Regardless, there's a common issue found in areas where these animals tend to turn up. Trash.
It can be spotted in almost any Pacific Beach alley you look down. And it gives animals a place to shelter. Ecologists say overgrown vegetation and piles of junk also provide homes for critters.
Nieder has another theory.
“People are coming in, buying the homes, and flipping them, and they’re tearing them down, and when they’re tearing them down, they don’t realize how many ‘residents’ were living underneath," he said.
The county offers free inspections for rat problems - and they also give education to homeowners. They say pest control is entirely up to you.
Rodent-proofing your home can be expensive but is an option. A simple tip is to make sure you seal your trash cans.