One of the biggest neighborhood problems in our county is gnawing at one homeowner in Irondequoit. Chris Nau says a mischief of rats holed up in a zombie home have zeroed in on his property across the street.
News10NBC investigated and found out it's almost impossible for the town to do anything about it because the taxes on the property keep getting paid.
"Right there! You can see a bird right in the hole up there," Chris Nau said pointing up to a hole in the roof of the zombie house on Seneca Avenue.
That's the least of his problems. Nau, pronounced "now," believes there are rats nesting in the zombie home. He says they migrate across the street and borrow their way into his home.
Chris Nau, lives next to zombie home: Since this all began, we have trapped eight rats.
The owner of the home passed away about a year ago.
It has been vacant that entire time.
Chris Nau showed me the damage he says the rats did to his garage and home and he showed me a picture of one rat he caught on a glue trap. Just last week he got the bill for getting his house repaired and rat-proofed. The total was just over $1,100.
Chris Nau, lives next to zombie home: "It is a huge problem."
So I took his problem to the Irondequoit Town Supervisor.
Berkley Brean, News10NBC: "So if you talk to the homeowner he believes, it's his theory that the rats are coming from the zombie home across the street."
Dave Seeley, Irondequoit Town Supervisor: "That very well may be. It's a very, we always say -- it's challenging for us at the towns, it's frustrating too because all the problems lead to a house like this being vacated, we're at the tail end and we're left to deal with that which threatens the quality of life and it's a battle we fight every day here. And we take it very seriously."
Supervisor Dave Seeley told me he is aware of the zombie house on Seneca Avenue, just north of Ridge Road. He says the town has issued violations because the grass never gets cut.
But he says the town is handcuffed because the taxes keep getting paid.
Brean: "So is there anything you can do about that home right now?"
Dave Seeley, Irondequoit Town Supervisor: "So what we'll do is, if it has not paid taxes that's actually, believe it or not a good thing, because then you can start a foreclosure proceeding. That's the most important thing -- getting these homes into new ownership, people who want to invest and take what is really a good asset that has been left to fall into ruin but still has promise."
The taxes at the house are due at the end of the month. The Monroe County Health Department says it has not received more complaints than usual.
The number one way to keep rats from your property, by the way? Get rid of your bird feeders.