‘It's Unlivable': East Bay Neighborhood Says Property Is Infested With Rats

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An East Bay neighborhood told NBC Bay Area a neighbor's property is infested with rats and say they have video proof that they are being fed. They said it’s been going on for years and they’re worried about the man who lives there. 

What has been happening in the house on the middle of the 700 block of Madison Street in Albany has been going on for a long time.

“At least 20 years,” said neighbor Donna Butcher.
She and three other property owners have similar stories. They said decades of hoarding at the home led to complaints to the city over the years but nothing changed. It only got worse -- really bad in 2019.

“Two years ago I wrote to the city about them,” said neighbor Tom Bruns, talking about rats being everywhere. “If you sit here long enough, you’ll see them. They’re just running around.”

Sure enough, after NBC Bay Area cameras were outside the home for about a half hour, several rats ran across the front doorstep.

Gerarado Leon, who lives next door, shot a video of rats feeding out of roasting pans filled with food two weeks ago.

And he shared images of dead rats that ended up on his side of their shared fence line.

“They were feeding the rats,” said Butcher. “You saw them put out pans of food for the rats. In fact, the gentleman from Vector Control said it looked like they cooked food for the rats.”

“I don’t know how long they’ve been feeding them, but they’ve had a rat problem there for at least two years,” said Bruns.

There were people inside the home Monday and neighbors said they believed the owner was home. But no one answered the door when we attempted to talk to them about the video and why they would feed the rats.

“I think they ought to condemn the house,” said Bruns. “It’s unlivable.”

Neighbors said over the past two weeks, vector control has been visiting the home and removing trapped rats almost daily.

NBC Bay Area reached out to the city to ask about the property but it was after hours and didn’t get a response Monday evening.

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