Rats!

Rats! People who live in a South Jersey mobile home community got into a big fight with their landlord on Monday over an alleged infestation of rats. The name of the mobile home park is Happy Acres, but some residents say that all those rats are making life miserable.

Lori Vertolli said that the large holes in her yard and her fence are the evidence of the vermin. She also has pictures of dead rats.

"They're chewing their way into my house," Vertolli said

Vertolli said that she had to replace her clothes dryer because of the way the rats are eating their way through her home.

"They run through the house at night, they wake us up. It's disgusting," Vertolli said.

Along with setting traps, the mother of three has collected written complaints from several other residents in the Happy Acres Mobile Park about what they believe is the growing number of rodents in their community.

"There's rats all over this place," said Andrew Polo, a resident of Happy Acres.

NBC 10 News was there as residents confronted the owner of the park, Vallee Gugliemi, about the problem.

"There is no rat infestation in the park, period," Gugliemi told them.

One man told him that he had killed three rats over the last two days.

Those complaining about the rats blame Gugliemi for having vacant trailers and cluttered areas on the grounds, which they think are harboring the rats.

But Gugliemi says the problem is isolated to only a few lots, and although Vertolli and others deny it, he believes residents are attracting the rats by leaving out rodent-luring items like pet food and dog waste.

"If they feed them, they're here. You stop feeding them, they'll go away," Gugliemi said.

Officials with the city health department said that they found evidence of a rat infestation on two lots in the park but, so far, city inspectors have not been able to determine where the rats are coming from.

The city did order the park's owner to have an exterminator target outdoor areas where signs of the rats were documented, but said that residents are responsible for paying pest experts for work inside their own homes.

Vertolli thinks she shouldn't have to.

"I say that, 'I pay you to keep up the lot, you need to keep this place clean so our children will have a clean environment to live in,'" Vertolli said.

Gugliemi said that he would only pay to exterminate outdoor areas. The city health department is still investigating but believes the park's owner and residents may both be to blame, and said that everyone there needs to make sure they're not doing anything to attract the rats.

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