A mound of trash at an apartment building in Moiliili is reported to be crawling with rats. Residents and neighbors say it’s been an ongoing problem and now the city is taking action.
We started asking questions two weeks ago after a video of the rats started floating around on social media. In video shot three days ago, rats are seen scurrying across the ground and around trash cans at an apartment building off Kapiolani Boulevard and Hausten Street.
The man behind the camera only wanted to be identified as Robert. He lives nearby and says the rat population has exploded because of the trash at the apartment building.
“It gives you the heebie jeebies, you know. It’s so gross,” he said. “You see them running around, and you look over that little wall over there, and that’s when you can see dozens of them at a time.
“The rats, they travel up and down that stream like a highway and into my yard. Even though I’ve used traps and literally caught hundreds of them, they still keep coming.”
We learned there are 18 units in the building but only two small trash cans for residents to use. We even caught a rat while our camera was rolling.
“It’s crazy,” Robert said. “There’s so many and then people sitting there at the bus stop, they have no idea that on the other side of this wall,there’s a hundred rats or more.”
We reached out to the city about this issue, and after our phone call, a city inspector came out to take a look and then issued a notice of violation. But that was two weeks ago and the trash was still there Monday morning.
The property owner has 30 days from the date the violation was issued to clean up the mess. When we called the owner to see what was being done, she said she relies on two people who move the trash bags to the street for the city to pick up twice a week.
Bulky items, however are another issue. Since they’re only collected once a month, in the meantime the property owner said she has no other spot on her property to move the trashed furniture.
We also learned the city referred the matter of the rats to the Department of Health, which has jurisdiction in this matter. The DOH said anyone who owns or manages a licensed facility is responsible for contacting a pest control company to help evaluate and get rid of a mice or rat problem.
We’re waiting on the DOH to hear what happens going forward.