Cleveland health inspectors looking into rat problem on Public Square

Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 10:49 PM EST

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Cleveland Department of Public Health is looking into a growing rat problem on Public Square, that officials say could be an unintended consequence of construction on the new Sherwin-Williams headquarters.

“The construction and noise disturbance of their usual sewer hiding places will drive them above ground,” saiid Amy Schmidt, the spokesperson for the health department. “In addition, food waste found in Public Square is an issue and one that will attract the rats.”

A 19 News viewer called the Troubleshooter tipline about the problem.

“I have seen rats scurrying about, not small rats but big rats. Hopefully something will be done about that soon,” he said.

The construction project began earlier this year and is expected to be completed in 2024.

“This problem should dissipate once the construction is finished,” said Schmidt.

In the meantime, she said the health department is discussing solutions with the Public Square Group Planning Commission.

Schmidt also urged residents, visitors and business owners to eliminate food sources, remove water sources and eliminate nesting and hiding areas.

People can submit complaints to the health department online by clicking here.