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2 Investigators: Lyons Man Forced To Become Rat Trapper

(CBS) – There may a rat invasion in a western suburb.

One home owner who says he been battling large rodents turned to CBS 2's Dave Savini for help.

In the quiet suburban village of Lyons, armed with cages designed to trap larger animals like raccoons, Joe Melone goes to work in his own back yard – trapping rats.

The rodents have been tearing up his yard and digging under his stoops, he says. He has pictures of some specimens he's trapped. He caught at least 50 of rats, he sas.

They are some of the biggest, most well-fed rats he's ever seen. Standard rat traps won't cut it.

"One of them ran off with it," Melone says.

Being Italian, Melone says he uses pizza as bait in the cage traps. "They seem to really, really like pizza."

Deep dish or thin crust?

"It depends on what we ate that night, but deep dish doesn't normally make it to the cage," Melone says.

Joking aside, the resident is upset and believes village sewer repairs and a nearby food storage warehouse may be to blame. He says his complaints at the village hall have gone nowhere.

"I told them outright the last time I was there, 'Listen, you're going to fix this problem, or I'm going to Savini,'" Melone says.

Village officials would not talk on camera. But they promised to try and help Melone and his neighbors.  They say they are in the process of setting up poison and cleaning area yards.

Officials blame a mild winter and abandoned or foreclosed properties for the increased rodent population.

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