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Rats on the increase in Florida county

March 7, 2012 at 10:45 AM

ORLANDO, Fla., March 7 (UPI) -- Florida health officials say they are fielding an increasing number of phone calls about rat sightings from residents throughout Orange County.

Health Department spokesman Dain Weister told the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel that this year's mild winter probably contributed to boosting the Orlando area's rodent population.

Abandoned and foreclosed homes may also have helped boost the rate population, he said.

Weister said during the past month officials have received nearly 50 calls about rat infestations.

Residents are being urged to seal small openings in their homes, clean up potential food sources, remove trash piles and set traps if they spot any rodents.

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