Residents of a Cole Harbour, N.S. neighbourhood say they are overrun by rats, and the reason for the rodent problem is a derelict home being auctioned off by the Halifax Regional Municipality.

The neighbours say rats have invaded their properties and they want the house gone.

“Once you put out a trap, it’s just within minutes,” says Brent Ballum. It’s unbelievable.”

“Since this spring we have a rat infestation and we believe it’s due to that house,” says Gille Basque.

Basque says a rodent made its way into his car and chewed some wires, which was found during an inspection.

“The electrical wire for our air condition was all chewed up by rodents, and they asked us if we lived on the farm,” says Basque.

The home is scheduled to be auctioned, but area residents worry it won’t sell because of its condition. They fear it will sit vacant and harbour more rodents.

“I know the people that lived there did have personal problems,” says Ballum. “We’re not trying to kick them when they’re down or anything like that, but something has to be done.”

City officials say the property isn’t condemned, but there are several bylaw notices on the home. The city has received nine complaints since 2011 about uncut grass and debris on the property, but no complaints about rats.

“We told them the problem three weeks ago,” says Basque. “They said ‘we’ll get back to you guys’ and we never heard from them.”

Both Ballum and Basque say they want the city to do something about the property soon.

“I hope the city comes in and demolishes the house, gets rid of all the garbage and puts up a nice park for the kids,” says Ballum.

“If they plow the house down, the rats will be running everywhere, so I’m hoping they fumigate it first,” says Basque.

The home is scheduled to be auctioned in July for about $11,000.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Gena Holley