New Brunswick Public Housing has responded to a rat infestation in a Moncton neighbourhood by setting up traps and issuing written letters to residents, warning them to keep their properties clean or they’ll have to pay for it.

Residents in the Lancaster Road housing complex say there are so many rats in their neighbourhood they are keeping their children inside to play.

“There’s a bunch burrowing under my back step,” says Kylie Milner. “It’s so bad that we can’t bring my little brothers outside to play because we’re scared that they’re going to attack them and hurt them.”

Rat boxes were set late Tuesday afternoon by New Brunswick Housing pest control. Residents have been asking for help with the rodent problem for weeks, and say the traps are the first step.

“They go in the vehicles, they go into my driveway, in my neighbour’s vehicle, they come in the backyard,” said resident Kayla Gillis.

When contacted by CTV News on Tuesday, the New Brunswick Department of Social Development issued this statement:

“The Department takes very seriously the well-being of all tenants of NB public housing. If rats are detected in any NB public housing unit, action is taken immediately by the regional office of Social Development to address the matter,” said Anne Mooers in a statement.

But the New Brunswick Department of Social Development also says the problem is one tenants are partially responsible for. Along with the rat boxes, officials also delivered this letter:

“Please be advised that our office requires that your yard be cleaned up immediately and if the property hasn't been cleaned up by Thursday, May 4, 2017 at noon, our department will be sending maintenance to have it cleaned up at your expense.”

The letter concludes by saying residents could be evicted.

“I think that that's going to help, if everybody complies with that,” says resident Darlene Kierstead.

New Brunswick's Social Development Department didn't respond to CTV News’ request for comment on Wednesday.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Jonathan MacInnis.