CARMICHAEL (CBS13) — After years of planting seeds, Karen Wilkie has not seen the fruits of her labor this season.

“They are everywhere. You can see them on the telephone lines at night, it’s like a freeway up there,” Wilkie explained.

Wilkie started noticing rodents attacking her corn and fruit trees two weeks ago. Now she says rats are taking over her garden in Carmichael. She suspects living next to two local schools that are now vacant due to the pandemic might be to blame.

“No kids means no water, no food, no garbage cans for the rats. Then you have all the construction at the school so the rats are coming into our area like never before,” she said.

Rats are scurrying throughout the city. Alexandra Elliot caught a video of one big rat taking over her home garden near Cardinal Oaks Park.

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“He doesn’t care, he eats the food on the trap and the trap is set off and he is fine,” she explained. “I started watering and my garden beds were collapsing from all the tunnels burrowed out of it. It’s gotten so bad my whole backyard is pretty much done,” said Elliot.

Official Pest Prevention has seen more of the rodents in recent months than usual, according to Co-Owner Jamie Davenport.

“May and June was very busy months for us. July too. This year has been extreme,” he said.

Davenport can not say for sure what is leading to the increase. However, he believes that closures of schools, restaurants and other businesses currently due to the pandemic could be related.

“A lot of those places where food was easily accessible for rats before is no longer there and so it is causing them to have to branch out and move further away from nest to find food,” he explained.

Wilkie is coordinating with dozens of neighbors to run the rats out of town on the weekend of August 1. The group plans to start posting flyers around town to encourage other homeowners to lay down traps and bait on the same day to try to put a stop to the infestation.