Authorities puzzled by rat infestation at W. Washington home

CENTRALIA, Wash. (AP) - A Centralia homeowner keeps a clean yard and doesn't know why the property has been overrun this fall by rats.

Joan Lankow and her husband have trapped many rats and their dog has killed a few - nearly two dozen rats in two months. They've never had a rat problem like this in 40 years at the home.

One of her dogs, a 1-year-old terrier named Reba, was bitten by a large rat in the garage. The vet counted 18 puncture wounds.

Lewis County Code Enforcement Supervisor Bill Teitzel told The Chronicle he's puzzled by the onslaught. Exterminators say rats may be looking for a warm place as the weather turns cooler.