BELMONT (CBS) – The Joey’s Park playground in Belmont is temporarily closed for maintenance after rats were spotted nestled underneath the playground equipment. The very thought of a rat is enough to make any parent a bit concerned.

Joey’s Park playground in Belmont (WBZ-TV)

“We try and come as often as we can, we usually come daily and I had no clue like rat infestation in Belmont, that’s slightly concerning,” North Cambridge resident Belal Kahn says.

Students at the nearby Winn Brook Elementary School have been told to stay away from the park while the town looks into the rat problem.

A rat burrow at the Joey’s Park playground (WBZ-TV)

It’s hard to tell why rodents are attracted to the park, but Belmont’s Health Director Wesley Chin says food scraps and dog waste could be to blame.

“This is just my path with the dog. I changed paths over there because of when they said the rats were here and what do I see when I’m walking. So I said, great, another rat, so obviously there’s a huge problem,” Belmont resident Cheryl Morrissey says.

The sign posted outside the Joey’s Park playground fence (WBZ-TV)

It’s a problem so big that many residents say they won’t return to the park until the rats are gone.

“Not a fan, mouse, rats, I am just saddened by the park,” Belmont resident Joanne Hawkins says.

The town says they have licensed pest control workers looking into the rat problem, and going over possible treatment plans. It’s unclear when the Joey’s Park playground will be back open to the public.

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