(NBC News) The first clue Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson had that rats were invading City Hall, possibly carrying a potentially deadly disease, was the pitter-patter of little feet.

“We had an employee or two mention they heard something in the ceiling,” Wesson said Thursday as he led a tour through his office, where he recently had all the rugs ripped out. “Then we had an employee spot what she believed to be paw prints.”

After a flea hidden in a rug pounced on one of his employees late last year, Wesson had enough: He shut down the office and had all the rugs removed.

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