Residents' anger over severe rat infestation
Residents in Haltwhistle, Northumberland, are accusing the local council of not doing enough to halt the plague of rats they say are taking over their town.
The infestation is said to have affected two streets in the town so badly that locals are reluctant to let their children play outside for fear of them catching a disease.
Margaret Forrest, a Haltwhistle Town Councillor, said, "The residents on Dale Street and East View have got rats coming from a nearby derelict building going into their yards and children cannot go out to play.
"Northumberland County Council have said unless residents pay £45 each to find out where they are coming from they won't help because they are not in the houses,” she added.
The rats are said to be coming from a derelict building called Greystonedale which overlooks the affected streets. They could also be coming from a nearby railway embankment.
It isn't the first time that residents have suffered from rat problems – eight years ago a similar problem but to a lesser extent.
The council say they have checked Greystonedale and cannot find any evidence of rodents.
Philip Soderquest, Public Safety and Enforcement Manager for Northumberland County Council said, "Our Pest Control Service conducted a site visit earlier this month. This showed that the rats were not coming from this property. We are now working with Network Rail as we believe the source may be a nearby railway embankment,” he added.
Poisons are unsuitable for use in domestic situations, so try an electromagnetic repeller to get rid of rats instead.