Seaham experiencing surge in rat sightings
The north-east town of Seaham is experiencing a surge in the number of rat sightings taking place, with recent heavy rain blamed for flushing them above ground.
Durham County Council said that they have had more than 100 more reported rat sightings in the area of Seaham in the first six months of this year than they had in 2011. Officials have said that it is unlikely the population itself has risen – just the frequency with which they are forced above ground.
Council spokesman, Dave Riseley, said that the rise in call-outs could be due to their more visible pest control operations.
“We launched our commercial pest control service in April and the higher profile of the service may have increased the number of calls we received,” he explained. “In addition, the heavy rainfall could have forced rats out of the sewers, which would have increased sightings.”
Areas that have suffered particularly frequent sightings include the seafront area, including Terrace Green, where a photographer from the Sunderland Echo captures pictures of rats jumping about around some bins in the middle of the day.
Mr Riseley explained that enforcement measures were being taken in accordance with current legislation.
“We do treat properties adjacent to sites where infestations have been reported and also now offer one-off treatments for commercial customers as well as yearly contracts with pre-planned visits,” he said.