Parents won’t let kids outside on street ‘besieged with rats’ who ‘chew through walls’

Parents won’t let kids outside on street ‘besieged with rats’ who ‘chew through walls’

Families in a Greater Manchester town are too scared to let their kids play outside due to rats breeding on their street.

Residents of the street in Bolton have claimed that the rats have been causing problems for several months now and that they are fighting a daily battle to keep them outside their homes.

Some of the families on Bashall Street have said that the issue is now taking a toll on their mental health as they are worrying for their safety of their children.

Alexandra Barlow – who lives on the street with her partner Daniel Gerencser and eight-month-old daughter Laura – claimed the problems began two years ago when they had their rented home renovated.

The couple noticed rats among broken furniture in the garden, but hiring a skip appeared to fix the issue

But as fly-tipping in the area increased, rat sightings on the street grew – with residents eventually finding them inside their homes.

“When we first moved in, I noticed the far end of Bashall Street was filled with extra rubbish,” Alexandra said.

“Over time, people also started leaving rubbish out on the back street, further down our end. It’s almost like fly-tipping is contagious.”

“More rats have been spotted to the point where we are finding them in our houses,” she added.

“I have had a rat chew through the wall.”

Alexandra and Daniel say they have been forced to rip up part of their kitchen in order to lay rat traps.

The couple are desperate to move for the sake of baby Laura, but they do not have the money to do so.

“A lot of my neighbours have taken the option of getting a cat, but I’d rather not while my daughter is so young,” Alexandra continued.

“It’s impacted my mental health massively to the point where I just want to move. If I had the option, I would move away in a heartbeat.”

The mum-of-one lays no blame on her landlord and believes the rats are coming from gutters on her street.

“None of this is the landlord’s fault,” she added.

“We had a new kitchen fitted when we moved into the house but it makes me hate where I live which is a shame because it’s our family home.

“I’m scared for my daughter; I want her to be able to play in the back garden and have a bike and a Wendy house and it’s so sad that none of that will be possible if the council does not solve this issue.

“We ripped the floor boards up to fully clean and lay traps. The flats got under the cupboard and ripped up the bin bags, possibly for nesting.

“As far as I know, nobody has spotted a nest. I think it’s the gutters, however United Utilities came out and did not spot any rats.”

Alexandra and Daniel aren’t the only residents on Bashall Street who have had problems with vermin over the last few months.

Sarah-Jayne Brassington says she first noticed rats in her garden back in January and has spotted dead rats in the street every day since.

“It all started around January 14 when my partner noticed that the rats had nibbled through the bottom of our shed and started to nest,” she told the Manchester Evening News.

“About three days later, when taking the shed apart, we noticed they had given birth and left babies. We got rid of the shed to stop this from happening.

“Ever since then, there are rats dead on the front street nearly every day – around three to four sometimes right outside my front door.

“At first, it was only once it was dark I would hear and see them in my yard.

“After a few days, we noticed holes in both sides of our fence panels and saw rats in the day running through these holes from garden to garden. Now we see them through the day also.

“The problem has got that bad that I am unable to let my autistic child play in his own garden. I opened the back door now and I see a rat run across my yard every single time.

“All my neighbours seem to be having the same problem and have all made sure our garden are clear of rubbish.

“There is a big fly tipping problem in our back street and the steps near a supermarket where bin bags of rubbish are being dumped weekly.”

Leanne Dulce moved to Bashall Street in December last year. She says issues started for her in February – with rats even hiding under her young daughter’s cot.

“People were leaving rubbish in the back street and dumping rubbish in people’s garden,” she said.

“I watch them run along and hide under my daughter’s cot. They have ripped bags open, it’s awful.

“I was stood in the back garden the other day and one was just sat there staring at me. It’s horrible and needs sorting.

“My daughter can’t even play in the back garden due to the problem and we don’t have a front garden so there’s nowhere for her to play.

“It’s tight on the kids and other residents as people think it’s okay to dump rubbish.”

A spokesperson for Bolton Council said: “Bashall Street and the surrounding areas are part of our scheduled cleaning program and therefore are regularly checked for flytipping and cleared accordingly.

“In May enforcement officers issued a fine to one resident for illegally dumping waste. We continue to inform residents of their legal obligation to dispose of their waste responsibly and lawfully.

“The council offer a paid for pest control service for the treatment of rats in domestic properties.”

A spokesperson for United Utilities said: “Our blockage technician attended a property on Bashall Street on 13 June following reports of rats.

“We found no evidence of pests nor any significant damage to the pipework, and there were no blockages or operational issues.

“A very minor defect was spotted on our network which will be repaired, but this is not significant enough to be allowing rats to enter and therefore will not resolve the rodent issue in the area.

“We contribute funding to Bolton Council’s rat baiting programme as part of our partnership working approach.”

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