Super rats that have become immune to some poisons are adding to a rising problem plaguing South Holland.
Over the past three months, reports to pest controllers in the Spalding area have been on the increase – and according to one local councillor the situation is unlikely to improve until residents take action themselves.
One Sutton Bridge mum said: “Many local people here are saying they see them running about.
“We have rat runs going under our fencing and that isn’t very good for my kids who want to play in the garden.
“We can’t put poison out in case our kids or the dog gets it and rat boxes are expensive. I think it will have to get much worse before the council does anything about it.”
The situation, which is part of a countywide problem, has worsened since the weather started getting colder. Joe Rawding, of Spalding pest controllers Premier Property Management, said: “We cover a 50-mile radius are getting a lot of calls at the moment – definitely more than last year.
“We expect them when the weather gets colder. People are telling us they are coming into their homes. It certainly scares them.”
Mr Rawding said part of the problem was people leaving food out for the birds. He said: “Rats are also becoming resistant to some poisons – that’s part of evolution.”
Keith Seaton, who monitors wildfowl along the River Welland for the RSPB, said he has been aware of a rat problem along the riverbank in Spalding.
He said: “Part of the reason is people feeding the ducks and leaving food on the banks.
“It’s always been a problem down there – but people like to feed the ducks.
“I’ve been storing apples in my shed for the blackbirds and something’s been nibbling on them.
“I’d hate to go in there and see a big rat.”
Coun Chris Brewis, district and county councillor for Sutton Bridge, said: “It’s an increasing problem and it’s rising because we are in a throwaway society. It’s as brutal as that.
“While people carry on throwing food down the rats will say ‘ooh lovely, thank you very much.’
“Pest control can only do so much. People have to stop throwing down food and only put their dustbags out on the proper day.
“If they put them out a few days in advance they are going to attract rats.”
A spokesman for South Holland District Council said: “Residents are advised that if they have a rodent problem, we would strongly recommend that they obtain professional advice and assistance rather than tackle the problem themselves.”