Streets ‘taken over’ by rats ‘the size of rabbits’

People living in Litherland have said their homes and gardens have become overrun with rats "the size of rabbits".

Residents on Sefton Road and the surrounding streets say the problem is ongoing – and the "brazen" creatures seem to be getting bigger.

One man who lives on the road said: "It's just non-stop. They were always coming into our garden so we blocked all possible entrances, but they seem to keep finding new ways.

"They've taken over.

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"This fella just rolled into our house. We've caught about five during lockdown but this was by far the biggest. Thought it was a rabbit at first."

The reports come after people living in nearby Bootle said they had been suffering from infestations.

Sandra Berry, who lives on Peel Road, says she has had to move in with her daughter due to "not being able to cope" with the rats and rubbish.

But there seems to be a difference here.

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People in Litherland say the rat problem is getting worse and worse.

The Sefton Road resident added: "I know people [in Bootle] are getting [rats] because of rubbish that's been dumped. But that's not what's happening here.

"We clean up loads. We don't have a fly-tipping or rubbish problem. I don't know where they come from."

A woman living on nearby Cumpsty Road says she has had rats in and around her house for years.

She said: "I use poison to kill them. It's not ideal but I don't see any other way of dealing with them.

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"I think they come from the canal."

Sefton Council says it has "no evidence" to suggest an ongoing rat problem in Litherland.

Their spokesman said: “We currently have no evidence to suggest there is an ongoing significant problem in these locations.

“However, our pest control team has recently resumed the systematic baiting of the sewer system, which will help to reduce the rodent population.

“Increase in activity can be due to drainage defects, fly-tipped waste or excessive bird feeding – which can allow rats out of the sewer and provide them with shelter, safety and food sources.

“All household waste should not be disposed of inappropriately but should be contained securely on your property before being placed out at the correct time for collection (7pm the evening before collection).

“We would like to remind our residents if they wish to report any problems or request a treatment, they should call the contact centre on 0345 140 0845.

“Charges may apply for pest control treatments unless the householder can demonstrate that they are in receipt of Council Tax Reduction scheme benefit.”

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