Rainham residents demand help as 'thousands' of rats run riot down road
PUBLISHED: 17:00 16 January 2018 | UPDATED: 09:50 18 January 2018
Rats swarming in and out of bin bags, roaming confidently across front gardens and gnawing their way through fences - that is what residents of one Rainham street have found themselves up against.
Homeowners in Passive Close, Rainham, find themselves battling tides of vermin early each morning and once the sun sets each night.
Lisa Walker, just one of a number of Passive Close residents to have made complaints about the growing rat problem in recent weeks, said the issue had come to light in mid-December, when she contacted Havering Council.
“It’s absolutely disgusting, there are thousands of them at the moment it seems. There are rat droppings everywhere,” said the mother-of-one.
“They’re clearly attacking each other as well, we found a dead one on our front drive last week that had its head hanging off.”
The council informed her that responsibility for dealing with the infestation fell to Circle Housing.
Circle Housing has since agreed to send a pest control specialist to the estate to fix the problem, but Lisa is sceptical.
She said: “I’ve been round to my neighbours and we all have rats, it’s going to take more than one person to get rid of them all.
“And if the exterminator comes down here and just does my house, as soon as he leaves more rats will come from elsewhere on the estate – someone needs to do something about the entire place.
“I pay almost £900 a month to live here, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect to live somewhere that doesn’t have rats.”
Circle Housing insists it is working to rid Passive Close of vermin.
A spokesman said: “We are aware of this issue which was first reported to us last week.
“We are taking action and have arranged for a pest control specialist to visit Passive Close this week to deal with the problem.
“We are also offering to provide wheelie bins to each household to enable them to store refuse prior to collection.”
Lisa also claims the problem is being exacerbated as the road’s bin men have started refusing to pick up residents’ rubbish after being made aware of the rat infestation, allegedly citing health and safety regulations.
A Havering Council spokeswoman said: “Our Environmental Health team visited the area yesterday and have contacted Circle Housing, who are responsible, to try and solve this issue.
“The council cleared all bin bags, as scheduled, on Saturday, January 13, and checked the bin sheds to ensure that the waste was not the cause of the rat infestation.”