Residents stuck in homes after giant rats invade garden and won’t stop breeding

This is the shocking moment a large rat scurried across a communal garden that one resident claims has been infested by the rodents for 18 months.

Sarah Burke, from Preston, said her 62-year-old mum was forced to stay in her flat during lockdown due to the rats infestation in the patio area.

She tried to raise the issue to property management company Place for People but they were unable to solve the problem.

In a video Sarah posted on Twitter, a huge rat can be seen emerging from the bush and running across the garden to the bird stand feeder.

Food appears to be littering the ground beneath the feeder – which the rat is quick to eat up.

She wrote: "There’s at least five and it’s disgusting!"

Sarah told LancsLive that her mum Alison had complained to Place for People and was told that nothing could be done due to local building work.

The vermin problem also forced Alison's neighbours to stop using the garden, with one even being spotted swimming around a paddling pool last summer.

"My mum is at her wits' end about it, as are her neighbours who are all elderly," Sarah said. "They have really missing being able to utilise their gardens during the lockdown.

"It all started around 18 months ago, so we think they have bred and bred as they are only pregnant for around 23 days."

Preston City Councillor Peter Moss, Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for planning and regulation, said: "Rodents and vermin are an unpleasant thing to find at home and can cause great distress.

“We understand people want to help wildlife and feed birds in their garden. A rat-proof bird feeder is ideal for this, and the bird food doesn’t end up on the ground within easy reach, which can encourage rodents."

A spokesperson for Places for People said they are working with Preston City Council, Environmental Health Services and customers to address the concerns raised.

"We would encourage residents to continue to follow the guidance provided by Preston City Council and we will also continue to follow up with the council and partners to see what more can be done," they added.

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