Children ‘can’t play outside’ because rats ‘the size of cats’ are plaguing street

Residents claim the rats are chewing through car wires and children’s toys have to be disinfected if they’ve been outside

Residents claim they are being plagued by rats “the size of cats” that can “chew through bins” in one area of Merseyside.

People living in Page Moss said it has been a long-running problem in the area but one resident, who did not want to be named, claimed “it’s never been this bad”.

A video shows one rat running up and down a house in broad daylight, reports the Liverpool Echo.

The woman claimed that “kids can’t play in the garden” due to vermin and people are being kept awake at all hours by the pests.

She said: “Rat traps aren’t setting them off anymore, they’re that big, the traps aren’t catching them.

“I wouldn’t have believed it myself if I hadn’t have seen it on my own CCTV.

“You hear the bins going every night, you have people finding live rats in the bins and having to kill them themselves.

“They’re the size of a normal cat, not a big cat, but they’re massive.”

The resident claims the rats are chewing through car wires and children’s toys have to be disinfected if they’ve been outside.

She added: “There was a time where it looked like the scene from Mary Poppins where the rats were jumping on the chimneys, there were seven jumping on my front fence.

“You’ve got them chewing the car, we have a work van and and they’re chewing wires, it’s a pandemic.

“It’s a lovely area to live in, everyone is so lovely everyone looks after each other.

“But we’re all suffering, our kids can’t play in the garden.

“If you leave toys you’re having to disinfect them, you’re having to brush up rat droppings every day from round the bins.

“People aren’t getting a good night sleep because the bins are going at 11pm to until 4am.”

The Page Moss resident said she believes there are a number of reasons why the problem has worsened.

A Knowsley Council spokesperson said: “We are responding to a number of pest control reports in the Page Moss area. As well as dealing with incidents at specific properties, we have also been working with United Utilities to introduce a sewer baiting programme across Knowsley and this has been running for over a year now.

“As well as our own staff being absent due to the virus or needing to self-isolate, we have been unable to source agency staff cover for the same reasons.

“With more residents working from home (and therefore more cars parked outside of homes during the daytime), access to some roads has also been problematic.

“There have been some missed collections, and we put arrangements in place to return to collect any missed bins as soon as we can. Our teams have worked additional hours and over weekends to try to deal with these challenges.

“Like other areas across the country, Knowsley saw an increase in fly tipping cases throughout the pandemic. It is extremely disappointing when these cases arise.

Again, despite the staffing challenges, we are doing everything we can to deal with reports of fly tipping as quickly as possible.

“We are also using enforcement powers in cases when land is not being cleared of waste and vegetation by private landowners.

“We gave notice to landowners on Woolfall Crescent in Page Moss requiring them to clear their land, but the owners went into liquidation.

“As a result, we will step in to clear the land and will also assess the waste with a view to identifying the people who have left it and pursuing prosecution where possible.”