A HOMEOWNER has blamed a growing rat problem on overgrown vegetation in a public park ut the council say it’s more likely due to food.
Michelle Burgin (50), of Clifton Grove, said the problem had got worse recently in her back yard which backs onto Clifton Park.
The homeowner of 20 years has blamed the issue on the overgrown grass, which she believes is an ideal nesting place for rodents.
“They only cut it twice a year at the top of the park because it’s near houses in order to keep people away from our houses,” she said.
“I don’t know if it makes any difference if you live near a park you’ve got to expect people near.
“You used to see one rat every now and again now I see around three a day.”
She added: “I’ve got a bait box. I used to refill it every fortnight now every two days it’s empty.”
Mrs Burgin said calls to the council about the issue had gone unanswered.
“They don’t cut it down and it’s becoming a nesting place for them,” she said.
“The overgrown area is taller than me and I’m 5ft 3ins that’s why they are breeding as it doesn’t get cut back.”
She claims a pest control worker had told her the root of the issue was the park.
“We are paying £60 to put bait boxes out but they will come back,” said the mother-of-two.
“A few will die off and they will generate again.”
Asked if the problem was due to people leaving food out, Mrs Burgin said an elderly neighbour no longer left food out for the birds and her back garden was not used.
“It’s a yard there’s nothing for them to eat,” she added.
“They are getting further and further in even residents across the road are saying they are getting rats.
Rotherham Council’s head of creative programming and engagement, Leanne Buchan, said: “We already undertake rat control in Clifton Park but will look into the specific issues Ms Burgin has raised to see what further steps we can take to help alleviate the problem.
“However, rats are usually attracted by easy food sources, rather than long grass or vegetation.
“We have managed the strip of ground between the path and the park boundary behind Clifton Grove as a long grass and wildflowers area for a number of years; we mow and cut back in the spring and at the end of summer.”