ROTHERHAM residents are making more than 100 calls to the council about rat sightings every month.
New figures from Rotherham Borough Council have identified the town’s worst affected areas — and prompted one resident to call for free rat bait to tackle his neighbourhood’s “out-of-control” rodent problem.
The number of callouts in Rotherham East — the council ward containing Eastwood and East Dene — was 25 per cent higher in 2018/19 than in 2016/17.
There were 140 requests for help in the ward last year, up from 114 two years previously — although the middle year showed a dip at 92.
One Eastwood resident said: “The rat issue here is out of control.
“Everyone has reported rats in their back yards and gardens.
“After 40 years of living in Eastwood, I’ve never seen as many rats running around the rea. But with the amount of waste dumped daily on the streets, including food waste, is it any wonder?
“The council needs to door-knock every property and ask the tenants if they want a free bait box.”
He added: “They send a team to pick up fly-tipped items but where’s the enforcement on that? It’s papering over the cracks and sending the wrong message out.”
Tom Smith, RMBC assistant director for community safety and streetscene, said: “Our pest control team have responded to 28 reports of rats in Eastwood during the last 12 months, and provided treatment in each case.
“We welcome reports of any rat issues and we will continue to investigate and take the appropriate action to keep vermin populations down.
“To make a report, please contact 01709 336003.”
Opposition leader Cllr AllenCowles said: “I think the response from the council is
both cynical and simply turning a blind eye on the matter.
“There are wards, well known to residents, where there is a clear increase in problems.”
Across Rotherham, the number of callouts has gone down from 1,375 three years ago to 1,299 last year.
Valley ward — comprising East Herringthorpe, Dalton and parts of Thrybergh, Herringthorpe and Brecks — saw the most rodent incidents, with the figure rising from 128 to 144.
Notable reductions included Wath, which went down from 112 to 53, and Sitwell, which fell to 56 from 81.