Rats invade string of houses
A man has said he has become overrun by rats because of a missing sewer vent that he says Thames Water have failed to replace for the past 17 years.
Graeme Hitching, 47, of Hook Road, Epsom said the number of rats has been increasing over that period but it is now out of hand and they are invading a string of properties in his road.
Half a mile away on the same street is St Ebba's specialist care centre where a patient was attacked in November by a rodent.
Mr Hitching said: "They keep coming in my garden. I have had one burrow under the pond. Next door got them underneath the house where they chewed through a plastic brick.
The next house they have got into and started chewing things. The next house has had them in their shed. There’s a hole and speaking to the pest control people he said that it was a rat hole which leads to the sewer pipe where the rats are coming from. My problem is that Thames Water is not stopping them from coming up."
Mr Hitching said the problem stemmed from the removal of a Victorian vent allowing the rats to come up from the main sewer pipe which runs along the front of his property and into his garden.
He has called in pest control three times since Christmas in an unsuccesful effort to exterminate them.
He said: "It seems to be that everyone is just passing the buck. Epsom and Ewell Borough Council have sent pest control down to every sighting and they put poison down, but it’s not just me, it’s everybody."
Mr Hitchings said: "I think there’s a problem with rats in this area. We have a stream that goes down the side of Longmead Road at the back of us and that’s got a lot of rats and they have been nesting on the banks of the stream. There’s been some degeneration of the banks where they have burrowed in the sides."
Thames Water have since been out to investigate the problem but have said their is no issue with the pipe.
A spokesperson for Thames Water said: "We've done a full inspection of the sewer pipe in Hook Road and found no problems. We will however use rat baiting where necessary and will work with the council to help with this problem where we can."