OVER­RUN WITH RATS: Fears flood­ing will wash out ver­min

50 ver­min be­ing caught on a weekly ba­sis, but may be more

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - By Lor­can Lovett lor­can.lovett@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

FLOODS are threat­en­ing a county-wide rat epi­demic as re­ports of in­fes­ta­tions grow, ac­cord­ing to a pest con­trol ex­pert.

Business has been boom­ing for Paul Bryant of A-Bee Pest Con­trol in Chal­font St Giles since last win­ter’s floods which he says ‘pushed the rats’ to ground level.

The lat­est in­fes­ta­tions have plagued Seer Green al­lot­ments and Bliz­zards Yard car park in Chal­font St Giles. Mr Bryant ex­pects this to spread to­ward Chal­font St Peter and Ger­rards Cross if the county ex­pe­ri­ences heavy rains.

He said: “It does not take too much to push wa­ter out the drains and it pushes the rats out as well. I’m catch­ing a dozen rats per gar­den along Amer­sham Road and I’m get­ting more rats now in Ger­rards Cross. I’m putting boxes down and get­ting through a hell of a lot of bait there.”

The crea­tures have been seen scur­ry­ing around the re­cy­cling bank at Bliz­zards Yard car park this month.

Parish coun­cil­lor Gor­don Pa­trick says the lat­est in­fes­ta­tion is be­cause of peo­ple throw­ing waste on the floor.

He told a parish coun­cil meet­ing on Wed­nes­day, Jan­uary 7: “We have got a rat in­fes­ta­tion in the vil­lage. After Christ­mas peo­ple could not be both­ered to go round to the tip and dumped their waste near the re­cy­cling area in the car park.”

Mr Pa­trick says the sit­u­a­tion has be­come a ‘health prob­lem’ and rats, which were ‘big fel­las’, swam through the flood wa­ters at the site last win­ter.

Mr Bryant says the prob­lem af­fects the whole of south Bucks and has been cre­ated by poor drainage sys­tems. He catches about 50 rats a week plus the ex­tra un­known num­ber he poi­sons.

“And I’m just a one­man band,” he added. “That is a frac­tion of what the big com­pa­nies are get­ting. It went off about a month after the floods and it re­ally picked up. Business has been reg­u­lar and steady since.”

Seer Green Al­lot­ment As­so­ci­a­tion is set to clear its site to help al­le­vi­ate a rat prob­lem.

CDC spokes­woman Viv Saun­ders said the en­vi­ron­men­tal health team is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the prob­lem at Bliz­zards Yard car park and has checked the re­cy­cling bins, which are clean and in good con­di­tion.

She added: “Rest as­sured, we fully ap­pre­ci­ate peo­ple’s con­cern and will do ev­ery­thing we can to ad­dress this mat­ter.”

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