Giant rat ‘as big as Jack Russell’ scurries around garden in town ‘under siege’

A clip of a giant rant "as big as a Jack Russell'"shows the rodent scurrying around a garden as people claim their streets are "under siege".

Residents in Balby, Doncaster, say they have been dealing with the issue for over a year throughout lockdown.

Neighbours claim flytipping and dumped rubbish has caused the rats to multiply in large numbers and venture into their gardens and in some cases their homes.

Kathleen Hopwood recorded grim footage of one of three big rats that she discovered in her own garden.

The large rodent was running around before trying to peer into a plastic box.

It then sniffs around a mop and bucket before moving further into the garden and out of view.

Kathleen said: “The guy over the road from me came to a blocked soil pipe and found six dead rats up it just now, feel sick.”

When the uneasy footage was uploaded into a local community group on social media, residents couldn't believe how big the rat was.

The post has already received almost 100 comments from stunned users.

One person suggested: "That's a Jack Russell, not a rat."

Another said: "Alleys are full of them, that's quite big as well."

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A third chimed in: "Bloody hell that's a well-fed rat!"

Before a fourth said they were "shocked" by the "amount of rats that are freely running around day and night".

Neighbours claim the rubbish dumped in alleyways is fuelling the situation and fear the "problem getting out of control".

Pest control experts have recently warned that rat infestations may increase when the hospitality sector opens up again after lockdown.

A spokesperson for Doncaster Council urged residents to dispose of their waste responsibly to "cut off the rats problem at source">

Director of Economy & Environment, Dan Swaine, said: “Do not dump rubbish on the streets / alleyways or in gardens as this is what attracts vermin.

“Everyone in Doncaster has a responsibility to keep our borough clean and tidy and we encourage residents to take pride in their neighbourhoods.

“Our pest control team have received – and responded to – nine reports of rats in the Springwell area since 1 January 2021. We have received no reports of rats on the Galsworthy Estate either.

“We will respond free of charge to all residents in Doncaster that have concerns of rats in their homes or gardens. Customers are required to phone our contact centre or visit our webpage and fill in the online forms to book an appointment with us.”

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Firms have noticed more callouts to homes over the pandemic but are now being referred to pubs, bars, and restaurants after they opened up outside.

They also saw the busiest winter they've had in the past 10 years.

Although rats tend to be pests and pose a health hazard there are things homeowners can do to stop the rodents from entering their houses, including keeping tidy gardens and not leaving rubbish out too long.

However, Environ Pest Control advises never to use poison as it can also kill pets and even make children and adults very sick if they come in contact with it.

Their website reads: “It’s not something that you should use lightly, and far too many preventable pet deaths in the UK are caused by people being irresponsible with rate poison."

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