Kids too scared to play outside as ‘rats as big as cats’ rule the streets

A resident in Page Moss, Knowsley, said huge rats too big for traps have invaded the neighbourhood forcing kids inside and keeping everyone up into the night

Children in one neighbourhood are too scared to play outside because huge rats, immune to traps, are plaguing the streets, residents claim.

The rodent problem in Page Moss, Knowsley, has been long-running with the unwelcome critters “the size of cats” rummaging through the bins, according to one local.

A disturbing clip shows a rat scurrying up and down the side of a house in broad daylight, reports the Liverpool Echo.

The woman – who did not wish to be named – claimed people are being kept awake at all hours by the pests.

She said: “Rat traps aren’t setting them off anymore, they’re that big, the traps aren’t catching them.

“I wouldn’t have believed it myself if I hadn’t have seen it on my own CCTV.

“You hear the bins going every night, you have people finding live rats in the bins and having to kill them themselves.”

She said she has a Jack Russell dog who had to kill a “huge” rat in her bin.

“They’re the size of a normal cat, not a big cat, but they’re massive,” she added.

The resident claims the rats are chewing through car wires and children’s toys have to be disinfected if they’ve been outside.

She said she has spent around £4,000 revamping her garden and the rats have dug holes and chewed through her new fences.

The homeowner likened it to the scene in Mary Poppins when the rats jump from the chimneys, after spotting seven leaping on her front fence.

She said it’s an otherwise “lovely” area to live in and everyone looks out for each other.

A Knowsley Council spokesperson said the authority is “responding to a number of pest control reports” in the area.

On top of dealing with individual issues at specific properties, it is also working alongside United Utilities to introduce a sewer baiting programme, which has been running for a year.

They went on to say the waste collection service has been “significantly” impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic in the last 18 months.

“As well as our own staff being absent due to the virus or needing to self-isolate, we have been unable to source agency staff cover for the same reasons,” they explained.

The spokesperson said with many residents also working from home, access to some roads due to permanently parked cars has been “problematic”.

This has all resulted in “some missed collections”, they admitted.

“Our teams have worked additional hours and over weekends to try to deal with these challenges.”

They also said there has been an increase in flytipping across Knowsley which the council is working to deal with despite pandemic-related issues.

Finally, a landowner in Page Moss was served notice by the council which required them to clear their land but the owners went into liquidation, as a result the authority must deal with the land clearance, the spokesperson said.

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