Rat Tales - ThisisBristol readers share their vermin stories
BRISTOLIANS have been telling us their personal stories of rat encounters after bosses at the city’s main fruit market were hit by an “invasion” of the rodents.
Bosses at the market blamed the siting of several waste outlets near the market for what they say was an unprecedented number of rats swarming over the area.
Now other Post readers have been in touch to tell us about their encounters with the rodents.
Al Kia, 22, said he was alarmed to see rats congregating in his road in Stoke Bishop, as well as seeing them regularly while driving along the Portway.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
“I normally see them in the evenings, but occasionally you’ll see them in broad daylight. Some of them are massive – more than a foot long. They’re big enough that you see them when you’re driving at 60mph along the Portway.”
The university student, who lives in his parents’ home in Lyndale
Avenue, said he is troubled by the apparent rise in rat numbers.
“It freaks me out a bit – I shudder every time I see them,” he said. “We’ve never actually had them in the house, but we have had them in the garden – but we do have a recycling centre a few roads away, so that might be where they are coming from.”
Will Small, 60, of Royal Park, Clifton, said he sees rats in his street regularly – especially on bin collection days.
“They’re not quite the size of cats, but they’re definitely rats,” he says. “You see them running along the street in straight lines, going from one bin to the next.
“We have a particularly eccentric old man living in the road who collects rubbish in his back garden, and I certainly don’t think that helps with the rat problem.
“But there does seem to be a wider problem with an increase in rat numbers in the city.”
Lynda Stamp, 54, of Holly Lodge Road in Speedwell, said: “We live opposite an allotment which is a food source and at the back of us we have a gully and a stream so are surrounded. We have been here 13 years and see them pretty much every day and they are definitely getting bigger.
“They come into our garden all the time but thank goodness they have never come into the house.
“We have pest control come out here and they put poison down but it doesn’t seem to work because they keep coming back.”
Lee Kay, 40, of Hotwells Road, said: “I have seen rats many times. It’s usually worst at weekends. People use the pubs and when they go and get something to eat they drop chicken bones onto the street.
“I have even seen someone throw a chicken drumstick at a rat.
“The first time I saw one I thought it was a cat because it was so big.
“I have been to the council to say the food attracts rats and they send road sweepers up at silly o’clock.”
Lewis Cornick, from Shirehampton, said rats have been nesting in his garden for the last two summers.
The 34-year-old company director at a small business in Redcliffe said: “Last year we had a nest in our compost heap which was only found because we were moving the heap.
“As it got warmer our three cats regularly brought rats back and in the height of last summer there must have been two or three dead rats a week easily.”
He said the amount of rats caught by the cat has been increasing over the five years he has lived on the Portway.
Amanda Vinall said she believes rats in a neighbour’s garden on Park Road, Stapleton, were attracted by a chicken run.
Although she only spotted the rat once, she said it was “pretty big”.
The 50-year-old dinner lady said: “I saw it while in the garden with my neighbour, but they have since got rid of their chicken run due to foxes which kept eating the chickens.
“In my mind foxes seem to be the real problem around here,” she said.
Of the people who have already responded to our survey, 83 per cent said there had been an increase in the number of rats in their area.
And 60 per cent said they thought the rodents were getting bigger – with nearly half of respondents saying the rats they had seen were longer than a foot long, not including the tail.
A total of 31 per cent said they saw rats more than once a day – with a further 11 per cent saying they saw them about once a day, and 12 per cent saying they saw them once a week.
VIEW AN INTERACTIVE MAP OF RAT HOTSPOTS IN BRISTOL - CLICK ON THE RED DOTS:
To tell us about what you have seen fill in the survey below: