Takeaway meals blamed for growing rat problem in Wells
- Credit: PA
Food and mess left from takeaway meals is being blamed for an increase in the number of rats in Wells.
Residents and pest controllers believe there has been an increase in rats in the town and councillors hope to get the situation under control before the summer tourism season begins.
Wells town councillor Tony Ford said: 'There have always been rats in Wells but the problem has increased over a period of time - particularly around the Quay.
'It has been brought to my attention by residents.
'The problem is the piles of rubbish left on the Quay from people using the fast food takeaways, which leaves a ready source of food for the rats,
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'The mess that is left there is embarrassing and does not leave a good impression of the town.
'The people who clean up there on behalf of the town council do a great job, but there is only so much they can do and, I believe, it is at night when the rats are coming out.
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'Now is the best time to deal with the rat problem, when the town is quiet.
'There has been an explosion of tourism in Wells in recent years and the problem will only get worse in the summer when it is busier and there will be more rubbish around.'
The number of rats in the UK has soared in recent years, posing a serious risk to public health.
Along with the increase of rubbish, council cutbacks in pest control expenditure and mild winters, in which rats to breed more regularly, are believed to be other major causes.
Rats can carry disease which pose a risk to humans including Weil's disease and salmonella.
Peter Brown, from West Norfolk Pest Control, said: 'We've been doing this for eight years and this year has been our busiest.
'I wouldn't say there has been a sudden explosion but there have been more consistent call outs.
'Rats pose serious health risks and carry diseases which can be fatal to humans, so rat problem is not something you want.'
Wells Town Council is due to discuss the rat problem at its next meeting, in April.
Mr Ford said: 'The council will discuss it to see what can be done.
'At the moment, I don't know what the answer is.'