A PLAGUE of rats ‘as big as dogs’ have descended on a housing estate in Antrim - and angry residents are demanding urgent action to stamp out the revolting rodents once and for all.
A newly-formed environmental group in Ballycraigy has revealed that parts of the estate are now so badly infested that hardy locals feel forced to physically drive the marauding menace from their property.
Trouble is, some of the rats are enormous.
“One local man felt that he had no option but to kill one of the rats himself,” said a spokesman from the Ballycraigy Environmental Department Association.
“He owns a Jack Russell dog, and the rat was bigger than it.
“It’s a pretty horrendous state of affairs when you have residents who feel they have no option but to kill large rodents that are spreading unchecked.”
He added that a significant number of the unwanted visitors had been spotted close to the new social housing where the Chaine Court flats once stood.
It is also close to Garden Village, which has suffered serious flooding issues in recent years.
“We don’t know if this is related, but rats coming up from the sewers is obviously one possibility,” said the local man.
Ballycraigy is just the latest area reporting an unprecedented upsurge in rampant rodents.
Late last year a resident was forced to flee his flat in Greystone after rats took up residence.
The Housing Executive offered him alternative accommodation to allow a team to move in to ‘evict’ them - but within days the rodents were back.
The council includes a list of pest control companies on its website, but if that option is too expensive it suggests ‘poison or break back traps’.
*Read the full story in this week’s Antrim Guardian