Residents forced to keep children indoors due to infestation of rats on estate – “we see them everywhere, night and day”

By Lina Kurdi

Residents are being forced to keep their children indoors due to an infestation of hundreds of rats, which are seen ‘all the time, night and day’.

People living on the Tanswell Estate, just off Westminster Bridge Road in Waterloo, have complained to Lambeth council about the rodents plaguing the estate.

They say they have seen rats of all shapes and sizes scurrying around the estate, and many are now afraid to let their children play outside.

Elsa Ellsa, 54, said: “No one lets their kids and grandkids play outside. We’re afraid that the children will get bitten.

“The rats made the estate dirty, there are rat droppings everywhere and we don’t want children anywhere near that.”

Resident Raquel Januario, 30, said: “A few years ago, the rats were just another problem and Lambeth council finally put rat traps, but as soon as the council removed the traps, the rat problem became an infestation.”

While Danny Rodrigues, 36, Raquel’s husband, added: “I found rat droppings on the engine of my car.

“I’m using anti-rodent lacquer to stop them living there. I think they live there when it gets cold.

“The rats are literally everywhere. We see them all the time, night and day.”

Elsa Ellsa (Picture: Lina Kurdi)

What caused the rat problem in the first place is unknown, but Bridget Leonard, 69, said: “I think they came from the food stalls in Lower Marsh Market.”

Mr Rodrigues speculated the rat problem was caused by the communal bins in the estate.

And residents are now concerned that the rats will furrow under their homes.

Bridget Leonard, 69, said: “The rats dug deep holes in the flower beds right under my window.

“If the holes get any deeper, I’m worried, the rats will cause problems with pipes or whatever is underneath my flat.

“I’m already too scared to go into my shed because I found rat droppings.”

Residents have complained to Lambeth council about the rat infestation, but claim nothing is being done.

Ms Leonard said: “I phoned Lambeth council about the rats and my calls go back and forth between people and that’s when I’m not being put on hold. After calling several times, they finally said, it’s not our problem.”

She said: “There are only stairs and no ramps for wheelchairs. Elderly residents also struggle.”

A Lambeth council spokesman said: “Pest control officers visited the estate to assess the problem two weeks ago and found a number of rat burrows.

“These were quickly baited and backfilled. We will ensure there is a coordinated approach to deal with the contributing factors such as drainage, waste disposal and regular monitoring.

“Officers will continue to visit the estate to ensure that these actions are tackling the problem effectively.”

Pictured top: A fox is seen with one of the rats in its mouth (Screen shot of video by Sarah Witternberg)

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