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Parents on Ilford street fear for their children’s safety amid rat infestation

PUBLISHED: 17:00 24 May 2017

Oakland Park Avenue in Ilford which is reported to be rat infested

Oakland Park Avenue in Ilford which is reported to be rat infested

Archant

A street in the heart of Ilford is being terrorised by an infestation of rats.

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Residents of Oaklands Park Avenue have had enough of the vermin spilling out of the industrial garages that line one side of the road.

Patricia O’Connor told the Recorder the problem was only getting worse.

She said: “It’s awful and a lot of us down here are at the end of our tethers.

“Over the bank holiday weekend we couldn’t bring ourselves to go out, we were basically locked in our homes.

“They’re getting more and more fearless.

“When it started they would just dart in and out of the garages on the other side of the road but now they’re getting closer and closer to my front door.”

And Mrs O’Connor admitted she had given up hope the issue would ever be resolved.

“We had a nice guy from the council’s pest control come here a couple of weeks back and he told me he had never seen a case so bad,” she said.

“We just want something to be done. Surely the council has the money to deal with something this serious.

“If they don’t we’ll have the plague back soon.”

As the problem has worsened, beleaguered residents have become used to waking up each morning to discover dead rats run over in the middle of the road and holes bitten into bin bags and fences up and down the street.

One told the Recorder: “It’s never going to go away – the council has had people down here and they’ve said they don’t know what they can do about it.

“There are holes in the pavement and in garden walls where they’ve burrowed in.

“We’re frightened to leave the house and some of us have even stopped letting our kids play in the street – we don’t know what they could catch if they got bitten.”

A Recorder reporter who visited the road during one evening last week counted four rats in a short walk from the Lidl car park down to Ilford High Road at the opposite end of the road.

But a Redbridge Council spokeswoman confirmed the only complaint they had received this year regarding rats down the road was back in February.

However, she did admit the council were aware of a problem in the area.

She said: “There has been rodent activity close by on land next to the Ilford retail park which we are currently treating to eradicate the problem, so this could be linked to an the increase in rat sightings in the area.

“If any residents do find themselves with a rodent problem in their home they can use the council’s pest control service, full details about the service are available on our website www.redbridge.gov.uk.”

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