RESIDENTS living in the town centre who have complained of an ‘out of control’ rat infestation have been advised to remove bird feeders.

As previously reported, 50 residents living in Basingstoke town centre are calling on Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to take “urgent action” to deal with the rat infestation, which has resulted in rodents entering people’s home.

They believe the problem stems from a rat nest in Glebe Gardens which has not been dealt with, resulting in the pests breeding at a “frightening speed”.

READ MORE: Extreme rat infestation in Basingstoke town centre is 'public health concern' as rodents breed

Basingstoke Gazette: Rats spotted near Glebe GardensThe borough council said it is working with residents to tackle the problem.

However, residents say that the action taken has not been enough and it has become a “huge environmental health hazard”.

Now, a spokesperson for the borough council has said its pest control contractor and environmental health team, who have been monitoring the site “have not identified a rat problem in Glebe Gardens”.

Residents were told to remove bird feeders to tackle the rat problem.  

The council spokesperson added: “We have also been proactively speaking to residents and supporting them with information on additional action they can take if they find rats near their property.”

It sent a letter to more than 30 homes in the area in October but said “we have had no feedback”.

Liz Wheeler, who lives in Church Square, said: “It appears the council take the view we have no further problems as we haven’t responded in bulk.”

She added: “This will be as all residents are aware of the council’s response to us. We have an active WhatsApp group and can also forward emails.”

SEE ALSO: Basingstoke public could be in 'significant danger' from rat infestation in town centre

The council said it encourages residents to get in touch to discuss the issues, adding: “In the wider town centre area, we have been making improvements to reduce rat activity, such as removing their access to litter bins, litter picking and cutting back overgrown vegetation.

“Anyone identifying a problem with rats in their home or garden should approach a competent pest controller. The council provides a free rat treatment service for residents on means-tested benefits.

“Businesses and other landowners also have a responsibility to make sure they are addressing issues in their locations.

“Being near parks and open spaces has many benefits including more visible wildlife such as birds and squirrels, but these environments are also home to less popular creatures such as rats. We encourage residents to remove food and water sources like bird feeders and pet food in their gardens and to keep on top of maintenance to reduce the likelihood of rats being attracted there.”

As previously reported, John Horsley, technical support officer at the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) said the Basingstoke public is in “significant danger” from rats if the problem is not dealt with.