Rat infestation at Glebe allotments in Wickham Market is feared to be spreading to homes

Rats. Stock image. Credit: PA

Rats. Stock image. Credit: PA - Credit: PA

An allotments site in east Suffolk is said to have descended into “anarchy” with a rat infestation that is feared to be affecting nearby homes.

The rat problem at the Glebe allotments in Wickham Market is reported to be verging on a public health matter prompting calls for urgent and immediate action.

Wickham Market Parish Council agreed on Monday night to call in pest control to tackle the infestation following warnings that the rats are getting “bigger and bigger”.

Michael Margetts, an allotment holder and parish councillor, said “anarchy is now ruling” on the site, with waste being left on plots and too many animals – mainly chickens – being kept there.

“It all adds to the rat infestation,” he added. “The problem is getting bigger and bigger and the rats are getting bigger and bigger.”

Mr Margetts said the problem had started to spread to nearby houses and it was “quickly becoming a public health issue”.

Parish clerk Jo Jones said she had received complaints from allotment holders claiming “all their sweetcorn had been eaten by rats”. “The problem is getting worse and so now the responsibility lies with the parish council to do something,” she added.

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The council agreed to pay for the man who deals with the church’s mole problems to take a course on tackling rat infestations. And if he cannot start work on the problem within a fortnight councillors agreed to seek other pest control experts.

Council chairman Dick Jenkinson said the council’s environment and leisure committee would also look into whether chickens and other animals should be banned from the allotments to prevent the problem returning.

Mr Margetts said some allotment holders kept as many as 12 chickens and four ducks on their plots.

“The chickens are the problem,” he added.