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Could Felixstowe’s rats be gassed to deal with rodent problem?

PUBLISHED: 11:39 18 August 2018 | UPDATED: 11:39 18 August 2018

Sea Road in Felixstowe where the rats have been spotted Picture: PETER WILES/CITIZENSIDE.COM

Sea Road in Felixstowe where the rats have been spotted Picture: PETER WILES/CITIZENSIDE.COM

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New options are being looked at to deal with recent rat problems in Felixstowe.

In the past few weeks some visitors and residents are said to have been left screaming after spotting the furry rodents close to the seafront on Sea Road.

Many have been left concerned about the potential impact the unwanted guests could have on tourism in the town.

Suffolk Coastal District Council had previously stressed that it was taking the matter seriously, saying it has bolstered its street cleaning efforts/

Now both Suffolk Coastal and Norse say they are looking at a number of new options to deal with the problem including the ‘gassing’ of the rats burrows.

Bait traps have already been laid out for the rats but the council say they haven’t been completely effective because of littering problems involving takeaway food in and around the Sea Road area.

Speaking to BBC Radio Suffolk Steve Green Suffolk Coastal Norse operations manager said: “We have a robust cleansing regime in place... we have bait boxes and traps but unfortunately the rats are not interested in poison or traps when there is an abundance of fast food or takeaway available.”

Rather than rely on the bait boxes Mr Green explained that they would now be forced to look at other options but that shooting the rats would not be something considered due to safety fears.

One of the options that is being considered is the ‘gassing’ of the rat’s nests using special pellets which react with the moisture in the nests.

However, the council acknowledges that it would have to look into the effects this method of dealing with the rats could have on other local wildlife, as well as cats and dogs.

The council expects to finalise its next steps on dealing with the rat problem next week.

In the meantime it is re-iterating advice for those in and around the area to be more responsible with their food waste and report any problems.

A spokesman for the council said:“Respect our resort. Please don’t litter. Use the bins that are provided.”

“We continue to work to be responsive to these issues.

“Anyone wanting to report an issue with rats or litter bin collections should contact, Suffolk Coastal Norse on 01394 444000 or email:”

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