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‘Disgusted’ woman screamed as rat ‘crawled along pillow as she slept’

A horrified woman to turn her head and spot a rat crawling right next to her head while she was lying in bed at home.

Helen, 51, who asked not to be named in full, lives in the Plunginton neighbourhood of Preston, Lancashire, which residents argue is ‘overrun’ with rats.

According to LancsLive, locals believe the area is suffering from an out of control infestation problem.

The 51-year-old said: "I was lying in bed and I heard this rustling noise, and I moved my head, and it came running past the pillow. I was like, 'Oh my God!

"That made me feel disgusted. It was in my house, and it wasn't my fault! I'm not one of these people who doesn't clean their houses – my house is absolutely spotless!"

The problem inside the house was only resolved after she took matters into her own hands and blocked up all the gaps or holes where she thought they could be gaining entry.

However, she still sees them in her garden and hears them in the loft, and despite having had a visit from Preston City Council’s pest control department, is very concerned that the rats may once again get back into her house.

She added: "I heard them this week in the loft and in the garden. I have blocked any holes up in the house, but I am concerned because of the germs and disease they carry. If my grandson who is six is here, and there is a rat in the garden, it’s just not nice.

""The one in the garden looks quite settled – it's as if he's set up camp.

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"I know they have got to exist, but there is a place for them, and it is not in my garden or in my house!"

She said she had been visited by the pest control department from Preston City Council earlier this week, who had put bait down in the loft and poison in the garden, and there had been a promise of a follow up visit.

According to Helen, the officer who visited reported that rats were becoming a problem in the area and that the solution may be to lift manholes on the small roads around Plungington Road and dangle bait.

Helen believes that the problem has increased since the closure of some city centre restaurants during Covid which may have sent the creatures out of city centres looking for food, and she also believes fly tipping could be a cause.

She added: "It would help if people stopped fly tipping, and if they did something to report fly tipping when they see it.

“Also, if the councils did a bit more to keep an eye on a regular basis, and get litter cleared up, it would help."

Preston City Councillor Pav Akhtar highlighted that the case had been reported to the council which had responded, adding: "She reported it to the council and the officer has responded and been to the house, and set out a course of action, which really shows that the system is working.

“If people do have any issues, the council runs a pretty good service so offices will do their job, which is to respond. It's good that they have come out and responded in this way."

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