Residents have raised concerns about a 'rat infestation' in a part of Farnworth.

Those living on the New Bury estate in Farnworth  say the vermin have been seen near homes and businesses. 

The rats were first spotted around May this year, with residents raising concern about the risk they pose to anyone living in the area. 

Now, they are calling for more to be done about this issue as they are seen sitting on bins, carpets are gnawed through and droppings are found. 

Steve Mellor, a resident on the estate, said: "The houses in New Bury have been infested with rats. 

"I had to pay for pest control because the council don't pay for it. My house is being torn to pieces because of this. 

"Underneath the hearth in the fireplace there is a concrete slab, and the rats have come through it and eaten through the carpet. 

The Bolton News: Carpet which has been eaten throughCarpet which has been eaten through (Image: Newsquest)

"I had a nice home. We have just given up at the moment, they are just eating everything. We go to bed at night and hear them scratching around in the cavities, it is disgusting." 

His wife, Paula, said: "It is heartbreaking, my immune system is so low, it has made me very self-conscious because I am housebound and they are in the house with me. 

"Because I am classed as disabled it doesn't sit right. I am in this house 24 hours a day, so any sort of noise I am thinking 'is it rats', overthinking things.

"They are in cupboards and drawers, we are scared to let the dog out at night. They are in bins, on top of the bins." 

One of Steve and Paula's dogs, Ruby, recently died. They say their vet told them she contracted leptospirosis, a disease which can be carried by rats. 

The Bolton News: Rat droppings underneath a cupboardRat droppings underneath a cupboard (Image: Newsquest)

Paula suffers with epilepsy and has seizures which can last for hours. 

She said: "I trained her to be an epilepsy dog. She would never be afraid of waking the kids up, barking to let them know. 

"No one had a bad comment to say about her. She was a perfectly healthy dog, and then she just stopped eating her food."


The Bolton News: Ruby, Steve and Paula's dog who died of leptospirosisRuby, Steve and Paula's dog who died of leptospirosis (Image: Newsquest)

Another resident, Amy Dawson, said: "It is disgusting. I have a cat and a baby cat - my big cat eats rats, so I am petrified of letting them out, especially knowing what happened to Ruby. 

"They are not getting in my house, but they are always in my garden, they are literally in my bin. 

"I see them outside, occasionally they are sat on the black bin. Something needs to be done, we need more help."

One other resident, who wished not to be named, said: "It is a nightmare, an absolute nightmare. I have had rats inside my house, they are absolutely horrible. 

The Bolton News: Where rats tunnelled through into the houseWhere rats tunnelled through into the house (Image: Newsquest)

"You see them running across the road. My kids are really, really scared, they can hear them in the cavities of the walls. It is horrible and disgusting. 

"They are everywhere in my house, I have put poison and traps down. We have never had rats before, you used to see the odd one, but never ever this bad." 

A worker at the New Bury Chip Shop also said they have seen rats 'walking in the streets' this year. 

A spokesperson for Bolton at Home said: “Bolton at Home does not provide a pest control service for rats and mice.

"Under our neighbourhood policy, tenants and occupants are advised to make use of the chargeable pest control service provided by Bolton Council.” 

A spokesperson for Bolton Council said: “In areas with persistent rat problems, the council will take action including clearing dumped waste and working with United Utilities to bait sewers.

“While this appears to be a result of an isolated incident, we will monitor the situation in the area.

“Similar to other local authorities, the council does charge homeowners a fee for pest control services and charges are in line with those in the private sector.” 

Council leader Nick Peel pledged in June when he was elected that he would look into bringing back free pest control

He said he wanted to make strides in cleaning the town up. 

Town hall chiefs could not say where the 'isolated infestation' originated from.