AN OUTBREAK of rats in a residential area in Leslie has caused considerable alarm amongst locals and sparked an Environmental Services investigation reports, NEIL HENDERSON.
Residents have reported being ‘plagued’ by a serious infestation of large rats close to homes since the unseasonably warm temperatures experienced several weeks ago.
The areas most seriously affected are considered to be Patterson Cottages, Back Row Croftouterly and Patterson Park.
Councillor Bill Kay confirmed to the Gazette that he had been contacted by a number of concerned residents reporting problems from ‘increased numbers of adult or large rats’ seen close to their homes.
A number of theories have been attributed to the explosion in the rodent population, amongst them the mild winter conditions and recent warm weather that has helped many of the existing numbers to survive and breed earlier than usual.
Some residents have suggested the regular blast programme at the adjacent Lomond Quarry is also contributory factor in driving the vermin away from traditional habitats such as the Camby Burn which runs between the quarry and the nearest houses.
Brian Coyle from the Leslie Community Council told the Gazette: “We don’t wish to make assumptions at this stage as to the reasons of the outbreak.
“Following several residents having raised concerns regarding the problems, Fife Council’s environmental services department were informed of the situation and obviously, we will continue to monitor the situation closely as a solution is found.”
Members of the Environmental Services pest control team carried out an initial investigation of the area but could not find any conclusive evidence to suggest the source of the problem.
Following a number of traps being set a spokesman said afterwards: “These will be checked next week to see if there have been any takes or not, we will also look at the possibility of setting up our CCTV in this area next week as well to try and get a idea of the scale of the problem.”
Councillor Kay praised the swift reaction of the Environmental team, he said: “The infestation is an obvious concern for residents and I will continue to monitor the problem and find a solution and I must commend the quick reaction of the Pest Control Team.”