Neighbours terrorised by 'thousands' of rats at a block of council flats say the problem is out of control.

Rats jumping on a man's shoulder, running over feet and chewing through car wires are just some of the horror stories Forth House residents Mark Crosby, Ann Little and Berni Buxey have shared from recent years.

They said the rats have more than 100 burrows across the estate and groups of as many as 20 have been seen at one time, carving out network of trenches across the lawn and leaving droppings everywhere.
Daily Echo: With no bin collection for a month and the rat traps and poison put down by the council not working, residents have taken matters into their own hands - pouring bleach down the rat burrows.

The residents are now calling for the council to pay for a full-scale extermination company to get rid of the infestation once and for all.

Resident Berni Buxey said: “I’m scared to death. They have even scratched the rubber bungs off the bottom of the bins so that they can climb through it.

“I’m so concerned for the health of those who live here. We are desperate for the council to do something – we need more than just a few rat boxes."

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Mark has been living at Forth House for four years. He said: “Once I peered my head over the large bin and a rat jumped out and landed on my shoulder.

“We shouldn’t have to be living like this. I don’t understand why the council won’t take us seriously.”

He also had to pay £600 to get his car re-wired after the rats chewed through them – leaving him with no brake lights, headlights, or electrics - and has been forced to fit a rat alarm.

Ann Little, who has lived on the estate for nine years, said that one afternoon she was having a coffee on a picnic bench outside the building, when a rat ran over her foot.

She said they also congregated in the stairwell of the building: “They run across my balcony – I’m three floors off of the ground.

“These rats mate so quickly it’s an infestation. They will come out for just a crumb."

She added: “I think the council have let this go on for so long, it’s now too big of a problem.

"There are too many rats.

“I don’t think they will ever get this sorted.”

They say Southampton City Council have blocked off a number of large trees within the ground of the estate – with signs up stating rat poisoning is taking place.

The council have also placed a number of rat boxes across the area.

Berni said: “We have seen two or three rats hiding in the rat boxes themselves.

“The bins used to be locked away securely so that the rats couldn’t get to them – now they are left out all night and the council are not even collecting them.”

The trio say residents have now started taking matters into their own hands.

They told of attempting to plug the burrows with large logs and branches, pouring bleach into the rat holes and throwing buckets of water from their balcony to scare them off – with little success.

Ann said: "I threw some bleach over my balcony to get them away and I knew I got one because my cousin saw it a few days later with sores on its back."

Mark added: “This is how desperate we are – we are fed up with having thousands of rats on our doorstep.

“It’s a health issue – God forbid someone gets bitten by one of them.“

"I have emailed the council so many times and told them we have a major rat issue – I never hear back.

“We are terrified that they are going to find their way into our flats.”

As well as paying for a thorough extermination of the site, they are also calling on the council for the bins to be collected regularly and securely locked away at night.

In response to the resident's claims, a spokesperson for Southampton City Council said: "Our Pest Control, Housing and Waste teams have been working in partnership over the last few years to tackle the issue of rats on the Northam Estate. 

"There have been various baiting programmes in place and colleagues continue to investigate ways of eliminating this issue. Our teams will continue to update residents at regular neighbourhood walkabouts and forums."