AN infestation of rats is causing misery for families on a Southampton estate.

Those living in a terraced row of houses in Coxford are terrified of the rodents.

Each family from Aldermoor Avenue tells how they can hear the sounds of scuttling and biting, and some have even reported seeing dead rats outside their home.

The problem has become so bad that one woman is thinking of moving out because of the stress and anxiety it is causing her.

The 53-year-old woman, who did not want to be named, said that hearing the rats stops her from sleeping, and despite using rat traps and poison and calling pest control, they just won’t go away.

She believes the problem is down to a hole in the attic, which means that the rats can scuttle through one attic to the other.

And she added that pest controllers visited her house to eliminate the rats, but told her they will be unable to fully tackle it unless the hole is filled by Southampton City Council.

She said: “It is scary. My granddaughter doesn’t want to visit me because the problem has got so bad.”

She claimed that Southampton City Council would not plug the hole in her attic and told her she had to deal with it herself.

Other neighbours also expressed their concerns.

Dad-of-three Paul Webber, said: “I hear them running around all the time. I am worried that one of them might be found by my kids.”

Councillor for Coxford ward, Don Thomas, pictured, blamed cuts in the council’s environmental budget. He said: “Rats running amok on our estates was so predictable, yet here we are with even more cuts in this year’s budget, including cuts to dismantle the council’s Pest Control.”

A council spokesman said: “We cannot comment on individual repair cases. Our housing tenants should report repairs to our Actionline service.”