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Rats rampage through seaside village

By Andy Madden     Mar 11, 2009 in Environment
A picturesque english coastal village has suffered a massive invasion of rats as a result of efforts by farmers encouraged by DEFRA (Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs) to feed migratory birds.
In recent weeks thousands of the rodents have been spotted in Flamborough, West Yorkshire, UK, after farmers were encouraged to leave strips of corn un-harvested to help wild-life in the area, reports The Darlington and Stockton Times.
The main infestation is around the village’s North Marine Road where residents have reported seeing gangs of rats.
Flamborough resident Steve Crowther told the Daily Mail that his friend, leaving the pub, saw two or three hundred of them in the road “There was a carpet of them - just a big brown mass. As soon as the headlights caught them, they darted everywhere."
Local residents were said to be shocked and disgusted at seeing their village overrun, with the rats swarming across main roads, through verges and into gardens.
“There must be thousands of them,” said parish council chairman Ian Woodhouse. “They're in the fields, on the roads - everywhere. One lady even had them running around her house. It's become a massive problem.”
John Crossland of Flamborough Council claimed that two mild winters and the bird feeding measures had caused the problem, which was first noticed in January, but said the council had worked hard to eliminate the problem before the start of the tourist season.
Basically we're back to normal," he said. "Farmers are not going to leave standing corn near residential properties anymore. This certainly should not put anybody off coming here."
Pest-control officers have however been baiting a large amount of traps in the colonised areas and are already reducing numbers considerably.
This will be good news for two drinkers in the local pub who blamed the problem on evil deeds and were expecting a plague of locusts.
A group of rats is known as a mischief. (Wikipedia)
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