The rat infestation at Reading’s Coley Park is getting worse, according to people who see hundreds of rodents every day.
The people who live in the high-rise buildings on the property have complained about the infestation to Reading Borough Council for more than three years but now say it is “worse than ever”.
They claim the rats that were mostly in skyscraper 205 Riversley Court have now moved into Neighbors 193 and are breeding quickly.
Steven Weston has been complaining about the problem for about three years.
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He told BerkshireLive that apartment bins are “overcrowded every day” and that this attracts animals in such large numbers.
He said, “It’s getting worse.
“They’ve been in 205 for years and that’s bad enough, but now we see they’re in 193 and there seem to be more and more of them now.
“The trash cans are overflowing every day.
“I really think we have to take the trash out every day to solve this.
“We’ve had the pest exterminator out regularly shooting them, but it’s not enough and more and more seem to be coming back.
“They seem immune to poison, so he has to shoot them, but there always seems to be more of them.
“It’s terrible for the children who live here.
“We complain and complain and nothing ever seems to change.”
The council has been trying to solve the problem for a number of years but people in the apartments say the attempts are not working.
In December, the agency spent a “week of action” on the property that included daily garbage collection, daily jet washing of the garbage room, daily trash pictures, thorough cleaning of the blocks and a daily cull by the pest controller.
The bins are also collected four times a week instead of the normal three.
The council has repeatedly urged the people living there to properly dispose of their rubbish as the rats remain active when they can find food.
Another woman, Dominika Cooper, also contacted BerkshireLive about the Coley Park situation.
She has lived in the apartments for four years and said, “When we moved in, you never saw a rat.
“Now you see her all the time.
“The children are afraid of them.
“It’s really sad to have to live like this for the people who have young children here.”
She added that people are also concerned about the new development in the region that will bring many more people to the region.
The agency’s plans for 45 new public housing units met with widespread protest when they were first proposed, and Dominika said she feared more people there would worsen the rat problem.
She added, “It’s actually a beautiful area and a beautiful community, but there is this problem that no one seems to be solving.”
A council spokesman said, “Trash collections have increased from three a week to four a week to solve the problem, and one of those collections is on a weekend when more people are home.”