Empty house leads to rodent problem

James Rigby from Bolton Road, Ashton-in-Makerfield, has complained about the house next door which is infested with rats
James Rigby from Bolton Road, Ashton-in-Makerfield, has complained about the house next door which is infested with rats

A Wigan home has been overrun with mice and rats for months after the house next door was left empty and full of rubbish.

James Rigby, of Bolton Road, Ashton, has said he is at the end of his tether with the situation after more than six months of putting up with the rodent infestation.

His problems started when the owner of the neighbouring terrace left the property empty with food waste littering the kitchen and rubbish strewn across the rest of the house.

He said: “The house to the right-hand side of me has been empty for the last eight months and we are having big problems with an infestation of rodents.

“The state of the house is absolutely disgusting. There is rubbish everywhere and there was food left piled up against the kitchen window and all over the work tops.

“It has become a breeding ground for rats and mice. At night we can hear them in the wall cavity in our house and in the roof scurrying and running around.”

Care assistant James, 28, has made pleas for Wigan Council’s environmental team to help and despite them intervening, it has failed to get rid of the problem.

He said: “The council have been very helpful but have said they have now done all they can to help.

“The environmental team have forced the owner of the house to clear out the food waste left in the kitchen but they can’t make him move the rest of the rubbish because it is a private property.

“If you look over you can see all the rats running though the rubbish and I hope the owner will see this and come and clear the rest of it up.

“The rodents haven’t gone and there doesn’t seem to be anything more I can do.”

Wigan Council has said that it is trying to resolve the problem for the residents who live near the empty property.

A spokesman said that an informal appeal to the owner to tidy the property up did not receive a response.

The spokesman said: “He did respond to a formal notice and has now removed the food waste from the property which is what we asked him to do.

“He has also put down poison to try and rid the property of rats.

“We are monitoring the situation and will keep the neighbours informed.”