NZ Herald

Plague of giant rats attack residents

LARGE water rats are chewing their way into homes terrorising residents bordering a water drain running through a Rotorua residential area.

Logan St, Kawaha Point Rd and Luke Pl residents spoken to by the Rotorua Daily Post say it's an ongoing issue getting worse as winter starts.

But the Rotorua District Council says it hasn't been notified of a rodent problem.

One Logan St resident, who didn't want to be identified, said he had killed six "huge" water rats in the past week.

The rodents have been chewing through skirting boards and walls to make their entry into the home.

"One we trapped dragged the trap back through the hole."

His wife said they were aggressive rodents.

"It's like they have come up with a chainsaw ... they are huge, fluffy and fat as well. I feel like a hostage in my own lounge," she said.

The large rodents, she said the size "of cats" were coming from a drain running along the back of properties through the Fairy Springs area.

The council needed to do something about it as scrub was overgrown giving the animals somewhere to hide and build their nests, she said.

"Council used to come and cut all the overgrowth down but now there is a cycle track along there nothing is done."

Contacting a pest control company they laid eight large bait stations to find them empty the next day. Other neighbours have also been experiencing a rat problem.

One lady, who only wished to be known as Lynda, said she was terrified of them.

"You can hear them scratching around in the ceiling. It's horrible. Something needs to be done about that creek. It's harbouring them."

Living in nearby Kawaha Point Rd, Carl Brake said she was planning on a buying a slug gun to take pot shots at the large rodents which often congregated on his back deck, bordering the creek.

"We had five of them just last night. The first time I saw them I thought 'oh my God, we are breeding them big in Rotorua'. They are so fat. I couldn't believe it."

Luke Pl resident Kerry McQuade said she hadn't seen any rats but definitely had a mice problem.

"You can hear them at night. I'm sure it's because of the creek behind the house. It's just an ongoing problem ... council needs to clean up that creek."

Council works manager Peter Dine said they had no record of any rodent problem with the drain.

While the council maintain it, it hasn't been comprehensively cleaned for about three years.

"It was recently inspected and is due to be sprayed."