RESIDENTS are living in fear of a horde rats which have infested a block of flats in Taunton.

Darren Harding, 23, says Canal View has been overrun by the vermin which he can hear scratching in wall cavities and beneath his kitchen cupboards.

He says his Bathpool flat has become “flooded” with the pests and claims he has reported the issue several times to environmental health and Yarlington Housing Group – but says a solution is yet to be found.

Darren said: “We have reported it six times, a neighbour below us has reported it and so has a person on the first floor ­– literally the whole block of flats is infested with rats.

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“My partner woke me at 3:30am the other day because she could hear things in the bathroom. It is horrible living in a rat infested building, it is making us feel as if we don’t want to live here anymore.”

He says he and his partner, Danielle Toogood, and daughter Lola, four, have put up with the issue for nearly six months.

While it is bad enough hearing the pests scurrying around at night, he has been met with the stomach-churning sight of rats eating their fellow vermin behind his shed.

He said he has reported the issue several times to Yarlington Housing Group.

He added: “We have had pest controllers out here this morning as my partner heard them underneath the cupboards.

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“Pest controllers have been out numerous times. There were three dead rats behind the shed the other day and one of them was being eaten by another rat.

“My four-year-old daughter is too scared to get out of bed because there are rats around the flat. She is screaming when she goes to bed.

“She can hear them in the walls and they are starting to wake her up. For a four-year-old to be scared in her own home is not right.”

He estimates there to be about a dozen rats which enter his attic at night.

Taunton Deane Borough Council said its environmental health team first received a call about the issue in December.

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A council spokeswoman said: “We first received a call on December 21, 2017, from Mr Harding’s partner regarding Canal View, Bathpool, reporting scratching in the walls and behind the skirting boards of their flat.

“A visit was made on January 3 to bait their loft and two other lofts within the block of flats. A survey of the property was carried out and the tenant was advised to contact their landlord regarding some proofing measures that need to be carried out.

“Revisits were made on January 17 and May 9 to rebait the loft. On May 9 the tenant, landlord and environmental health met on site to discuss the proofing works required.”

A Yarlington spokesperson said: “We are aware of the situation and are working closely with pest control to resolve the situation as quickly as possible for our residents.”

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