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Residents in a small coastal village are being plagued by confident rats that have turned their peaceful community into a danger zone.
The problem has become so bad that some residents feel like prisoners in their own homes, too frightened to go out because of the infestation and risk of disease.
Villagers in Auchmithie in Angus, located on the east coast of Scotland, have been overrun by confident rodents who are unafraid around people.
The problem has been ongoing for a year but has become a bigger problem with the onset of warmer weather with around 20 rats reportedly on the loose, reports the Daily Record.
Residents first became aware of the rats in May 2020 when they contacted Angus Council. Surveyors are planning to assess the area this week.
Megan Macfarlane said she was out with her partner just over a month ago when she noticed the rats had returned.
She said: "It wasn't until the first sunny day of the year, me and my partner were outside, sat on the balcony, enjoying a Saturday, when we heard a noise and just noticed rats everywhere. You saw one, then you saw about 20."
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Megan said sightings of rats have increased since that point and villagers have been unable to enjoy their gardens.
She said: "We were sat out the front on Saturday having a barbecue. It was a lovely evening, all the neighbours were out and this rat just appeared.
"I don't know if it was the food smell or whatever, but you can't really do anything without being faced by rats.
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"They're obviously getting more confident and making their way around everywhere pretty much."
Megan said the situation is not improving. She added: "Environmental health has been to my house because I wanted them to see the area affected most, which is at the back of our house.
"We've been once or twice more to check the embankment area, like the banks of the stream, to see if they're nesting anywhere but there are no signs."
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Kerr Mawhirt, who also lives in the village, has concerns about the vermin affecting his grandchildren after he found one in his back garden.
He said: "I had one sitting in my back garden. I'd just come back from the beach with my grandson and we just walked into the back garden and this thing (a rat) is just sitting looking at us and they're not afraid of humans which is rare.
"Obviously it's a worry with the disease that they carry, I'm more worried about my grandkids but we do need to get something sorted out."
Another neighbour, Pat Clegg, said: "We're all in the state now where we do not leave our doors open in case we get unexpected visitors."
Angus Council said staff have been in contact with local residents.
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