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Haverhill man, 87, 'cannot afford' to continue keeping rat problem under control




An octogenarian who has single-handedly been doing his best to rid his street of an influx of rats has said he needs help to get the vermin under control.

Cyril Scrivener, 87, said the rats had been getting into the sewer under the alleyway that offers rear access to his house and those of his neighbours – and runs underneath all the bathrooms – in Recreation Road, Haverhill.

The rodents came in various sizes, said Mr Scrivener, but could be as big as 2ft long in some cases.

Cyril Scrivener with one the boxes that he built to help him trap some of the rats. Picture by Mecha Morton
Cyril Scrivener with one the boxes that he built to help him trap some of the rats. Picture by Mecha Morton

In one instance, he said, a neighbour told him a rat had got into their sewage pipe and come out through their toilet bowl into their bathroom – scuttling past them when they opened the door to the room.

The rats also get into his greenhouse

“I’ve had few problems with rats. I’ve killed 18 since Christmas,” said Mr Scrivener.

Cyril Scrivener, 87, next to the manhole cover in the rear yard of his home. Picture by Mecha Morton
Cyril Scrivener, 87, next to the manhole cover in the rear yard of his home. Picture by Mecha Morton

“I have spent about £40 on poison just before Christmas. I’ve seen the (West Suffolk) council and they said they don’t do it (pest control) any more and I said I can’t keep doing it because I’m doing it for other people as well.”

Mr Scrivener said he had been poisoning the rats and disposing of their bodies in his black bin and he sometimes trapped rats before drowning them.

The costs of using poison though is getting too much for him, as he explained. “I don’t mind putting the rat poison down but I can’t keep buying it.

“They should tackle it now. It’s terrible when they come out through your toilet.

“There must be a hole there (in the sewer) where the rats get in.”

A spokeswoman for Anglian Water, which manages the sewerage network, said Mr Scrivener needed to contact them and log the issue after which they could send a technician to use CCTV to see if there were any gaps in the system where the rats were getting in.

If the sewer had any openings Anglian Water would address that but if not then they would tell Mr Scrivener to contact the Environmental Health team at the district council.


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