Residents of a Tynedale village have got unwelcome visitors moving into their gardens – rats.

Carl Smith, who lives on Millersfield in Acomb, said that rats were nesting in several gardens on the street due to the build-up of rubbish in the area.

The properties are rented from housing association Karbon Homes, and Carl said the association had told him that it did not have the facilities to remove the rats and was the responsibility of Northumberland County Council.

Carl said the infestation had been going on for around four weeks and people were now taking things into their own hands and laying poison.

He said: “People don’t realise how dangerous poison can be, but with no action from Karbon Homes and the council refusing to take action, there is no alternative.”

However, Michael McGrath, head of operations north at Karbon Homes said: “The comfort and safety of our customers is important to us. We’ve been made aware of a problem with rats in a garden in Acomb and we’re sending out a pest controller to investigate and hopefully resolve the problem.”

And a Northumberland County Council spokesman added: “We have received reports about rat problems in Acomb, and an officer has visited and provided advice to residents and the parish council. We have also offered and put in place a treatment service in some properties where residents have requested this.

“The council can provide free advice and a full range of chargeable pest control services for residential and commercial properties. There is advice on our website about preventative steps that people can take to reduce the risk of being affected by a pest infestation, including checking sheds and making them secure and removing any outdoor food sources.”