Find out where you are most likely to see a rat in Sunderland

Rubbish in High Street West
Rubbish in High Street West

Sunderland dealt with more than six reports of rat sightings a day last year.

New figures show the authority received 2,341 calls in 2017.

Rats spotted in Barnes Park

Rats spotted in Barnes Park

High Street West was the busiest location, with 19 reports, followed by Fletcher Crescent and Saint Andrews with 18, Trafalgar Square with 16, Barack Street with 15, Chester Road, Fordfield Road, Parsons Road and Princes Street with 14 calls each, and Atkinson Road and Silksworth Hall Drive with 13.

Newcastle City Council received the next highest number of reports in the region, with 1,659, just ahead of Durham County Council which received .

Council bosses have urged members of the public to play their part in controlling the rodents' numbers by reporting any sightings and ensuring they do not leave food rubbish lying around.

Coun Amy Wilson, Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, said: "As has already been stated, our city does not have a significant rat problem, and the council encourages residents to report any sightings.

"The council undertakes routine preventative work to suppress the presence of rats across the city and, as also previously mentioned, sightings can be influenced by the weather, such as warm spells or heavy rain.

"The council would also remind residents how they can help to keep rodent numbers down by disposing of their litter and waste appropriately."

Worries have been raised in recent weeks after a number of rat sightings in Barnes Park.

Joe Dunn, from Millfield, said: "We know rats spread some terrible diseases and it’s becoming dangerous to the health of people."

Last year's figure is significantly down on the 2015/16 financial year, when Sunderland was revealed to have more infestations per head than almost any other authority in Britain.

Pest controllers on Wearside responded to 5,304 issues concerning rats at a rate of more than 19 per 1,000 residents – the third-highest in the UK.

Industry body The British Pest Control Association found staffing levels within local authority pest control teams had dropped by almost 25% in the four years since since 2012 and that response rates nationally had plummeted by 33% during the same period.