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Central streets in Alicante appear to have been invaded by rats. Footage on social media showed rats darting around the streets.
In a Twitter video shared by resident Héctor Espinosa, a daring rat crosses a road at a busy junction.
The rodent seems entirely uninterested in the horrified residents watching its progress through the city centre.
At one point a man can be seen chasing the rat as it hurries along the side of the pavement.
The brazen rat doesn’t seem to take much notice of the man, continuing its journey in broad daylight.
Héctor Espinosa tweeted: “Alicante is full of rats.”
Although this rat was caught on video, residents have reported sightings of the creatures all across Alicante.
Horrified residents have reportedly lodged several formal complaints with the local council.
Rats have been spotted at a children’s playground in the city centre, prompting fears for public health.
The residents said that despite the pressure on the local authorities, “nothing effective has been done.”
In July, a Twitter user posted another video of several rats running free and said: “Alicante, city, beach and rats.”
Javier Macho replied: “Let’s see if we clarify things, it is not an incident but a plague associated with the fact that the city is so dirty, abandoned and full of garbage that is it already, in essence, a perfect landfill.”
A study by BMC Public Health exposed the health risks caused by excessive rat populations in cities.
According to the research, rats negatively impact the mental and physical health of populations.
It found that around a quarter of people had observed significantly more rats in their local area than before the pandemic.
In November, the National Association of Environmental Health Companies issued a warning over black rats in Spain.
Residents are advised not to feed stray animals to stop the rats accessing any waste food.
People have also been warned to put their rubbish in secure bins. Black rats are listed as an invasive exotic species in Spain.
Rat populations have exploded during lockdowns with horrifying reports of rats emerging from toilets in offices.
It can be very difficult to get populations under control as they reproduce rapidly and can evade simple traps.
Alicante is a top British tourist destination and is also very popular with retired British expats looking for sun and sea.
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