Residents of a seaside town have been left 'living in terror' after being invaded by 'monster' rats 'as big as cats'.

Locals in Tenby, southwest Wales, are concerned the rodents are damaging the cliffs along the picturesque coastline with their burrowing. 

Roger Miles, a boatman in the area, claimed the issue has got more severe in recent months, saying: 'Early evenings, dusk, early morning, rats all over the place really.

'There's a certain area where you see parts of the cliffs at Castle Hill have been eroded.' 

A female rat usually has six litters per year, each consisting of up to 12 rat pups. 

As rats reach sexual maturity four or five weeks after birth, a population of two can lead to a whopping 1,250 in the space of a year, with the potential to grow even more.  

Another local, Derek Brown, told the BBC: 'It's the structural damage they might be doing to the cliff face that is the big worry.' 

The town's mayor, Sam Skyrme-Blackhall, said that the council is 'taking action' by helping to set up dozens of bait boxes to remove the rodents, according to the Metro

However, one local told The Sun: ‘You just can’t kill them quicker than they can breed. Once they’re here, they’re here to stay.'  

A spokesperson for Pembrokeshire Council told the BBC it is 'aware of issues with rodents' and is working to address the problem. 

Meanwhile, the council has urged the public not to feed birds or drop any food. 

Ms Skyrme-Blackhall told the Guardian: ‘There are members of the public who feed the birds, which feeds the rats. They think they are being kind but it’s not helping the issue at all.' 

He added that people are not being responsible and not getting rid of their rubbish correctly by putting food in their general rubbish, meaning the rats find it. 

'The problem is being eradicated as we speak. Yes there have been issues but nothing on the volume that has been out there,' he said. 

MailOnline has contacted Pembrokeshire Council for further comment. 

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2023-03-19T11:16:35Z dg43tfdfdgfd