Mandy Bentley, of Marrowbrook Lane, has lived with the vermin invading her house on and off and has been attempting to liaise with Pavilion Housing Association to stop the pests.

“I don’t know where to turn now,” she said. “Every time I try to ring them they either don’t answer or say they’ll call me back and don’t bother.

“The council have come and laid traps and poison to kill the rats but they leave it and don’t come back until I call complaining of the terrible stench the dead rats cause.

“It’s absolutely awful — I am under a lot of stress at the moment and this is really affecting my quality of life.”

The rats have also started to invade houses on either side of Mrs Bentley, making their way into their upstairs bedrooms and bathrooms.

As a result she has enlisted the help of neighbour and local Rushmoor councillor John Wall to help make representations to the council.

He said: “Pavilion have the responsibility for sorting this problem out — and it’s a pretty poor show.

“I am 110% behind the residents on this one — I think it’s terrible.

“I live in the same block of houses and am concerned that it is only a matter of time before the rats reach my house — they are probably already underneath it.

“When the Bentleys moved in they had young children who have obviously had to grow up with the rats running in and out. Rats carry all sort of diseases on them — it’s awful that Pavilion haven’t sorted it out yet.”

Mrs Bentley added: “My health is really suffering as a result of this problem — I just want it to go away. I don’t want to live like this.”

Neither Mrs Bentley or Cllr Wall knows where the problem is stemming from.

“I have a vested interest in this,” said Cllr Wall, “Pavilion have really got to get their act together.

“I don’t know what the long-term solution is, but the onus is on them to do it.”

Helen Lolley, environ-mental health manager at Rushmoor Council, said: “There is certainly a problem there that we need to deal with.

“In this area it does seem as though we are going to have to go further than simply laying down poison.

“We are trying to encourage Pavilion to carry out works to identify where the rats are coming from and how they are getting into the houses.

“Tests need to be done on the drains and walls for example to find if there is a leak or holes where they can gain access.”

However, Pavilion insist they have been on hand to try to combat the problem. They say it is an ongoing situation.

Tests have been carried put at various properties in Marrowbrook Lane to try to determine the origin of the rats and the reason they are rife in this particular area.

Dawn Matthews-Smith, operations director said: “We understand that it is clearly very disruptive for the people living in the house and appreciate that it is very distressing.

“We are continuing to investigate the problem. We have put cameras down the drains for example and taken up floorboards but have not found where they could be coming in from.”

She added this is a recurring problem and one that frequently happens around this time of year, probably due to the cold, damp conditions and the disruption to their natural habitat caused by the Solartron site development.

Stressing that Pavilion has acted upon the problem at the house each time it is reported, she said: “The property hasn’t been with us for the 15 years the residents have had this problem as Pavilion is only seven years old.

“We have put in a lot of work, but it is an extensive problem that we are tackling.”