A Harrow councillor is urging the community to "bring pride back" to the borough after a video of hordes of rats in the town centre went viral.
The video, initially shared on #Fixit Harrow Network Facebook group, showed at least 10 rats rummaging in bin bags in Greenhill Way, jumping into the bags from a wall around shrubbery.
Independent councillor, Georgia Weston, met the clean team on Tuesday (July 25) as they set out to tidy up and rid the area of the vermin.
She said: "They just started ripping off the shrubs and the rats were running out through their tunnels underneath.
"They were jumping out and running off.
"There were builders nearby who said they were planning on putting similar shrub holders in but I think they've changed their mind after seeing this."
One nearby wheelie bin, when opened, released 14 rats in one go.
The shrub bed had been providing a perfect breeding ground for the rats, and after inspection, Cllr Weston found dozens of holes within the bed - showing a network of the pests had been living within.
"In the 1990's, there used to be flower beds, but the cut backs on maintenance meant they were replaced with shrubs, which are really easy to maintain", she said.
"But it means rats dig underneath and make their homes.
"It didn't help in this case that you've got takeaways and people chucking their leftover food out nearby.
"If food hygiene is low, and businesses are leaving food waste out the back of shops, it's going to attract foxes and rats.
"They're just not taking care of where they're disposing of waste."
The rat-filled shrub bed is located at the back of Harrow's main thoroughfare of shops, where waste is usually kept until collection day.
Harrow Council removed tonnes of soil and foliage and treated the area to ensure the vermin do not return.
Problems caused by people not caring about their local area has motivated Cllr Weston, and the Fixit Harrow network, to suggest new ways of improving the area - such as replacing shrub beds with artwork.
She added: "I think we need to bring pride back to Harrow.
"It seems to me that people don't have any pride in where they live, with people dumping down the backs of alleyways.
"We need to think of more inventive ways to keep the borough clean, safe and happy.
"Fixit Harrow makes people aware that there are other people out there who care.
"We're urging the council to think of other options to make Harrow a vibrant town, and urging people to come up with innovative ideas that we can put into the borough."
In response to the footage, Councillor Graham Henson, Harrow's cabinet member for environment, said: " This is a huge problem that we are addressing urgently.
"We are putting in more rat traps in the area and we’ll also be talking to local traders to check that they are disposing of waste properly."
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