HOMEOWNERS are paying out for rat removal while their counterparts across the boarder get the same service for free.

And Warrington Borough Council is charging the highest rates for rat removal than others across Cheshire.

To hire its services to remove the vermin a Warrington resident will pay £74.16.

But in Halton the service is free of charge.

Cheshire East Council charges £10 per treatment to rid the pests, and it estimates three treatments are needed.

Cheshire West and Cheshire Council charges £25 for a survey and £25 for three treatment visits while Trafford Council charges £53 for three treatments.

One resident forced to pay out and wished to remain anonymous, said: “Given all the diseases rats can carry and the potential public health issues, this seems somewhat excessive.”

A council spokesman said: “Our pest control team strives to give Warrington residents the best quality service and in comparison to our private competitors we offer a very low cost price.

“It is difficult to compare costs and different services and when we introduced charges in October 2013 we looked at what other unitary authorities were charging and went through a standard charging mechanism so we were in line with them.”