Mom ‘terrified’ in own home overrun by hungry rats gnawing furniture and clothes

Kathryn Bottrill, 28, and her two children fled their home in Seaham, County Durham, where rats scurried under the bathtub and carried poison onto their bed.

Kathryn Bottrill said she had effectively been ‘homeless’ for three weeks after conditions worsened

A mum was terrified of living in her own home where rats took over and caused thousands of pounds of damage.

Kathryn Bottrill, 28, said the rodents gnawed through furniture, clothing and food at the property in Seaham, County Durham.

The single mother said the problem started about nine weeks ago after vermin entered the house via the garden and a void in her attic.

She recounted how the situation has become so dire that the family is no longer able to live there, effectively rendering them “homeless”.

“Hearing the rats at night as I try to fall asleep has been absolutely terrifying. The kids don’t want to be there, they’re absolutely petrified,” Kathryn said.

“It started in the backyard when the rats entered the house from under the shed.

Kathryn said the rats chewed on their clothes


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Vermin caused thousands of pounds of damage


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“Then they started coming in through the attic and kitchen cupboards. They were basically running the house while I was sleeping.

“They destroyed everything in my house. They ate up the sofas, the clothes, everything.”

Kathryn said she and her children have been “homeless, going from house to house” since leaving the property three weeks ago.

She said she had reported the issue to Seaham’s housing association, Believe Housing, which manages the property and that contractors were in the process of filling in any holes which could serve as possible entry points for vermin.

The mother said Durham County Council pest control officers have also visited the property weekly since the problem was reported, but claims the poison used is ineffective.

“They can’t figure out how the rats are getting into the house now,” Kathryn said.

The problem started about nine weeks ago


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The rats entered the property through a hole under a garden shed and another in the attic


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“Pest control was done, but the rats aren’t taking the poison left in the kitchen and the attic. The rats carry the poison all over the house with them and it’s gotten into the kids’ bedding and stuff.

“The couch was completely destroyed along with the clothes, including the children’s school uniforms.”

Kathryn, who had lived on the property for more than a year before the problems started, said she couldn’t even take a bath in the house because rats were moving around below.

“They enter through the attic cavity and go under the tub and through the kitchen cupboards,” she said.

“If I had to take a bath, I would be lying on rat droppings.”

Kathryn uses Believe Housing to relocate the family and cover the cost of damaged items.

“I want to be rehoused and for the [housing association] to pay for all they have destroyed.”

Believe Housing said it understood how upsetting the issue must be and stressed it was continuing to work to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

Nik Turner, Executive Director of Communities and Client Services at Believe Housing, said: ‘A Seaham client informed us of a problem she was having with rats, which we referred to our Durham County specialist contractor. Council.

“Durham County Council addressed the issue and we carried out work to block off rodent access and had the house thoroughly cleaned.

“We were about to start repair work when it was reported that unfortunately the rats had found another way into the property. We have extended our investigations to determine the source of the problem and are working hard to solve it as soon as possible.

“During this period, we have offered the family temporary accommodation, but they have been able to stay with relatives. We understand how upsetting this situation must be and continue to support the client so that the family can return home safely. security and happiness.”

Durham County Council also confirmed it would continue to work to address the rodent problem.

Ian Hoult, Neighborhood Protection Officer for Durham County Council, said: “We are aware of the situation and are carrying out pest control work on behalf of Believe Housing.

“We attempted to resolve the issue through treatment, but were unable to access the property within a number of agreed visits, which is critical to the success of the treatment.

“During the visits we were able to carry out, we identified how the rats could enter the property and provided this information to Believe Housing to facilitate investigations and verification work. We will continue to work with the tenant and Believe Housing to deal with the premises until the problem is resolved.

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