RATS have been causing a living nightmare for a Castle Gresley family who have been living with an infestation for the last five years.
Oliver Felthouse, his wife Nicola and their two-year-old daughter Phoebe have been plagued by scratching and holes for years – but now they have started to see the rodents they are getting to the end of their tether.
They have tried using traps, called out environmental health officers and even endured a year of rat poisoning treatment from pest control company Rentokil. However, nothing has worked, and they are now desperately seeking held to solve their ratty riddle.
Mr Felthouse, 32, told the Mail: “It’s just awful. I’m worried for my wife and my daughter. She’s asking a lot of questions, and, because she’s only little, if she sees something she doesn’t know not to play with it.
“We’re living on a knife edge now we have seen them. We’re worried to death that more could get in somewhere.”
The problems started about 10 months after Mrs and Mrs Felthouse moved into their Princess Street home. They heard scratching in the walls, which, over time, came progressively worse and worse.
They called the council out, but the work carried out by officers had little effect. Since then, they have tried a monthly course of rat poisoning and have had water company Severn Trent out on several occasions to see if the problem is in the sewers, but nothing has done the trick.
The family discovered a hole in the side of the terraced house, and blocked it up to stop the animals getting in, but that did not work either.
A few weeks ago, the problem escalated, as Mr Felthouse saw a rat come straight out of the fireplace and into the living room. The pests have since ransacked the kitchen, eating through packets and leaving mess all over the place.
He has now bricked up the fireplace and put traps in the kitchen.
Mr Felthouse said: “When my daughter asks what the noise is, we just have to keep telling her it’s Bob the Builder working away.
“I just can’t get any answers. We’ve got nowhere to turn to and we can’t afford to keep throwing money away on fixing this.”