A young mum and her sons have been plagued by rodents which she can't afford to remove.
Sammy Thompson, 28, and her sons aged four, eight and 10, have been forced to live upstairs at their home in Middlesbrough, because of the infestation.
At night they are kept awake by the sound of the animals scuttling around and gnawing on the floors, Gazette Live reported.
Sammy was horrified to discover their nest beneath her living room floorboards and the skull of a decomposed rat near it.
The mum's eight-year-old has had to go and stay with his aunt because he is so traumatised by the nighttime activity.
Sammy, a single mum who claims Universal Credit, has turned to Middlesbrough Council for help.
She says the authority has told her she must bring in pest exterminators herself.
She obtained a quote for £350, a cost that she simply can't afford on her modest income.
Sammy said: "For a family to be forced to live like this in the 21st century is disgusting and unbelievable.
"We're trapped in a house that is infested with rats from top to bottom and I'm stuck in here with nowhere to go and no one willing to help me.
"The council say I have to bring in pest control myself but I can't afford the fees they charge.
"So me and my boys are living upstairs because the downstairs is riddled with them and they carry disease that can cause serious illness, it just isn't safe to live downstairs."
The veracious rodents have gnawed through the kitchen and hallway floor.
She added: "We have our meals in our bedrooms and stay there the whole time.
"At night we're kept awake by the sound of them scratching and chewing and running around in the walls and the attic.
"I want to move but the council say I can't until the rat problem is under control.
"I feel sick with worry for me and the boys and I can't see a way out of it."
Middlesbrough Council scrapped its free pest control provision for private homes as part of a cost-cutting exercise several years ago.
Sammy's house is rented through Home Group.
Steve Heywood, from Home Group, said: “We aren’t aware of this issue but we would certainly investigate it if the customer would like to get in touch with us.”