A young mum has said she and her three-year-old daughter have been left “trapped” inside their flat by a horrifying infestation of rats in the back garden.
Kayleigh Ormston is too scared to open her window after four years of seeing the vermin scurrying about in her yard.
The 26-year-old says she has seen up to five of the creatures at once in the shared garden of her block of her accommodation in Throckley, Newcastle.
More recently the rats have started eating their way through the bin lids, and this week Kayleigh spotted one crawling on the windowsill where her daughter’s dinner was cooling.
Kayleigh said the problem has persisted for four years despite several visits from pest control, but Your Homes Newcastle, which manages the flat on behalf of Newcastle City Council, said it only received reports of the issue last year.
The stress has led her to request that she and her child be moved into a different property, but her request was turned down.
Kayleigh moved into the building, made up of six flats with a shared back garden, four years ago, becoming a mum to Harley a year later.
“The rats have been a problem ever since we moved in,” she said.
“Envirocall have been out and put pellets down but they’re still coming back - the man who came said they’re just not dying.
“They dug underneath the wall and found that [rats] were under my bathroom floor.
“The man from pest control said it was really bad and that I should get in touch with the council because there’s no way we could stay in those conditions.
“With me having a daughter I can’t be living like that.
“I asked if we could be moved but they said there was nothing they could do.”
Kayleigh added: “It’s got worse this year - they’re just everywhere.
“I see them all the time, every time I look out the window. I’ve seen about five at once.
“My daughter can’t play out, we’re stuck in constantly. I don’t want to be here at all.
“They’ve started eating their way through the bin lids now as well.”
She said the most terrifying incident came this week when she saw one crawling on her windowsill.
“I went to put my daughter’s dinner on the windowsill to cool down and it was there. I just slammed the window shut and screamed.
“Now we’ve got the windows shut all the time as we’re too scared, so there’s no air getting into the flat.
“I just can’t be comfortable and safe in my own home.”
Jen Vinton, customer services director at Your Homes Newcastle, said: “Ms Ormston contacted us in July 2020 to report rats on communal land outside her property and we visited three times during July 2020 and August 2020 to carry out a course of pest control treatment along with a follow-up inspection to ensure the treatment had been effective.
"We have received no further reports from Ms Ormston since then, however we have recently carried out a new course of pest control treatment following new reports of rats from other residents in the area and we will be monitoring the situation closely.
"We also intend to carry out a range of planned repairs to drainage and brickwork in the area to prevent any further issues.
“We appreciate how distressing it can be to see rats near your home and we will continue to do everything we can to help manage the problem.
“We are aware of Ms Ormston’s desire to move and encourage her to continue bidding for suitable properties through the Tyne and Wear Homes scheme she is registered with.”