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A terrified family-of-four has revealed the horror of being forced to live in a rat-infested council house.
Mum Carla Conway and her two kids have even had to sleep in a caravan because they're too scared to spend the night in their home.
She has bought a dog to catch the rats in a desperate bid to fend the rodents off, but despite the Jack Russell Sadie killing about 30 over the last few months, the infestation has continued.
The 36-year-old, from Whitehouse Road, Abbey Hulton in Staffordshire, said she has repeatedly contacted Stoke-on-Trent City Council about the problem, StokeOnTrentLive reports.
She says the property is not fit to be lived in, with other problems including large patches of dry rot and a weevil infestation in her son’s bedroom.
Carla, who lives at the house with partner, Adam Hulme, and her two children Kain, aged 15, and Brooke, 11, said: “For the last eight years we have been plagued by rats as soon as the weather warms up – not just in the garden but inside the house.
"There are holes in the outside cavities where they can freely get in.
“It’s disgusting. Me and my partner suffer with our mental health. He hasn’t eaten a meal in the house for months because every time you pull a plate out of the cupboard there is rat droppings on it.
"We’ve spent our life savings, we are constantly eating out and having takeaways because the kitchen is unfit to use.
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“We have been staying in a caravan at the side of the property because it’s so bad at night. My daughter is terrified and Adam’s children won’t stay here.
“I ended up getting a Jack Russell to use her as a working dog and she has been catching the rats – she has been a lifesaver.”
Carla says she has come home to find her house flooded after rats have chewed through her pipes, and gone through four washing machines and two tumble driers in the past few years.
She added: “They have destroyed appliances, wrecked the kitchen. I’ve had to replace the kitchen floor and carpets. If you open the kitchen door before 6am you can see them running all over the place.
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“I've lost count of the number of times I’ve phoned the council about it. They send someone out but then nothing gets done.
“It’s not just the rats, there are so many problems with the house. We have had radiators fall off the walls, leaks, dry rot, unsafe windows, and weevils in my son’s room. The council just fobs us off.
“Mentally it has taken its toll on us and I don’t know where to turn.”
The council said it was carrying out "repairs" at the property.
Councillor Carl Edwards, cabinet member for housing, said: “The recent report of a rat infestation at the property is the first we have received since 2016. A full inspection was completed on Thursday, April 22 and repairs are currently being carried out.
"Ward councillor Melanie Baddeley spoke to the resident on Tuesday and Ms Conway confirmed that she was happy with the programme of works being carried out by Unitas.”
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