A family-of-six lie in bed and listen to dozens of rats scurrying around their house because the local council won’t remove them, they claim.
Father-of-four Darren Langabeer, from Llanelli, South Wales, says he has pleaded for help to get rid of the rodents tearing through the attic of his home for the past 16 years.
The exhausted 49-year-old and his family first became aware of the infestation after waking up to find they had gorged themselves on the food in their kitchen, Wales Online reports.
And, the creatures are still unwelcome guests 16 years later despite Darren making several complaints to Carmarthenshire Council and other authorities, he said.
Darren recalled on one occasion 58 rats were removed from the home.
An executive board member for the local authority told Wales Online they are working with the tenant to resolve the rat issue.
But Darren, who now wants people to know the hell he’s living in, says the rats have chewed through cables in the attic, leaving his family without electricity upstairs.
They’ve had to search about in the dark with phone torches, he said.
Darren says the infestation is ruining any attempts the couple make to keep the home looking good.
They also feel the rodents are putting their children at risk and that it’s no longer a safe environment.
Their son was pushed to move out after being unable to bear the constant sound of rats chewing and scuttling under the floor boards.
And it’s not only his son who has been forced out. The whole family chose to leave three months after they moved in because the rats had been eating things in the kitchen.
The 49-year-old believes the rats gained an easy route into the property through the drainpipes as they haven’t been capped off.
He said: “They’ve sent people with bait and we’ve had to move out because they’ve previously killed rats and they’ve gone under the floor boards and the stench is absolutely horrendous to be honest. The council don’t seem to care because they don’t live here.”
Darren works in Llanelli for Japanese automotive company Calsonic Kansei and his wife is an NHS worker at the Prince Phillip Hospital.
The rats keep the couple awake through the night when they hear them chewing through the attic floorboards, he said.
He added: “It sounds like there’s cats in the attic with the amount of noise they make. “
Darren has three daughters between the age of 13 months and 15 years old, who have heard the incessant racket their whole lives.
“They get scared because they think people are in the house because they can hear the rats in the attic.
“We can’t sleep, the girls convince themselves that the rats are under the beds and it does fear the girls but it’s become second nature to them hearing the horrible creatures running around the house.
“If you want to go into the attic, there’s a large amount of rat droppings that are dropping on the floor and I’ve got a child here.”
Darren says the council have sent exterminators to the property who tried to kill off the infestation. On one occasion 58 rats were removed from the home.
On another, the rats had eaten through fire, smoke, and carbon monoxide alarms.
After 16 years of rodent issues, he feels Carmarthenshire County Council are now trying to brush the problem away.