A SCOTS family says a “city of rats” is living beneath their home – keeping them awake at night by constantly scratching at the walls.
Lorraine Paterson said she had heard rodents screaming as they died in tunnels underneath her home in Lochgelly, Fife.
The 30-year-old dental nurse and mum of two said she noticed rats in her garden after moving to the property four years ago.
But in recent months the rodents have increasingly ventured into the house, even making it into the attic where they have urinated on the family’s belongings.
Lorraine’s daughter, Evie, five, is to traumatised she has started having nightmares about being bitten by rats.
And the family dog, Milo, has started ripping up carpets to try to get to the invaders.
Lorraine, who also a son, Ellis, one, has taken a chilling video in which the rats can clearly be heard bumping along inside the wall cavities.
Despite the family’s torment, the housing association from which rents the property claim the rats pose no risk because they are beneath the property.
Lorraine said: “I’ve had them inside the property for about the past three months now but we’ve had them in the garden for about four years.
“I’ve heard stories of them being three streets away and apparently they breed really quickly so that must be why the situation has got worse.
“I can actually hear them dying in the cavities. I was hearing noises, like squeals and a thud, the pest controller said that will be the sound they make before they die.”
She added: “They’re really big so could easily scratch through the walls. If it wasn’t for my dog, Milo they would be in here, crawling all over the kitchen and the rest of the house.
“He’s traumatised by the whole thing. My dog walker has even said they’ve seen a difference in him.
“He’s really unsettled and just won’t settle in his bed at night when the rats come alive. He’s ripped up the carpet trying to get to them.
“There’s hundreds of tunnels underneath the houses, full of them. They’ve basically got a city under there. The pest controller said they’re well established so this will just keep going on. We just have to try and get them out.
“They’re leaving a horrendous smell in the house, it’s like death. They’ve been in the attic too and peeing all over the stuff up here. I was told they will travel upwards to escape Milo.
“I’ve now got a new problem because my daughter keeps waking up saying she’s having nightmares that rats are biting her.”
Ore Valley Housing Association, who called in pest controllers to the property, claim the rats offer no health risk as they are beneath the property.
Lorraine added: “They’re not going to rehouse us because they say they are dealing with the problem.
“We’ve found about six inside the house so far but he’s been finding ones that aren’t in the traps too.
“The problem is obviously bigger than my house. Something needs to be done. I’m living an absolute nightmare.”
Colin McInnes, housing manager at Ore Valley Housing Association, said: “We referred the matter to a pest control company.
“The contractor feels there is no health risk to the tenant as the rats are beneath the property rather than inside.
“The contractor also feels that for some reason the rats are prevalent in the area. We want to find out if there is a wider issue, so we’ve been in touch with the council.”
Dawn Jamieson, Fife Council environmental team manager, said: “We have been asked by Ore Valley Valley Housing to carry out a survey in the surrounding area.
“This will be done as soon as possible and we’ll report back to Ore Valley.”