Saturday, May 21, 2022
In BriefTraumatised boy keeps drawing pictures of rats after council house gets infestated

Traumatised boy keeps drawing pictures of rats after council house gets infestated

A TRAUMATISED young boy is obsessively drawing pictures of the rats that have infested his home – and which his mother fears could kill him.

Ethan Rhind, six, has created dozens of pictures of rats and even doodles the creatures while at school.

The boy from Lochgelly, Fife, suffers from a rare genetic disorder which weakens his immune system and makes him particularly vulnerable to potentially fatal diseases carried by the rodents.

His mother, Susan Rhind, 42, has now fled the property which the local council shockingly claims is still fit for purpose.

Ethan, 6, pictured with his mum, Susan

Susan, who quit a university degree course to care for her son, has captured video of the rats, one of which has a body as big a house brick.

The family watch the pests scurrying across the bins and along the pavements daily.

And at least one rat even made its way inside the house – only to be caught and destroyed by a friends dog.

Susan said: “He keeps drawing pictures of the them, both at home and at school. He’s even drew the whole family of them, a mum, a dad, brothers, sisters, the whole lot.

One of the drawings Ethan has put together along with dozens of others.

“He’s obsessed with them. He must be dreaming about them at night and he’s done about 20 drawings, all very detailed.”

She added: “I’m frightened the diseases they carry in their urine could kill him. He can’t go into the back garden.

“Even when he’s been wanting to go out the back to get his push along bike, he’s terrified and won’t go unless I’m with him because he’s scared.

“The size of them would suggest they’ve been here a lot longer than a couple of weeks. I’d say they’re about the size of a Ribena bottle, a 500ml one.”

Ethan suffers from chromosome 22 Q11 duplication which has left the youngster with back and leg pain, speech problems and some learning difficulties.

The rare genetic disorder leaves lowers his immune system making him more susceptible to picking up infections and fighting off illness.

Susan revealed this morning she was fleeing the property after spotting more young rats – claiming that pest control has not been working.

She added: “I’m now homeless. I spotted another one this morning and then more baby ones.

“The fact that they’ve not been killed off by pest control and breeding faster is too much.

The youngster has been left terrified by the rats and even draws pictures of them at school.

“For me to stay here would just be stupid, especially for my son. He was put on antibiotics last week and is still unwell so I can’t risk his health. He has a poor immune system.”

Last September Fife Council controversially began trialling monthly bin collections instead of the usual weekly or fortnightly pick up.

At the time some residents expressed concerns there could be a raise in vermin during the year long trial.

Back in 2012 figures revealed that pest control officers received almost 60,000 reports over a ten year period.

The figures showed that Scotland’s four biggest cities received an average of 16 calls a day from people reporting infestations of the rodents.

Susan revealed that the council – only after being contacted by the press – had agreed to put them in a B&B.

Fife Council’s housing manager, Russel Gray, said: “Pest control are on the case and we responded to the complaint about rats in the area within one working day.

“Our pest control team are currently working in and around the property to make sure all rats are eliminated from the area.

“This work will be finished as soon as possible but, in the meantime, we are working with our tenant to find alternative temporary accommodation until the problem is completely resolved.”

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