The landlord never got round to fixing my heating and hot water and so a group of my friends paid for someone to come round. He took one look in my kitchen and said that rats had eaten through the wires which go into the boiler. He said that there were rat droppings behind the kitchen cabinets and that it was one of the worst infestations he had ever seen. He said that rats spread disease and he didn’t even want to spend half an hour in the flat and told me that he felt that the kids would get really sick if they stayed.
I thought that we had mice but I was very upset that he told me it was rats. He told me to block any holes that I saw and I tore up an old shirt that I had and used newspaper as well to try to do this. I got so worried about the rats that I brought all the children into my bed because I didn’t like the thought of them coming near the children at night. I also started thinking that I could hear them gnawing and find it hard to sleep at all now.
We are using plug-in heaters that my friends lent me and having to go and wash and wash the children’s clothes at my best friends house. The children all have terrible coughs because it is so freezing for this time of year. We are cold and I have the extra worry of the rats. I have phoned the landlord and the letting agency and although the girls on the phone at the agency are always very sympathetic and their voices sound very kind they never actually do anything.