Edinburgh mum says rat invasion forced her to move children out of home

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The mum says the rats have been terrorising her family for well over a month.

A mother-of-two in Edinburgh's Wester Hailes area has been forced to moved her family out of their home after a plague of rats started eating their furniture.

Hayley Oswald, 32, has stayed in her flat in Clovenstone for almost five years but says that ever since her block was refurbished there has been a vermin problem.

Hayley Oswald, 32, has stayed in her flat in Clovenstone for almost five years but says that ever since her block was refurbished there has been a vermin problem.

READ MORE: This is why you should rat-proof your home as soon as you can - and how to do it

Hayley Oswald, 32, has stayed in her flat in Clovenstone for almost five years but says that ever since her block was refurbished there has been a vermin problem.

Ms Oswald said the rats had been terrorising her family for well over a month and feels as though her housing agency, Prospect, has not supported her adequately with the pest control issue.

She said: “They have been coming in through the holes in the floors and I think the kitchen floor is needing ripped up as it seems like they are nesting there. My floors and carpet are being eaten and now they have started to eat into my furniture in the living room.

Hayley Oswald says the rats have eaten through her furniture.

Hayley Oswald says the rats have eaten through her furniture.

“My son saw one in the kitchen when we were in the house on Saturday and was really upset by it.”

Ms Oswald, along with her ten-year-old son and three-year-old daughter who she has asked the Evening News not to name, have had to stay with her sister, who also lives with her partner and six kids.

She said that her daughter’s eczema, and her asthma has flared up with all of the stress of sharing a house between eleven people.

She added that when she contacted Prospect housing, all they could do was offer guidance for keeping the flat clean and to state that she should fill in any holes that she noticed in the property. However, Prospect has disputed this as it states that it is company policy to send around a joiner to deal with any holes through which rats may enter the property.

Prospect does accept that it is unable to arrange for pest control and that it is the tenant’s responsibility to contact someone to deal with the pest problem.

Ms Oswald, said: “I was advised to lay traps and poison but so far none of it has worked. I was quoted £125 that I do not have by a pest control company.

“It all started when the refurb was taking place and the rats have just never left. I feel abandoned by everyone as I am having to deal with this on my own.”

A spokesperson for Prospect Community Housing, said: “As a community based housing association, we support our tenants in a wide range of ways. When our tenants are faced with pest control challenges, we give advice such as keeping the property and garden tidy and clean, and making sure there is no food on the floor. We support our tenants to do this. We also block up any holes in the property to prevent vermin access.

“We take a similar approach to other housing associations in the city to encourage tenants to contact pest control services where individual properties are affected. However, if there is a vermin issue which affects a number of our properties, we instruct pest control services accordingly. We always encourage our tenants to work with us in such situations.”