By Liam Geraghty
A mum-of-seven claims hundreds of FOOT LONG rats have forced her to flee her infested home after they scoffed £2,500 worth of carpets, worktops and furniture.
Carla Hazlett, 41, alleges the rodents have chewed her possessions and left droppings and urine all over her children’s clothes.
The full-time mum, from Bootle, Liverpool, has a photo of one of the rats next to 19-year-old son Steven’s shoe – proving the monsters have grown up to 30cm long from head to tail.
Carla, who has lived in the property with Steven and other children Scott 14, Simi 10, Summer, eight, Seren, seven, Sunny, three and Spencer, two, for two years, claims she first spotted the vermin 18 months ago.
And she alleges after complaining to Sefton Council’s pest control department she was initially told the home invaders were actually MICE.
The terrified mum has even had her kids tested for Weil’s disease – a severe bacterial infection passed on by rats causing flu-like symptoms – after son Sunny fell ill.
Carla said: “There are hundreds of rats and they are into absolutely everything. I can hear them in the walls and ceilings and they have dug holes in the cellar.
“I have found rat droppings and urine on my kids’ clothes in the cupboards so I have had to throw everything out.
“The rats have chewed all my carpets and it has cost me thousands – I had carpeted the house for £1,000 and I had to put a £1,500 three-piece suite outside because there were rat droppings all in it.
“It has left me with absolutely nothing and I am at my wits’ end. I came into the house with all my stuff and now all I have remaining is two beds, two units, a goldfish tank stand, a television stand and a TV.
“The first time I saw one of the rats, I froze – there was two of them on the worktop in the kitchen just eating the cereal left over from the kids’ breakfast in the morning.
“I knew that they were rats straight away – I am not stupid and mice don’t eat your carpets.
“It has just got worse and worse – I have been sat on the bed before just watching them run around me.”
Carla claims once the rats started gnawing the fixtures and fittings, she pleaded with landlords One Vision Housing to let her leave the property while Sefton Council pest controllers cleared them out.
The housing association has now sorted a three bedroom property for the family to move into temporarily.
But Carla claims the infestation has caused health problems for her children and is particularly concerned for Simi, who is deaf and has dyspraxia and ADHD, as well as autistic son Scott.
She was due to move into her new property yesterday (THURS) after One Vision confirmed they had fixed issues with the utilities.
Carla said: “The situation has been difficult for the kids and I have had to get them all tested for Weil’s disease.
“It is really disruptive for them and they need to have their own space so moving to a smaller property is not helpful.”
A One Vision Housing spokesperson said: “While Sefton Council Environmental Health is treating the property in Oriel Road for the eradication of pests, we have offered the family temporary housing in a nearby address.
“Unfortunately, we did not have any five bedroom homes available, and were only able to offer a three bedroom home, which Ms Hazlett accepted during a recent meeting with her neighbourhood officer.
“We understand that Ms Hazlett had issues with her electricity provider on Monday, however our maintenance team returned to the property on Tuesday to turn on the gas and hot water supplies to the temporary property.
“We understand that this temporary situation is not ideal, however we will continue to support the family’s return to their property.”
A spokesman for Sefton Council said: “The property belongs to One Vision Housing and was visited by one of our pest control offices on January 31, who laid the appropriate amount of bait to deal with the rodent activity.
“We have not received any further requests from One Vision Housing or the tenant regarding the issue. However, a member of the team will be following up with the resident in light of this recent information.”