‘Mice have infested my home and giant rats are burrowing into the wall cavities’

Courtney Godward, 21, from Harehills, Leeds, says she has tried every method possible to rid her house of the pests but faces an untidy nearby dump that keeps the supply going

Ms Godward says the rodent problem in her house impacts her life and her children

A terrified mum-of-three says she is fighting against big rats that are breeding at a nearby house and mice invading her home.

Courtney Godward, 21, from Harehills, Leeds, has tried every method possible to rid her house of the pests but she says an untidy nearby dump keeps the unhealthy supply going.

She told Yorkshire Live she even found one under her newborn baby’s bounce chair.

Ms Godward, whose eldest child is three-and-half-years-old, says the rodent problem in her house impacts her life and her children, who can’t play in their back garden anymore.

“I was sat out having a cig and had a rat run across my feet. Imagine my reaction.

“Now this is stopping my children playing out. I’m spending loads of money trying to put a stop to this nothing is working. You can hear them in the wall cavity and scratching at the skirting on a night.”

The mum says her kids can’t play in the garden anymore



Ms Godward moved into her new home in November 2021 and began facing problems almost immediately.

Ms Godward contacted her landlord straight after and she says his response was quick. She said: “My landlord is brilliant. As soon as I found a mouse she had someone come round to cover up all the holes in my house.”

But Ms Godward says her problems persisted: “They keep chewing. I’ve got holes in my carpet because of them.”

Ms Godward has had several other nasty experiences with mice, including her two-year-old catching another in her bathroom: “I had my newborn home. She was really poorly with jaundice. In and out of hospital. In that time of her being at home she had a mouse under her bouncer chair.”

On two other occasions, Ms Godward was horrified to find her two-year-old had caught a mouse: “There were two on two different occasions the pest control man moved one said it was still alive and he put it in the bin. second one I had to get someone to come and move it was still alive.”

She has had several nasty experiences with the pests



The experience left Ms Godward fearful that her children would get ill. She said: “I hope so too. This is what I said to the council, is it going to take my children to touch one and put their fingers in their mouths and end up in hospital really poorly for them to do something and they replied we cannot comment on that.”

Ms Godward says her nightmares only got worse after she turned to Leeds City Council and the environment health team and claims they sent her from pillar to post, before refusing to help her: “I have emailed multiple times to get help. All different I have spoken to, the head of environmental health, they are not willing to help.

Courtney says an untidy nearby dump keeps the unhealthy supply going



“So where do I go next? All I want is for my kids to have a nice home and be able to play in the garden which they are unable to do at the moment. Rats are dangerous I have to keep everything clean as possible for the kids. I’m frustrated I’m not getting nowhere.”

Besides the rodent problem, Ms Godward is now afraid that the back garden, which has begun to resemble a dumping ground, will have things falling over into her garden: “All of his rubbish keeps coming over into my garden it’s an accident waiting to happen .”

In a written statement, Leeds Council told Leeds Live people must report problems with rats and mice to the council.

A council spokesperson said: “Council services, including pest control, waste management, cleaner neighborhood teams and Housing Leeds continue to work together to make sure pest problems are dealt with as quickly and effectively as possible.

“We would advise anyone experiencing any problems with pests to contact the council as soon as possible so we can offer advice and guidance. Further information about preventing infestations can be found on the council’s website: Pest control (leeds.gov.uk).”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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