A worried Ayrshire mum has been forced to install motion sensitive cameras in her wee daughter’s bedroom — so she can keep a sharp lookout for rats.
Louise Gunning said she’s been forced to employ the desperate measures to keep two-year-old Leah safe, as the rodents run riot in her rented property.
Part time care assistant Louise revealed how she keeps a nightly watch on the cameras — as the rats sneak in and out of her Rankinston home.
Now she is demanding action from the landlord Shire Housing, who she says have let her down with their preventative measures to keep the rodents out.
Louise, aged 38, from Ravenscroft Place, said she’s been plagued with rats in her home since the run-up to Christmas.
However, she claims she was told the landlord doesn’t deal with rat infestations once they are inside a tenant’s home.
The Ayrshire Live app is available to download now.
Get all the local news in your area – plus features, football news and the latest on the coronavirus crisis – at your fingertips 24/7.
The free download features the latest breaking news and exclusive stories while you can customize your page with the sections that matter to you.
The Ayrshire Live app is available to download now on iOS and Android.
Louise, who lives with husband Christopher, 42, in a three-bedroom semi, revealed: “It’s been an absolute nightmare. They’re been in the cupboards, on the work surfaces and underneath the bath.
“Now I’m not sleeping. I’ve had to put two cameras on my wee girl while she’s sleeping. One faces her and the other detects movements, you just don’t know where they are.
“The can come up any tiny hole and you worry when you hear them scratching about.”
She continued: “We phoned Shire Housing Association on December 22 and were told they don’t deal with it at all, once rats are inside.
“They said they can block off the area where the rats are coming in, but once they do that it’s us who have to deal with the problem inside.”
It’s understood that the rats are coming through a drainage system, installed years ago, but the drainage pipe that leads out of the property remains a point of entry.
Louise said: “The rats are also digging under the slabs and coming into the house. There’s also an area where you can get into the cavities and walls but it’s not been blocked off either.
“We’ve had four running about, which were caught. And on Wednesday we brought out a dead one that was underneath the house after we put poison down.
“Now we’re out of pocket, we’re the ones buying the poison, we’re the ones buying the traps. We shouldn’t be doing that.
“The housing association says there is nothing in the agreement to deal with the issue in the house but the house needs to be liveable and fit for purpose; it’s not.
“It’s also affecting my neighbours. It’s hard to let the kids out the back door as you don’t know what they are going to pick up.”
Louise has now enlisted the help of Citizens Advice and Doon Valley councillor, John Bell.
Cllr Bell said: “I spoke to the Shire Housing Association and argued that, as landlord, they were failing in their duty of care.
“Now Shire Housing Association have employed an outside contractor to eradicate the rats, so it is being dealt with. It’s been a wee bit of a saga but I’m pleased they are dealing with it.”
Jim Munro, director at Shire Housing, said in a statement: “Mr and Mrs Gunning made us aware of this unfortunate situation and we have taken urgent action to deal with this using a specialist pest control contractor.
“Despite East Ayrshire Council having responsibility for pest control, we have visited the family home to assist the residents in dealing with this problem and are taking the necessary steps to eradicate the infestation including inside their home.”
Don’t miss the latest Ayrshire headlines –sign up to our free daily newsletter here
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.