Londonderry residents terrified by rat problems

Londonderry residents terrified by rat problems

Residents in an area of Londonderry say they are terrified because their homes have become overrun by rats.

Several families in Kinsale Park are said to be affected, with one mum saying she may be forced to leave.

Despite work being carried out to tackle the problem residents say urgent action is needed.

A DUP councillor has called for a “proper investigation” into the problem.

Nicky Burke and her four children are one of the families living in the area.

“I have a daughter of 11 and she is ready to pack her bags and leave home because of this,” she told BBC Radio Foyle.

“Rats are in my attic, the wall cavity, they are coming up the piping, in my ceiling and under my floorboards. On Sunday night I could hear one scraping under my bed,” she added.

Her eldest daughter has told her mum that “this is no longer a home, it is a skip rat home”.

“Had I somewhere to go I would be away,” she said.

Her home is owned by Apex Housing Association.

An Apex spokeswoman said remedial work was carried out at the property in late October before being contacted again by Nicky in early November.

“Apex undertook a camera survey of the drainage, cavities and pipework of the property but found no obvious entry points. Our contractor has deployed a rigorous baiting programme and have been in regular attendance since the initial report,” she said.

She added: “Apex will continue to work with the other property owners of the group of houses and Environmental Health to eradicate this issue.”

Lyndsay O’Brien lives on the same row of homes as Nicky. She said rats have been a problem for a number of months.

She realised she also had rodents in her house when food went missing from her kitchen cupboards.

Two adult rats have been caught, and work done by her landlord, the Housing Executive, to block off entry points to her home.

But the problem persists. Droppings and urine can be seen in the attic of her home.

“Every wee noise you here, you are on edge because you know what it is,” she said.

The Housing Executive said they “have carried out remedial work at this property, including sealing any possible access points and checking nearby manholes”.

DUP councillor David Ramsey said around five families in the same row of homes are affected.

“I have seen what these families are going through, their children are screaming at night. Their nerves are wrecked.

“It is quite clear the issue is the entry points. There needs to be a proper investigation done on these houses,” he said.

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