A mother was shocked and distressed to discover her newborn child turning blue from the weight of one of the rats that had taken over her home. The 21-year-old, Miss Setchell, reported that the infestation had been ongoing for the past two months, creating chaos and disorder in her home located in Edgwick, Coventry.
The mum-of-four said the problems included rats chewing through skirting boards and leaving faeces on the beds of her children, as well as throughout the house.
The infestation has left her fearful for the safety of her young children, she said.
And, the final straw came in a traumatic incident in which the mum heard her baby “screaming” and went upstairs to find him “smothered by a rat.”
Speaking to CoventryLive, she said: “I went upstairs because he was crying.
“It sounded muffled, so I thought a blanket or something was over his face but there was a massive rat sitting on his face. He literally suffocated.
“He could not breathe. His top lip was blue. It was terrible. I am completely traumatised by it.”
She added: “He literally could have died. If I had not heard his crying, he would have died of being smothered by a rat.”
The traumatised mum said she is now living with her own mother, and her four children are sharing a cramped bedroom.
Her disabled daughter has struggled with the changed of house, she added.
Miss Setchell has now urged housing provider Midland Heart Homes to rid the property of the rats.
She vowed not to return until they had done so, saying: “I am not going back under any circumstances.
“My children will not even step foot in there – my daughter is absolutely petrified.”
The single mum said the issue had persisted for months. Her family was left with ‘nothing’ due to the rodents chewing through their clothes and childrens’ toys.
The 21-year-old said: “I have lost everything. Our belongings have been ruined. All we have got is the clothes on our back.”
Miss Setchell said she had made repeated requests to the housing association to be re-homed. She’s now living with anxiety because of the constant worry.
Her GP wrote a letter about her living conditions being unsuitable, she said. However, Midland Heart Homes hadn’t helped to resolve the situation, she claimed.
The head of Housing Management at Midland Heart, Vicki Brownhill, said: “When Miss Setchell first called us about this issue last Thursday (January 5), we made sure that the next day one of our dedicated housing team contacted her to discuss her issues and begin working with her to see how we could make this situation better.
“We are really sorry that she is experiencing this problem and will do everything we can to support her to make it stop.
“Our specialist pest control officer has already visited her home to investigate this issue and found some evidence of mice outside the property and a treatment plan has been put in place.
“We’re also working with the council to alert them to the issues that are causing pests in this area in the hope that we can all work together to find a long-term solution for not just Mis Setchell but everyone in the area.”