An Irish family of four were forced to flee their home in Belfast after they caught 19 rats in just 24 hours, a newspaper reported on Thursday.
Michael McCann, his wife Paula and their two young children returned back from a holiday to find their home overrun with vermin.
The family believe the rats had swarmed in after their house cat, thought to usually keep the rats away, had been put into a cattery.
McCann said: “I caught eight rats in the first 12 hours of having the traps down, then another four, and over 24 hours I’d caught a total of 19…..They were big, grey rats. The look of them was disgusting and to think they were in our home near our children was awful.”
Mrs McCann said: “The house is owned by the Housing Executive and we’ve done our best to look after it really well despite the damp….
“But these rats are too much to cope with. They’re disgusting and a danger to the health of my entire family and we just cannot stay there.”
The rodents had chewed through electric cables for the washing machine, microwave and kettle in the family’s council-rented house and left faeces everywhere.
Belfast City Council said its team had visited the property and confirmed that 19 rats had been caught at the house, the BBC reported.
A council statement said: “Our environmental health officers and pest control team are aware of the on-going rat problem at the property on Rutland Street.”
“We are working closely with the Housing Executive to resolve the issue to ensure that the property is made habitable again.”