Hilsea man forks out Â£455 forÂ hotel after rat runs over his bed at home
RIPPEDÂ carpet,Â soaring anxiety and maggots coming through the ceiling.Â
These are just a trio of woes Boyd Phipps claims to haveÂ faced sinceÂ he discovered rats at his Hilsea home.Â
The 57-year-oldÂ father-of-two, of Horsea Road, said he was first alerted to the vermin when the smell of rat urineÂ seeped through his bathroom ceiling just over a month ago.Â
ButÂ the rodents have allegedly wreaked havoc sinceÂ '“Â gnawingÂ on his bedroom carpet, chewingÂ through his kitchen ceiling and even scurrying across his bed while he tries to sleep.Â
Despite threeÂ visits fromÂ Portsmouth City Council (PCC), Mr Phipps saysÂ pest controllers '˜have done nothing'Â andÂ has sought desperate measures to get away from the problem.Â
'˜This all started in the bathroom, but when a ratÂ ran across my bedÂ I drew the line. It's disgusting,' said Mr Phipps.Â
'˜When that happened I booked a week at the Best Western in Southsea straight away, which was Â£455.Â
'˜I'm now paying an extra Â£100-a-week on top of that to rent a room round the corner becauseÂ I don't want to be here.'Â
Although theyÂ laidÂ a trap at the back of his garden,Â poison in his loft, on his canvas roof and above his kitchen spotlights, Mr PhippsÂ says PCC pest controllers have failed him.Â
'˜If you were to ask me what I'd rather '“Â winning the lottery or having this problem sorted '“Â I'd say having this sorted,' he said.Â
'˜I just want to be able to live in my houseÂ again. I worked with drains for years and we wereÂ all warned about Weil's Disease, which ratsÂ pass on through urine.'Â
He added: '˜I don't know if it's because of this problem or the worry of it, but we've been having stomach aches for weeks.'Â
While not as severely, two of Mr Phipps'Â threeÂ immediate neighbours said they have also seen rats in their house.Â
One, who works in commercial waste disposal and wishes to remain anonymous, said they '˜feel bad' for Mr Phipps '“Â who lives with hisÂ 54-year-old wife Diane and 26-year-old daughter.Â
Addressing Mr Phipps'Â criticism, Richard Lee, regulatory services manager at PCC, said three visits is '˜standard practice' forÂ pest controllers '“Â with a fourth to the property pencilled in for September 20.Â
He said: '˜On our first visit we placedÂ two external bait stations at the rear of the property. On the second visit we treated the loft and the pitched and flat roofs at the back of the property where we'd be advised that they'd heard rats within roof spaces. On our third visit Mr Phipps wife said that they hadn't seen or heard any rats for four or five days so we believed that the problem was resolved but we treated the areas again as is our standard practice. A fourth appointment has however been scheduled for September 20.
'˜We haven't heard from Mr Phipps directly to advise that there is still an issue and we hadn't been aware to date of any issues in the house, only in the loft and roof areas. Mr Phipps did contact his ward councillor, Cllr Jonas, and following this we tried to contact him to discuss the issue but our call wasn't returned. We can look to bring the September 20 appointment forward if Mr Phipps contacts us to advise that he is still experiencing problems. Our aim is always to resolve these problems as quickly as possible and ensure that customers are happy with the service.
'˜If a council tenant contacts their housing office or the city help desk to advise of pest problems then the council's pest controllers would be booked in. We can work with housing if problems are discovered that are enabling pests to access that property. However, tenants are under no obligation to use our services and can appoint another pest controller.'