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The 'rats the size of cats' infesting Crossgar family's roofspace

A father whose loft is infested with "rats the size of cats" for the past four years said he fears for the day they get into his house.

Se McKendry (37), who lives in Crossgar, Co Down, with his wife and four children, has appealed for help as he continues to battle against his unwanted lodgers.

The family's battle against the super-rodents began four years ago when his wife Tara was on maternity leave and she heard something in the ceiling.

He said: "I got up in to the loft myself and caught a glimpse of the big rat running across. The door was shut pretty quick."

Mr McKendry has tried everything to get rid of the rats, with poisoning and live traps.

"The biggest one was the full length of the trap and the tail was still sticking out the back end."

He added: "I had to use a stepladder to get up to the loft.

"I put my arm in and lifting that thing out at eye level – there were a few choice words shouted."

He's killed 59 rats since he started counting a year-and-a-half ago but he said he had found more than that.

The Crossgar man is baffled as to why the vermin have taken up residence in his loft. The insulation was taken out of the Housing Executive property, as the rats were using it as nesting material.

While the rodents now seem to be only in the loft, they were recently found in the garden shed – and this has raised concerns for his young children.

The dad said: "That's the day I dread – when I wake up and bump in to one in the hall. Thankfully they are in the loft, but last week when I opened the shed the rats have got in under the shed and have eaten the whole floor."

Mr McKendry has called on the Housing Executive to help.

"They did come out and inspect for holes or entrance points.

"In October a man came out from Rentokil and said they were coming from the drains.

"He stated the next port of call was to get the Housing Executive to put cameras in the sewers. That was January, the Executive had that worksheet and hasn't done a thing about it from then to now."

A Housing Executive spokeswoman said: "Following a report from the tenant of this property in January, we raised an order for our contractor to carry out treatment to deal with the infestation. This work was completed. Another order has been issued yesterday.

"In addition, we have arranged a meeting at the tenant's home on Monday along with the contractor and a representative from environmental health to try and resolve this serious problem."

Belfast Telegraph