St Albans man forced to barricade rat in cupboard during infestation
PUBLISHED: 12:00 11 August 2019
A St Albans man was forced to barricade a rat in his cupboard after he claims reports of the infestation were not taken seriously.
Lee Sharman said he has spent six months complaining to Hightown Housing Association about a rat infestation on the balcony of his second-floor flat on Lemsford Road.
A pest professional came and set traps after the initial complaint, but they proved ineffective and his further complaints were dismissed, Lee claims.
Until now the rats have stayed almost exclusively on the balcony and not done any more harm than ruining Lee's planters - eating his flowers, stealing his strawberries, and digging up his potatoes.
However, the problem ramped up a notch when he found a rat in the house.
It had got in when Lee left the balcony door open to ventilate the property in the recent heatwave.
Lee was woken up at about 3am by rustling noises: "In my opinion, it was only a matter of time because they were always on the balcony - and Hightown had just said 'prove it.'"
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His girlfriend's grandchildren, aged one and seven, were asleep in the house when the rat got in.
"The grandchildren weren't awake and I didn't tell them what happened because it would frighten them," the 57-year-old said.
"It's horrible, we have got flowers on the balcony and I had strawberries growing there, but they nicked them.
"They didn't take the tomatoes, because they are hanging, but they dug up the potatoes."
Chasing the rat down the hallway, Lee barricaded it in a 10 inch wide cupboard and called a professional to take it away.
Lee said while he was waiting, he could hear the rat climb up the door trying to escape. He said all he wants is the housing association to sort the rat problem.
A spokesperson for Hightown Housing Association said: "The managing agent responsible for the whole estate was made aware of the report of rats and they arranged for pest control work to be carried out.
"In addition, Hightown arranged for rat traps to be laid in the vicinity of the flat until the issue appeared to be resolved. When the resident informed us of a rat entering the building we quickly arranged for it to be removed.
"It is important that residents do not leave food outside or on their balconies as this attracts vermin."