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Rats force family out of their council-rented home

A young couple who filmed a huge rat infestation in their home have had to leave the house for up to a week while the swarming rodents are cleared out.


Ross Ashton and Rebecca Asquith have been blighted by rats and mice teeming through their Leigh home since May, leaving droppings and urine throughout and chewing up carpets and cupboards.

Pregnant Rebecca Asquith and partner Ross Ashton with 10-month-old Lola, Ava, three, and Isabella, two

Pregnant Rebecca Asquith and partner Ross Ashton with 10-month-old Lola, Ava, three, and Isabella, two

And their woes went viral earlier this week after the couple shared videos and images of the vermin running around the house, which they believe had entered via a damaged drainpipe.

Rebecca, 23, posted the footage online after reaching “breaking point” over concerns for the health of her three children Lola, Ava and Isabella.

Ross, 22, even revealed that Rebecca - who is 33 weeks pregnant - had almost gone into labour twice due to the stress of the situation.

But confusion continued to reign today over the circumstances behind the problem, after the council quickly responded to the video, saying it was “treating the matter seriously and urgently”.

They claimed the rodents were attracted to the property by mounds of rubbish outside, but the family insisted they had only placed the rubbish bags outside on the advice of the council, so it could be removed.

In a statement released on Tuesday morning, the town hall also detailed what they had been doing to help the family.

They said it was “unacceptable” for the family to be living with the creatures, and they had moved into a hotel - a stay which lasted just one night as the establishment was “fully booked”.

Fortunately, the family have now secured temporary accommodation while the council conducts a deep clean of the property.

Paul Barton, director for environment at Wigan Council, said: “We have offered temporary rehousing for the family to allow our pest control team to undertake further work in the house and to help with this we did arrange overnight stay at a hotel.

“Our homes team are now working with the family to arrange further suitable accommodation whilst work to tackle the rat infestation, deep clean the property and to clear the gardens so that we are in a position to move the family back in their home as soon as we can.”

Councillors Paul Maiden and Bob Brierley visited the family before earlier in the week, with Coun Maiden describing the handling of the situation as “disgraceful” and that “it’s a wonder nobody is seriously ill.”