Major rat infestation at estate flats leaves Sheffield family ‘scared to go to bed’ at night

A Sheffield mum says she doesn’t want to live in her flat any more after the block became overrun with rats.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 7:57 am

Mum-of-two Vanessa Keen, of Bowshaw View, Batemoor, says there has never been a problem in the seven years she has lived there, but over the last two weeks the issue has become much worse.

She believes the rats are now nesting in her building’s crumbling foundations, and that no matter how many times council staff block up the holes, the creatures keep coming back.

And she said that the situation is now affecting her two children, aged 12 and 10, whose sleep and mental health is now suffering because of the infestation.

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A still from a video shot on a stairwell at Bowshaw View, Batemoor.

She said: “I just don’t want to live here any more. I don’t feel comfortable and I don’t feel safe.”

“A friend of mine said her kids are terrified when they run out of the walls. My son is autistic and he is scared to go to bed at night as he thinks he can hear them running about.

“One jumped at me the other day and I’ve seen council workers fighting with them when they take the bins away.”

Vanessa said a friend of hers who lives nearby and is disabled has had nine rats in her flat and had to pay £390 to have them removed by pest control.

Vanessa said the block is 'riddled' with holes.

And she has also been told that her block is actually meant to be in one of the better ones on the estate and that other parts of the area have even worse problems than they do.

“Once they are in your flat it becomes your responsibility,” she said.

“I can’t afford £400 to get pest control so I want the council to do something about it before they get in. I’ve contacted Louise Haigh and a local Lib Dem councillor as well.

“Someone who works for Sheffield Council said that these flats aren’t that bad – but I know that there is an infestation here so the whole of Batemoor must be riddled with them.”

The rats are believed to be nesting in the crumbling foundations of the building.

Sheffield Council said they were already dealing with the problem and did not want to provide a comment to The Star.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.