A COUPLE with four young children have spoken of their fear of living in a house with an infestation of rats and mice.

Ross Ashton and Rebecca Asquith's council house on Mersey Street in Leigh has been plagued with rats and mice for the last five weeks with holes appearing at rooms all over the property.

Ross, 22, said: "The rats have chewed holes through every room in the house.

"It has got to a stage where they might have brought in fleas because my little girl is covered in bites.

"We are not looking to move for the sake of it but we have been in touch with the council about this because of the seriousness in case they get bitten by a rat which carries diseases. That's what concerns me the most.

"There was a mouse in one of the kid's beds and she was shaking in fear and has been left traumatised.

"The eldest girl is three and she went bounding down the stairs when a rat went in her room.

"We have heard them screaming under the carpet in the living room at night and also running around in the attic which makes a lot of noise as there is no installation there.

"They have chewed through new vinyl flooring we got as well. There is access everywhere.

"Rebecca is heavily pregnant and we have a spare room for the baby and when we cleared it out the other day to get it ready we found a stash of food from.

"The rats must have carried the food up from the kitchen.

"As well as the rats there have also been a few mice downstairs too.

"It's just not fair that we have to be living like this."

A mouse running loose downstairs at the family's house

The local authority say they are dealing with the situation.

Paul Barton, director of environment at Wigan Council, said: “We recognise that the family have been living in unacceptable conditions and are working hard with the family to try and resolve these issues.

"Our pest control team have made numerous visits to the property and have identified a number of issues which are contributing to the rat problem which has now escalated, including problems with drains, large household items stored in the garden which have allowed the rats to nest. A number of food sources have now been identified.

"Council officers have visited the property again today to take further action and offer further advice, we have now agreed to take a multi-agency approach to this problem ensuring the relevant help and support is put in place to fully support the young family.”