Woman Dies After Being Bitten by Rats Thriving in Her House
The elderly woman was believed to have been left helpless in her home as it was overrun by rats while she was bedbound following a stroke.
Days after being attacked the 80-year-old was rushed to hospital where she died more than two weeks after she was admitted.
Thames Valley Police have launched an investigation into the death and were believed to be probing the pensioner's living conditions.
Neighbours in the quiet suburb of Reading, where the woman lived, have been temporarily evacuated while the council tries to bring the rodent infestation under control.
They claim the problem became much worse after the council moved to fortnightly household refuse collections instead of weekly.
They told how rats were entering their homes through pipes and even coming up through the lavatories.
One man even claimed he had found rats under his daughter's bed.
However Reading Borough Council officials, who along with Thames Water, have launched a probe into the epidemic, strongly denied the allegation.
"At this stage there has been no reports of rats using bins as a food source. There is no link between the move to weekly separated waste collections where households follow the advice given to them and keep there refuse in a closed wheelie bin," said a spokesman.
The elderly woman was believed to have been attacked by rodents in her bed as she lay convalescing at the end of June.
She and her neighbours were evacuated from their homes to nearby bed and breakfasts following the incident.
However, the woman was rushed to the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, on July 1, where she died between July 14 and 15.
James Sullivan, aged 16 years, who lived next door told how his six-year-old sister awoke with two rats on her bed and will no longer sleep in her own room as a result.
He also said that a rat had gnawed a hole through the draught excluder by his bedroom door.
"I woke up in the middle of the night and heard gnawings so I looked down and there was a rat crawling through," he said.
His mother Alison Sullivan said they had been calling the council know about the rat problem for the past three years.
It also emerged that the local authority charge almost 12 times more to call out pest controller than neighbouring counties.
In Reading a call out costs £114 pounds – which is a £104 pounds more than the £10 pounds charged in Slough.
The council spokesman said the cost was introduced by the previous administration and was being monitored by the new administration with a view to review them if deemed necessary.
Thames Water has been baiting and investigating its sewage network while the council was doing drainage work in the area this week.
"The current evidence points to a drainage issue and this is where are efforts are being focused at this present time," said the council spokesman.
Source = Daily UK
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