A COUPLE’S car was gutted by a horror plague of rats that chewed through wiring and nested in the engine.
The Citroen C2 was written off as it sat parked in a communal garage underneath its owners’ flat.
IT worker Chris Cooke, 24, couldn’t get girlfriend Aimee McAllister’s 1,000 motor started ahead of her return from university this summer.
He opened it up to find dozens of rodents and a mountain of droppings over the engine block.
“It was like something out of a horror movie”, he said. “It was completely beyond repair”.
And his car, a Renault Megane coupe, was riddled with decomposing rat carcasses after the creatures got trapped in the wheel arches.
Aimee was left in tears when she was showered with maggots which fell from the top of the door when she shut it.
She had to borrow the car after hers was scrapped because of the infestation.
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The gross larvae had crawled up from underneath the front wing and bumper, which were taken off to reveal the source of a disgusting smell.
Stomach-churning photos and footage shows maggots festering in the bodywork and crawling on the carpet in the driver’s side footwell.
“I literally threw up”, Chris said. “I have never gagged and wretched so much in my life. The smell was unimaginable”.
The couple are complaining to their landlord and the manager of their block of flats on Shankill Road in Belfast.
“No one has helped or admitted blame for this biblical rat attack at all”, Chris said.
“We’ve lost a 1,000 car and taken time out of work to try to get this sorted, but nothing is happening”.
The couple pay 525 a month rent for their one-bed flat, which includes the cost of maintenance and car parking.
But despite rat traps being laid and efforts being taken to fill in cracks in masonry and brickwork, the invasion has been going on for months.
Fuming Chris told The Sun: “We’re worried about our health. These rats have been nesting in peoples’ cars for God-knows how long, and maggots have been feeding on their remains. It’s revolting.”
The couple are so badly out of pocket because of the rat menace that they can’t afford a new second-hand car, so have to share Chris’s despite their clashing work patterns.
They were only given 20 for scrapping the old Citroen, while they have had to fork out on expensive cleaning products to scrub away the rat remains on the other motor.
“Every time we call them, the letting agent can’t get off the phone quick enough”, Chris added.
“We had an email from the building manager offering their ‘deepest sympathies’ but that doesn’t help much at all.”
Neighbours at the city-centre new-build block say that an annexed corridor connecting their building with the next door unit is where the rats had been nesting before.
Pest exterminators laid down poison to wipe out the nasty rodents but the sealed up area is now riddled with their corpses.
A hairdresser who uses a neighbouring unit told Chris that she can’t allow her customers to use her toilet because the smell in the room is so bad.
Chris said: “Everyone is so fed up with the rats nothing seems to be getting done about them at all”.
“It’s a huge health risk and they’ve really hurt our wallets too”.
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