Mice infestation forces young mum and toddler out of home in Foleshill – Coventry Telegraph


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on December 8th, 2019

A young mum and her toddler daughter have been forced to leave their home after it was overrun by mice in a historic Foleshill building used for social housing.

Billielouise Race, 23, and her 17-month-old daughter Alyssa are camped out with a neighbour after the rodents ran amok in their home.

Billielouise says her daughter has been admitted to hospital 14 times with chest problems since they moved into the property in Cashs Lane in January.

Midland Heart is inspecting homes and has pledged to "take all necessary actions" to end the problems.

She claims the home is affected by mould, damp and an overpowering smell of mouse faeces and the rodents are scuttling around the entire Grade II-listed terraced building, where Midland Heart tenants in neighbouring homes have also reported infestations.

The final straw came when the pests got into the boiler system, causing a safety risk and forcing Billielouise and her daughter to move in with a neighbour who has also suffered similar problems.

Billielouise said: I thought it was maybe just one at first, but then I started finding droppings every evening and each time there seemed to be more than the night before. One day I opened a chest of drawers with my daughters clothes in and they were all in there, the clothes were ruined.

They were even running along the worktops in the kitchen, I could see them running across trying to find food. Every time I cleaned it there seemed to be more mice droppings the next day.

I used humane traps but nothing made a difference. Then when they got in the boiler we had to move out. Its not just us, lots of people in the building have said they have had mice.

The single mother, who has mild asthma, says her condition is usually under control but has worsened since she moved in, and her daughter has been taken to hospital with chest problems.

Although Midland Heart have sent out a surveyor and a gas engineer, Billielouise and her mother, Alison Chester, feel the housing association is doing nothing to help them, and the problem is particularly bad in her flat because gaps and cavities need to filled.

Billielouise said: I want to be rehoused but I dont want this to happen to another family. Whats to say they wont put another family in with a newborn baby? I want Midland Heart to fix the problem and the only way to do that is to temporarily rehouse everyone while they do it.

"It is a listed building but they need to look at the walls and fixtures and fix the problem.

Billielouises mum, Alison Chester, has also raised the issue with Midland Heart but feels that visits by engineers and a surveyor have not addressed the problem, which she says affects dozens of neighbours.

Alison, 44, a full-time carer, said: The mice are in the walls, cavities, the boiler, everywhere. My granddaughter is poorly with chest problems and my daughter is a vulnerable young woman who is sofa-surfing, its an awful situation.

"What kind of Christmas are they going to have? We keep complaining but they just keep fobbing her off, nothing is happening quickly enough.

Billielouise says the mice have even gnawed Christmas presents she had placed in a drawer and her tree is bare while she and Alyssa stay with a neighbour.

The terrace of two-storey homes was originally built in Victorian times for workers at Cashs Model Factory and were later converted into a large factory before becoming social and affordable homes.

Nicole Ryrie has also suffered from the mice infestation which has included finding dead rodents around the home she shares with her five-year-old daughter.

Nicole, 26, is currently putting up Billielouise and her daughter Alyssa, but her home has also been infested.

Nicole said: At first I phoned Midland Heart and they called out a pest control team from the council to fix the problem, I paid 46 and stayed at my mums for a week.

"Then three weeks later there was a strong scent and I found three dead mice in my wardrobe. There were mouse droppings in my jumpers. It took me a week to clean every single item of clothing.

Then there was a really bad scent and there was another in an electricity cupboard and two more after that. Weve bought a new tree because the old one is in the loft where it stinks and you can hear the mice scattering when you go up there. We can fill the gaps and put traps down but how long will that last?

Ignatius Asiedu has solid proof of the mice infestation after catching one of the pests in a trap.

Ignatius, who lives with his wife and their children aged three, seven and 10, lives a few doors away from Billielouise and her daughter.

The family have watched the mice avoid the danger and take the bait from traps, and even found the pests have gnawed wood fittings.

Ignatius, 40, said: They have eaten away at one of my trainers and my pyjama top. We have got a baby so it is not good. We have complained but nothing has been done about it. They treat it as an individual case even when you say that neighbours are having problems. We need to get together and sign a petition.

Midland Heart is looking into the rodent infestations and gas contractors visited Billielouise's home this week to try and rectify the problems.

Gary Hardy, Director of Housing for Midland Heart, said: Weve received three reports of mouse activity in these flats over the past two months. These were each dealt with individually and there was not at the time evidence to suggest a wider problem.

On receiving reports that other tenants may be affected, we went to the scheme on Friday afternoon with a pest control expert to assess the extent of the problem.

"While some tenants told us they have not seen any mice, others said they have, so our pest control contractor has set out bait boxes as a precaution. Well visit each home individually over the next few days to inspect for mice and will take all necessary actions if any are discovered.

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Mice infestation forces young mum and toddler out of home in Foleshill - Coventry Telegraph

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