6 °CFri, 14

MAN DRIVEN FROM HIS HOME BY RATS

AN Antrim man is living in emergency accommodation this week after he was driven from his home by a plague of rats.

Ryan Higgins moved into his new flat at Bleerick Drive in July, but within weeks his dream home became a house of horrors.

First there was the scratching from within the walls, and the sound of scuttling feet in the dead of night.

Then there were the flies. At one point the 25-year-old was killing 40 a day - but he was fighting a losing battle as they continued to swarm long after summer was over.

The cause became all too apparent in September when he was confronted by a large rat.

“It jumped down with a thud and sat there looking at me. It was right beside my size 11 trainer - and it was bigger,” he said.

The Housing Executive were advised of the unwanted tenants, who were continuing to make their presence felt.

Internet wires were chewed through on two occasions and lights began to flicker suggesting that the rodents were wreaking havoc with the electrical cabling.

Last week Executive contractors finally peeled back one of the walls to reveal the shocking truth. The cavity was littered with droppings and wires had been systematically chewed.

Worse still, an all-pervading smell of rotting flesh filled the flat.

After several weeks of fielding calls from Ryan and his family, the Executive had finally seen enough and the local man was moved into temporary housing to allow a full investigation into the Greystone infestation.

“The stress of this has been overwhelming. If I had known what lay ahead I would never have moved into that flat,” Ryan said.

*See full reports and pictures on page three.

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