Mum-of-three ‘forced to live upstairs after rodents infested her Birkenhead home’


A single mum-of-three said she was forced to live upstairs after her house became infested with disease-carrying rodents.

And she said her four-year-old daughter was so traumatised, she could not eat for two days.

Janine Adams – who provides full-time care for her disabled nine-month-old son, who has talipes – said she cannot afford to pay for pest control.

The 29-year-old said: “It’s a nightmare. I’m terrified to go in the kitchen. I have to keep the lights on because I’m so scared – which costs a lot of electricity.

Warning: There are images which some readers may find distressing further down this article.

Janine Adams with her son, together with a mouse trap and rat glue traps in her kitchen

“I have four traps in the kitchen. I caught five in one night.

“There was a stage when we had to live upstairs. My daughter was so scared, she wouldn’t eat anything for two whole days.”

Ms Adams said, when she contacted Wirral Council and her housing association, Riverside, she was told she would have to pay for pest control herself.

The Birkenhead resident said she feels helpless. She said: “I’m stressed to death. I feel like jumping in the Mersey. It’s a completely different matter when there are kids involved. It feels like there’s no way out.”

Janine with her children, who she says have been upset by the rodents

But Ms Adams said, while the rodents have been in the house for five months, she was still in shock about it. She said they are also leaving large droppings.

She said: “I started having heart palpitations when I was making a bottle for my two-year-old in the kitchen. I have to sit on the counter whenever I go in there.”

Wirral councillor Pat Cleary has condemned Ms Adams’ dire living conditions. He said: “There is no public assistance in place for people in this situation. There needs to be some form of funding when a house is not habitable. It’s not acceptable.”

Ian Gregg, executive director of Asset Services at Riverside, said: “We are sorry that Ms Adams is unhappy and we understand this has been a really difficult time for her family.

Warning: There are images which some readers may find distressing below this message.

Janine says she has been using glue traps and mousetraps to catch the rodents

Janine Adams says her house in Birkenhead has been infested by rodents

Another photo of a rodent caught in a trap

“We inspected the property in October and could find no defaults with the house that would allow rodents to get in.

“We advised Ms Adams that dealing with vermin requires specialist assistance, which we do not provide, and she needed to contact her local council.

“Following further contact from Ms Adams, we visited her again (this week) and we are carrying out a further inspection to double check whether any maintenance work is required.

“Given the severity of her situation, as an exception, we will also cover the cost of any pest control services needed so the matter can be resolved.”

Wirral Council declined to comment.


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