A woman is at the end of her tether after being forced to creep around her own kitchen where rats keep coming up the drains.
Lucy Coe, from Stoke-on-Trent, cannot even cook at home because the rodents keep invading her cupboards and covering them with urine, fur and smears.
The support worker said she is wary of preparing food at the rat infested flat in case it makes her ill.
Despite efforts to drive them away, the pests keep coming back leaving Lucy paranoid by every scratch and scuffle she hears.
“Due to the rats, my cupboards are in an awful state. There is urine in the wood and no matter how it is cleaned, a smell lingers,” the 22-year-old told Stoke-on-Trent Live.
“I am unable to use my kitchen due to the risk to my health and safety as it’s unsanitary and disgusting. How am I expected to cook here?
“I am upset by the state of my flat and paranoid at every little noise.”
Lucy raised the issue with the council in March when officials visited the flat in Meir, Stoke-on-Trent.
But she claims that the problem persisted and no return visits were made.
“Previously I’ve had rats in my kitchen,” she said.
“A pest control woman came out, she was moving my dryer and my cooker and hit them with a spoon to kill them.
“She used her own spoon, I don’t know why she had a spoon. The issue was sorted and a hole was filled outside.
“I thought everything was okay, other than the kitchen being a bit damaged. Then all of a sudden they came back.”
Lucy said she realised the rats had come back in June after they munched their way through nuts in her cupboard.
“They were nice nuts as well. I’ve seen about seven rats and I think they’re all from the same nest,” she added.
The council returned on July 20 and told Lucy they would have to send an asset manager surveyor to check the property as it was an extensive job, she explained.
“It was supposed to be a big job so they were going to do it. After about a week when they didn’t come out, I started complaining,” she said.
“Every time I speak to the council, I get fobbed off saying I’ll get a phone call but I’m still waiting.
“I can’t get in touch with the housing office. It’s been really difficult.
“At first I could laugh, but now it isn’t a joke anymore. It’s been going on too long.”
The tenant is now calling on the council to resolve the issue once and for all and replace her kitchen entirely.
She said: “I’ve asked for a new kitchen. I can’t use it and my second bedroom is being used for a pantry.
“I pay full rent and I don’t get any help. I work giving back to the community, yet the council that I help out doesn’t give back to me.
“I’ve sent in the pictures of my kitchen and I did mention how it’s had an impact on my health.
“It is my first flat. I’ve never known anything like it. I’ve not lived here that long even but when I’ve lived in other places I’ve never known anything like this.”
Stoke-on-Trent City Council has acknowledged the issues with cabinet member Cllr Carl Edwards confirming that the pest control team are informed.
He said: “We have made several visits to the property over the course of the summer to carry out treatments and assess the situation.
“The outside of the property has been check for access points with no issues found.
“We are continuing to work to solve the issue and Unitas colleagues will be visiting the property this week to move a kitchen unit to try and locate any access points via the internal drain.”
The Mirror Online has contacted Stoke-on-Trent City Council for comment.