Cromer family having “sleepless nights” after rats invade their home

Ann Bossingham at her home in Corner Street, Cromer. Picture: Eleanor Pringle

Ann Bossingham at her home in Corner Street, Cromer. Picture: Eleanor Pringle - Credit: Archant

A Cromer family have spoken of their 'sleepless nights' as they are tormented by a rat infestation plaguing their home.

The Bossinghams have been battling the rodents at their home in Corner Street for two weeks, setting traps and blocking their means to an entrance, but with little success.

Mr Bossingham, 64, said: 'I can hardly sleep at night, even when I'm not in the house. My wife has been driven near to the edge of distraction.'

He continued: 'There's no resident rat, there's just a group of them which keep coming into our house for food.'

Mr and Mrs Bossingham currently have their daughter Sally Hayden, and their six month old granddaughter Florence staying with them.

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Ann Bossingham said: 'We were burgled a few years ago, and when I hear them scratching around at night it feels akin to that. My home feels violated.'

The Cromer Town Councillor and his wife have appealed for help from the North Norfolk District Council, however were given a number for a commercial extermination company as their home is private property.

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A NNDC spokesman said: 'Dealing with rats and mice is the responsibility of the landowner or homeowner, and NNDC does not offer its own pest-control service. But we have an arrangement with a private pest-control business, which offers a preferential rate to North Norfolk residents.

'As far as our own land is concerned, we have several initiatives that are designed in part to minimise the rodent population. These includes the Bagot goats in Cromer, which help to cut back rat and mouse habitats, and the recent introduction of Big Belly solar bins, which can handle far more waste and therefore keep the surrounding areas tidier. Other bins have also been adapted to make it harder for rats to get into them.'

Mr Bossingham said: 'There's nothing an extermination company could do that we haven't already tried. This is a problem in Cromer as a whole as they're living in the streets and in the commercial waste bins in the centre of Cromer.'

Mrs Bossingham said: 'I can't try and exterminate every rat in Cromer one by one as it comes into my property. I don't even want to kill them but the hygeine and safety of my granddaughter is more important.'

The home they have owned for 20 years shows extensive proof of the rats' presence, with corners chewed into baskets, and edges of carpet bitten away where the rodents have tried to break in to other rooms.

Mrs Bossingham added: 'There was one in my daughters room, she sleeps there with her baby and she could hear it at the foot of her bed. I just can't bare it, I hear them in the walls and in the ceiling, it feels like they're taking over.'

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