A woman and her elderly mother cannot eat or sleep in their home anymore after rats "the size of cats" have invaded their council house.
Full-time carer Vanessa Molloy first contacted Kerry County Council in November of 2022, after a mischief of rats descended on her home in Cois Coille, Tralee for the second year in a row.
Despite calling pest control, laying out traps, blocking up holes, setting up cameras and putting nets on her windows, Ms Molloy told Lunchtime Live that the problem has persisted again for the past year – with no help from local authorities.
"People didn't believe me until I had to go to newspapers to show everybody how big these are," she said.
"They're actually like rats that are on steroids.
"It's just a nightmare – it's just constant every year. They just seem to come back and they're just getting bigger, stronger."
When Ms Molloy took a week-long trip away recently, the rats found a way inside her home.
"Now it's even worse, I haven't slept in days," she said.
"I don't eat food from here because I know the health hazards that this carries.
"This is going to leak into the shop beside us and into town – there's not a word for what we're going through."
— Andrea Gilligan (@andreagilligan) September 20, 2023
Ms Molloy said she can hear the rats in the walls and the ceilings and has thrown away her clothes and bedding to avoid any further health hazards.
"I understand that I can wash everything but I've been washing everything for two years," she said.
"I'm a guest here, it's their house.
"The dogs in the house are terrified.
"My mom is running away from the dog, and so am I. The dogs are coming around the corner, I don't know if it's a rat so I just take off running."
While the County Council have sent out pest control, Ms Molloy said they cannot keep on top of the issue.
"I've exhausted every avenue – I need somebody from the council to come over and proof the house," she said.
"I need somebody to come and make sure there are no holes inside my house so they can't get in anymore.
"We're very, very clean, our house is painted, we have a nice garden, but [we're] embarrassed.
"I want to be able to put up a Christmas tree this year and know that they're not going to get back in when I kill them again."
In a statement issued to Newstalk, Kerry County Council said they do not comment on individual cases and circumstances.
"The Council liaises proactively with all tenants on any such matters," it said.
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