Social housing residents have been dealing with a rat infestation which has become so unbearable they can’t even open windows during the humid summer months, it has been claimed.
Residents from Emmet Buildings on Watling Street, Dublin 8 have said that the rats are “everywhere” – in the flats, on balconies, on top of the shelves, in the children’s playground and football pitch. There are even rodents coming into the building when they open the main door. The pests were first spotted in October and it has become steadily worse since then.
Jane, not her real name, is one of the people living there and she worries for the health of the children and elderly people living in the building. She said: “Last three weeks there’s been some [rats] in the playground where the kids play in the football pitch.
“Some of the children are afraid, they don’t play ’cause [the rats] are on the stairs running up and down and along the balconies. They’re everywhere.
“No one can open the windows. Especially in the heat, you want to open your windows and let some fresh air in. The flats are small enough and some flats have three, four, five people living in them, and you’re not able to open your window.
“[Two weeks ago], the lady upstairs found one in her flat when she came out to have a smoke and went back in. Then the day after, there was one running up and down my balcony and it’s going up and down the drain pipe. There was another one then upstairs.
“And then [on Friday] the man upstairs, I was coming in downstairs and he said, don’t come in. And he’s after killing another one downstairs. They’re just everywhere.”
Residents have laid poison on the stairs of the complex in a bid to combat the rats. “Hopefully the rats eat it and die, but it’s just not a nice way to be living. Can’t open our doors or windows or anything cause they’re running up and down the walls.”
Rose, not her real name, spotted a rat inside her house two weeks ago. She said: “I was on the phone…I looked down at the floor where the chair is and there was a big rat running around.”
“We can’t even leave our whole door open, our sitting room or the kitchen window open. We’re stuck in the heat, and we can’t get out. And it’s so hot in the hillside, there’s no air coming in.”
Rose also worries about the elderly people living in the flats. She said: “We have two or three old persons in the flats. And there’s one on the bottom, now she’s 98 years of age. I had to go down this morning to close the windows.
“She’s a bit deaf and so I told her, I said, close the door and the windows. And I said, keep them closed.
“It’s not fair on her either. And she wouldn’t know about them going into her house, she’s kind of deaf and she wouldn’t be able to hear anything.
“We can’t live like this.”
The residents have contacted Dublin City Council numerous times over the last three weeks but say there still hasn’t been any action taken which has dealt with the problem.
A spokesman for Dublin City Council said: “Dublin City Council are aware of this issue in Emmet Buildings and our Pest Control Unit has visited the housing complex. We can confirm that rat flaps are already installed in the drains in the complex, these prevents rats from entering the complex through the drainage system.
“Furthermore, we have had the drains inspected, with tenants present, and all drains are in good working order. There is an area adjacent to Emmet Buildings with overgrown vegetation and we will investigate the ownership of this area and examine possible solutions.
“Lastly, we are in the process of putting down bait in the complex and we will keep the matter under review to ensure the problem is resolved.”