This undated photo shows a rat in the a pipe in London. Ageing sewers, insufficient garbage collection, a lack of resources to tackle the problem: it all adds up to a growing rat population in London, one of the world's wealthiest capital cities.
This undated photo shows a rat in the a pipe in London. Ageing sewers, insufficient garbage collection, a lack of resources to tackle the problem: it all adds up to a growing rat population in London, one of the world's wealthiest capital cities. AFP PHOTO

Rat chews ear of sleeping 9-year-old

RATS are running amok in a Glen Innes neighbourhood, chewing through linen, using drainpipes as links between houses and even biting one child on his ear.

One mother of three living in a Maybury St state home told the Weekend Herald her 9-year-old boy had called out to her in the night.

"He woke up crying, 'Mum, the rat bit my ear'," she said.

"I turned on the light and there were two little holes at the tip of the ear. And the blood."

The mother, who did not want to be named, spoke of the rats being an increasingly persistent menace during the two years she has lived in the neighbourhood.

All night - and often during the day - she could hear the rats knocking against the walls, running across the ceiling or scrabbling their way under the floor boards.

"I went in one day and my son was sitting on the couch eating," the woman said.

"I sat down and heard the claws of the rat running down the back of the couch."

They found rats had chewed their way through the linen from her mother in a storage cupboard.

"The rats were in the kids' drawers," she said.

Pest exterminators have been to the house three times but the woman said there was no point unless the other three homes in the row of terraced houses were also done.

A spokesman for Housing NZ confirmed the tenant had made repeated contact over rats, starting in February.

"Since then we have carried out a number of jobs at her home to try to address the problem, including pest eradication and blocking up holes."

He said "due to the proximity of a creek and reserve, we acknowledge the potential for rat problems around our homes is genuine".

The housing provider planned to work with groups, including Auckland Council, to solve the problem.



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