Mum lives off takeaways and is a prisoner in her own home after rats invade kitchen

A terrified mum who opened a kitchen cupboard to find rats taking over her, says she and her daughter are trapped in a bedroom and living off takeaways.

Cara Winnie Jones, who lives in Chelmsley Wood with her 13-year-old daughter, suffers from anxiety and said her mental health had taken a dip after she found dead vermin in her mop bucket.

She described herself as a “nervous wreck” and claimed she had been forced to move out and stay with her mum during the day.

But returns home in the evening and is forced to endure the horror of hearing the rats scuttle around her living space throughout the night.

Despite thoroughly cleaning the kitchen with bleach to get rid of “rat droppings and wee”, she is still too terrified to use the space to cook meals for her children.

She told Birmingham Live she thinks the rats are digging homes in the communal area of her Solihull council property.

The shared space is unkept and rubbish bins have been left overflowing, making it a prime target for the furry agitators.

Cara said Solihull Borough Council had come out promptly to fill holes and put poison down, but claims she was told she could be waiting until August for them to come and do a deep clean, something she won’t feel comfortable without.

She said she believed she was being “treated unfairly” and after taking to Facebook to ask for help, she has been inundated with support from locals – some of which have even supplied her with rat traps.

She wrote: “Has anyone had to deal with rats in their council property? I feel like I’m being treated unfairly.

“For four days now I’ve been overrun with rats in my kitchen. I already suffer with mental health [problems] and this is just tipping me over the edge.

“I’m terrified. I’ve locked myself in my bedroom as you can hear them squeaking and rumbling around mainly at night time.

“I’ve not slept and had a panic attack as I can’t deal with this. The place needs fumigating as they’ve crawled on my worktops.”

Showing Birmingham Live around her kitchen, Cara added: “The first day we saw [the rats] in the cupboard, that’s when I first noticed them so I put all bleach and stuff in there.

“The next day, I opened my draw and there was one in there and scurried [away] under another draw. “

She said she had even found dead vermin floating in a mop bucket.

“I usually leave my mop bucket [in the kitchen] – there were two dead rats in there,” she explained. “We got rid of those and then there was another one in the mop bucket again.

“Since then, I’ve not had any more dead ones but you can actually hear them of a night time.”

Cara thanked locals who had offered their support, both those who had given advice and traps to help stop the rats.

“The very nice ladies gave me the bait boxes for free,” she added. “I feel better knowing I’ve got those and I’m hoping that they work.”

A spokesperson for Solihull Community Housing, which runs the housing service on behalf of the council, said: “We were sorry to learn of this incident and the distress it has caused.

“We responded to the situation as soon as we were made aware.

“The garden was overgrown in places and this can attract rats, so we have now cut this area back.

“We have also laid bait around the property and this should prevent the problem from recurring.”