A plague of rats have infested a Corby estate.
Vermin have caused about £5,000 of damage in just one house in Stephenson Way and neighbours living in the Lloyds estate have been similarly affected.
One resident says she is scared to sit in her own living room because she can hear the rats at night.
Ward councillor Mark Pengelly says that ageing sewers should be baited to help stem the explosion in the rat population.
But Anglian Water say they are not responsible for the outbreak which is centred around Stephenson Way and the surrounding roads.
One resident of Stephenson Way, who lives there with her child and partner and does not wish to be named, said that despite keeping her house scrupulously clean and using two bottles of bleach every week, she can’t get on top of the rat problem
“I’ve lived here for 22 years and there’s not been a problem until last summer when we had a minor issue,” she said.
“But then this year they have come back with a vengeance.
“My house looks like it’s in a cartoon. The damage is unbelievable.
“They’re in the living room and in the kitchen, which really freaks me out because it’s where we make our food.”
“We’ve had to change from swing bins to normal bins because they were getting into the bins.
“They’re making holes in all the skirting boards.
“You can hear them scurrying and gnawing. I go to bed early because I don’t want to hear them.”
The mum-of-one said she has caught 20 rats in traps inside her home in the past 12 weeks. She then has to bag them up and put them in her wheelie bin.
She added: “They got up into the waste pipe in the bathroom and flooded the kitchen.
“They gnawed through my husband’s £500 leather motorbike jacket.
“They got up into the coving and I could hear them so I ripped it down.
“Environmental health at Corby Council have been brilliant. They’ve put bait and poison down and helped us fill in any holes but it’s not worked.
“I’m scared to sit in my own living room. It’s going to cost about £5,000 to put it all right but I can’t do that until the problem is solved.”
The rats are also in her neighbour’s house. One managed to get under the bath and started rotting down, causing and offensive smell.
Councillor Mark Pengelly held a public meeting to try to help affected residents. He said: “We believe the upsurge in rats is down to Anglian Water. We think they used to bait the drains every summer.
“They stopped doing it three years ago and this is the first very hot summer we’ve had since then.
“I’m calling for Anglian Water to bait the drains to keep the vermin population down.
“The council are trying their best to help but we believe it’s not our responsibility.”
An Anglian Water spokeswoman said that the company does not routinely bait sewers and hasn’t done so in recent memory as rats do not actually live in sewers - although they do sometimes congregate around a broken sewer if there is a food source there for them. She added that the firm would be happy to work with Corby Council if there was a specific issue that they could help with.