A RAT infestation is causing misery for a disabled Southampton teenager.
Kyle Thornton, 14, has been forced to sleep in the dining room because an extension specially built for him by Southampton City Council is crawling with rats.
Kyle was born with quadriplegia, meaning he cannot walk and has partial use of his arms. He is also partially sighted and has epilepsy.
The extension, which is a specially adapted bedroom made for people with severe disabilities, was fitted to the rear of the family home home in Pansy Road, Bassett.
Kyle's parents, Karl and Sarah, who are both full-time carers for him, say the problems started as soon as the extension was built in 2011, and it is still causing misery three years later.
The family have paid for repeated visits from pest controllers to lay poison in the drains where it is believed the rats are coming from, but they say it didn’t work.
At one stage the rats chewed through wire cables in the extension, which cut off the lights and left Kyle in darkness, while droppings were found underneath the bed.
The rats kept the teenager awake at night, and he would often wake crying when he heard them scuttle in the room, while the stench from rat-droppings is “unbearable”, according Mr Thornton.
He said: “Rats are running around in the ceiling and walls, they are keeping my son up all night long.”
“It has been so traumatic for him and it is stopping him from doing other things he enjoys, like fishing. He hates being in his bedroom. He wakes up crying and thinks the rats are going to get him, because he can always hear them scuttling about.
“He is not the same as he was. He is such a legend, but this has given him a negative attitude. He doesn’t even want to go to bed anymore.”
A spokesman for Southampton City Council said: “We are aware of the issues at this address and have been working with the family to resolve them.
“Beyond that we cannot comment on individual repair cases.”