A terrified grandfather says he had to flee his home and sleep in a greenhouse after being attacked by rats. Former docker Dario DiCarlo, 80, has told how he was bitten on the head by a rat as he was sleeping at his home in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear. A distressed Mr DiCarlo shouted out and threw the rodent from his bed, before it slunk off back into the shadows. The grandfather said that he has been having problems with rats for “weeks and weeks” and even caught two in his own traps before contacting pest control.
Mr DiCarlo, who moved to the North East from Italy when he was 14, said: “I felt something moving when I was asleep in my bedroom and then I had a pain on the side of my head. When I put my hand up I felt a rat, I shouted out and it got off.
It’s horrible to think a rat bit my head.
I have been living like this for weeks and weeks, there’s an infestation. I bought my own traps and caught a few myself to begin with, I have been calling the council for weeks asking them to sort it.
He added: “Pest control visited and put poison down, but it made my eyes water and burn and I ended up having to sleep in my greenhouse. It’s just non stop, I can’t take much more.”
His daughter Anita Reynolds, 51, of Ryton added: “It makes me upset and angry to think of what my dad is having to live through.
Before the rats he had a problem with flies coming up through his shower, it’s non stop and he has had enough.”
A Gateshead Council spokesman said that pest control officers had visited Mr DiCarlo’s home nine times already and were continuing to do so.
He said: “Gateshead Council Pest Control officers have carried out extensive investigations at Mr DiCarlo’s property both internally and externally.
We identified a large number of birds feeders in Mr DiCarlo’s garden at our first inspection and were told that rats had been seen feeding from them. Food is one of the main attractions to rats coming to properties as well as water and shelter, and on the advice of Pest Control Officers Mr DiCarlo has now removed the feeders from his property.
He added: “Rodenticide has been laid in specific areas where rats have been identified and this is being monitored and inspected on a weekly basis.
However, our inspections show that no rodenticide has been taken since January 19. Monitoring is continuing, with the last inspection being on the February 23.”