A mice invasion at mum Coral Smith’s Matson home has left her terrified and having sleepless nights.
But the jobless mum-of-one says her benefits do not stretch far enough for her to pay for a pest control service.
She fears that the mice might crawl over her five-month-old baby Rose-Ann Williamson in the night at her Caledonian Road home.
Gloucester City Council offer a 50 per cent discount on pest control treatment for people on benefits – but Coral says she can’t afford the £20 and feed her baby.
“I’ve had mice running around the house for about a month now and the council won’t do anything about it,” she said. “They are causing havoc, pulling up the walls and making new holes.
“I can’t get rid of them myself because I don’t want to deal with the dead mice.
“I am scared to even sleep in my bedroom at the moment but it has got so bad they are running around the whole house at the moment.
“I can’t handle it no more. I just don’t want to stay there on my own so I’ve been going to my mum’s house. It is not nice at all.
“There has got to be several of them. There’s definitely more than one.
“I’ve got a small baby and I’m scared they are going to try and crawl over her – or me – in the night.”
She says that her pleas for help have fallen on deaf ears, with Gloucester City Council telling her that she will have to fork out £20 for a first visit and £18 for a second visit within a month from the pest control team. A third visit would then cost £20.
A city council spokeswoman said: “From April 2012, Gloucester City Council introduced a charge for pest control treatment for rats, mice, fleas and wasps – both in residential and business premises.
“A 50 per cent subsidised service is offered to residents in receipt of council tax benefit or housing benefit.
“So that means for a 1st visit she would be charged £20.”
Coral has lived at the Gloucester City Homes property for the last three years but this is the first time she has had an invasion of mice.
Mice are said to be intelligent creatures as well as being keen explorers. They find inventive ways of exploring their surrounds, such as squeezing through tight gaps and biting through obstacles with their strong teeth.
It may also not be too difficult to find their nest as they tend not to stray too far from home – only venturing up to eight metres for food. But Coral should be warned – they can jump down up to four metres without injuring themselves in the process.