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Benefits mum Coral Smith's terror at mice invasion.. but she can't afford £20 pest control fee

By citizenmike  |  Posted: April 30, 2014

By Mike Wilkinson

  • Mum Coral Smith with 5-month-old daughter Rose-Ann Williamson

  • Coral's terror at spotting a mouse running around her home

Comments (24)

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.

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24 comments

  • Rexey  |  May 01 2014, 7:18PM

    I amsurprised that no neighbour has offered to donate the £20. I would if I knew the address

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  • meymey  |  May 01 2014, 7:01PM

    mice in matson have been an age old problem, they always moved in in the winter when i lived there (latr 50s to 2002 , wouldnt be unusual to get woken up by one running over you, deal with it, course you could catch em and sell em has pets £20 for the next time they invade, actually how many are an invasion 1,2 3 ?

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  • mmjames  |  May 01 2014, 11:17AM

    Invite the ARA's round - they will probably cage trap and vaccinate the mice to make them healthy, then let them go elsewhere to feed owls and buzzards.

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  • Villager1950  |  May 01 2014, 8:49AM

    ....now if it had been badgers....

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  • GlosAnarchy  |  May 01 2014, 8:13AM

    The mice also require food to survive so one of the bast ideas is to give the place a really good clean, no food and the mice will either starve to death or move elsewhere!

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  • Thatlady  |  April 30 2014, 11:15PM

    Poor coral, I do think you are all incredibly rude. I would never insult someone the way you all are or judge someone just because she is a single mother. You do not know her circumstances. Although it's a bit strange to run a story on such a common problem (and 20 isn't extortionate) It is horrible having mice and it's not always solved with one trip from pest control. Buy a few traps and put them out at night when your daughters in bed to avoid any accidents. It's definitely worth paying for. I think coral's daughter is absolutely gorgeous and I wish them the best of luck getting rid of the mice!

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  • emdia43  |  April 30 2014, 8:41PM

    Borrow a cat. Failing that, get a job and buy a mousetrap.

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  • MrGarnet  |  April 30 2014, 7:36PM

    Where is the father? May by she should engage brain before starting a family with feckless men. Just saying

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  • nickthompson  |  April 30 2014, 4:29PM

    Perhaps she should get one of her boy friends to donate the £20, or better still get off her Ar-- and get a part time job.

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  • nickthompson  |  April 30 2014, 4:28PM

    Perhaps she should get one of her boy friends to donate the £20, or better still get off her Ar-- and get a part time job.

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