A MUM has told of her family's horror at being forced to live in a house overrun by rats.

Sammy Thompson, 28, and her sons aged four, eight and 10, have been forced to live upstairs at their home in Grove Hill, Middlesbrough, because of the infestation, which keeps them awake at night with the sound of gnawing at floors and scuttling behind the walls and in the attic.

Sammy found a rat's nest beneath her living room floorboards and the skull of a decomposed rat near it, while her kitchen and hallway floor have been gnawed away and she captured a video of a rat running around in her bathroom.

Sammy said her eight-year-old is currently staying with her sister because he is traumatised by the scuttling and gnawing that continues through every night.

Sammy, a single mum who claims universal credit, has turned to Middlesbrough Council for help but says the authority has told her she must bring in pest exterminators herself.

She obtained a quote for £350, a cost she cannot afford on her modest income. She said: "For a family to be forced to live like this in the 21st century is disgusting and unbelievable.

"We're trapped in a house that is infested with rats from top to bottom and I'm stuck in here with nowhere to go and no one willing to help me.

"The council say I have to bring in pest control myself but I can't afford the fees they charge."

"So me and my boys are living upstairs because the downstairs is riddled with them and they carry disease that can cause serious illness, it just isn't safe to live downstairs.

"We have our meals in our bedrooms and stay there the whole time.

"At night we're kept awake by the sound of them scratching and chewing and running around in the walls and the attic.

"I want to move but the council say I can't until the rat problem is under control. I feel sick with worry for me and the boys and I can't see a way out of it."

Middlesbrough Council have been asked for a comment.