A Blackheath couple say the rat problem at their home got so bad they discovered one curled up in their three-year-old son's bed - but their housing association still did nothing to help.

Emma Butler-Kalogeras, 31, has been warning about the vermin in her Invicta Road flat since she moved in nearly two years ago, with rats scurrying around the property and chomping a hole "three fists" wide through her bath.

But she claims Hyde Housing said nothing could be done as the flat is provided by a private landlord who was being unresponsive.

Things reached a head in February when her son Theo came into her bedroom saying there was a rat in his bed.

Leanne Kennedy, 25, explained: "We just said 'it's a nightmare, don't be silly' and put him in bed with us."

She said: "The next morning I went into his room looking for a torch.

"I pulled back the blanket, moved the torch and there was a rat curled up underneath it. I screamed and it scarpered down the side of the bed."

News Shopper: Blackheath couple find rat in 3-year-old son's bed - and hole in bath 'three fists' wide

When pest control came visiting they found what appeared to be the same rodent hiding in little Theo's toy box. Since then, the frightened youngster has been too terrified to come back to the house and is staying with grandparents.

But his parents, who have been housed by Hyde through Greenwich Council, still had to put up with it and the holes in the walls the rodents scurried through were left open, with more rats coming in.

Ms Kennedy said: "On one day we had four rats running around in our place. They were in the kitchen, our son's bedroom, our bedroom. Our dog got hold of one and killed it on the kitchen floor."

She went on: "We see them everyday but it's more of a night time thing. When it's quiet you can hear them running around behind the cupboards.

"We've been apart from our son for a month. He won't set foot in this property. We've been sleeping on the sofa. We can't go in our room because there are so many droppings in there."

She said: "You feel vile, you feel disgusting. It's terrible because you;re constantly jumping, thinking 'what's that in the corner of my eye?'

"It's outrageous to feel so disgusted in your own home and with your own belongings."

The family have written to Greenwich and Woolwich MP Nick Raynsford along with their ward councillor Cllr Alex Grant, asking for help.

News Shopper: One of the rats was killed by the family dog in the kitchen

And, after News Shopper got in contact with Hyde, the association sent someone round to meet them.

Hyde’s London head of private sector leasing and management services Mandy Chowdhary said: "We are sorry that Ms Butler Kalogeras is unhappy with the service she has received. This is clearly a very distressing situation for her and her family.

"We are aware of the situation and our pest control contractors have visited the premises on many occasions, but have not managed to contain the situation.

"Our housing officer is in close contact with the family and I myself met with them yesterday.

"The contractors are attending today (February 28) and Saturday to carry out repairs including sealing up of holes/access points. 

"A deep clean of the property will take place after that. The family has asked to be re-housed and we are working with the council to establish whether this will be possible."