By Juli McDonald

SHIRLEY (CBS) – A Shirley home is so infested by rats, the family says they can no longer live there and they are putting part of the blame on the town.

The homeowners say they are not alone, other neighbors have been putting up with rats for months and nothing they do can get rid of the rodents.

The Calderwood family left the home close to two weeks ago out of concern for their safety and kids’ health. As they wait for the town to take action, they worry how much worse this problem could get.

“It’s their dandruff and their urine,” said Lindsay Calderwood. “They urinate as they run. It’s disgusting. It’s so gross.”

The Calderwoods heard other neighbors complaining about rats back in the summer. Then just before Thanksgiving, they realized the unsettling and expensive issue had made it to their house

Rat in Shirley home (Image credit Lisa Calderwood)

“Between the traps and the poisons and all that. It ate our cabinet completely, just ate it away,” Lindsay Calderwood said. “Our brand new dishwasher, it completely destroyed it.”

She says it was standing room only at the most recent town meeting – with many Shirley neighbors pleading for help. Calderwood wants her three kids to enjoy Christmas where they belong.

“It just worries me no matter how much cleaning we do and how many checks we have on the house. That is going to take a long time to get over, for us to be really comfortable in the house again,” she said.

Town leaders are now forming a special committee, including neighbors, to find a solution. They plan to meet Monday.

Juli McDonald