The Harrogate Advertiser has heard some bizarre stories over the years but even we were surprised by the 'tail' of a mum whose car was ruined by a rat.
The Plumpton Rocks resident, who wishes to remain anony-mouse (!), was shocked to discover a pesky rodent had made its home in the backseat of her Range Rover causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.
She said: “One day when I was getting in our Range Rover I noticed a bit of what looked like foam around the seatbelts so I cleaned it up.
“When I went to the car the next day the fob key wouldn’t work. I looked through the car window and could see a big hole in the back seat.”
At this point the mum, who lives at the top of a hill with her husband and two young children aged one and four not far from a farm, had no idea what was up.
She’d spotted a few droppings at her feet the day before while driving from her home near the well-known beauty spot on the road between Harrogate and Spofforth but thought little of it.
But things got even worse once she managed to get inside her car.
Switching on the ignition, she put the Range Rover in gear. Nothing happened. The engine of her Range Rover was completely dead.
Which is where David Ellis, the owner of Harrogate’s Active Pest Solutions, came into play.
Until then, the most unusual pest challenge he had been called to was a wasp nest in someone’s suitcase.
But the owner of this family business knew what the problem was straightaway.
David, who set up his firm four years ago, said: “I frequently come across some bizarre pest stories but this one was a bit odd.
“There is a farm near where the car owner lives and it’s probably been looking for somewhere warm and dry to stay in winter.”
Having done whatever it is that pest control experts do, the rat was successfully dealt with.
But there was no happy ending for the unlucky car owner.
The single rat had managed to cause a whopping £7,000 worth of damage to the vehicle.
The car owner said: “I took the car to my Range Rover dealer. The rat appeared to have come through the driver’s pedal from below.
"It also chewed through all of the electric cables. It was so expensive to repair I had to get rid of it and get a new car.”
This anxious resident is hoping this will be the last time she sees a rodent on her property, not that she actually saw this one.
“I never saw the rat that caused the damage. I’m worried with small children it might happen again.
"We’ve had a good look around the house just in case but the pest firm has placed black box traps everywhere to stop that happening.”