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Smoked Out

German couple Lars and Patricia Kaiser and their two-year-old son Luca have been left homeless after an amateur pest exterminator left their brand-new house so contaminated with poison to get rid of ants that it was no longer habitable.

Lars, 38, said: "The house had only been built in 2010 and was perfect other than the fact they seem to be ants getting into the kitchen somehow. We didn't want to put down poison ourselves because we had a baby and called in a professional."

Sadly – the professional turned out to be an amateur who was not even registered with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce officials to carry out the work at the property at Burscheid near Cologne.

As a result when the couple left for the day expecting to return home that evening with everything settled they found themselves gasping for breath when they walked through the door. Despite opening all the windows the couple realised it was impossible to stay there the night. But when they returned the next day they found that the carpets had changed colour – wallpaper had fallen off the floor and pictures on the wall had shrivelled up and also changed colour.

Lars added: "He had reportedly used hundreds of times the recommended dose – apparently setting of smoke bombs everywhere. We called it an expert to work out exactly what we could do to decontaminating and were stunned when we were told it was impossible to rescue.

"Apparently the poison had soaked deep into the structure of the house and everything had to be pulled down and then sent off to a special site for contaminated waste. The contamination was so severe that local officials have ordered the cellar to remain in place to prevent groundwater contamination and it is no longer possible for a new house to be built on the site.

Lars and his wife, 31, are now hoping to gain compensation for a new house and the cost of decontaminating the old site from the pest controller.

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