Stevenage tower block residents ‘angered’ over major bedbug infestation

The council are asking residents to leave their flats for bedbug treatments to be done

The council are asking residents to leave their flats for bedbug treatments to be done - Credit: Archant

Residents of Brent Court in Stevenage have had to relocate while a bedbug infestation – which has been troubling them for five months – is resolved by Stevenage Borough Council.

The problem started on the third floor and was initially reported to the council in August last year, but it has now become a larger infestation affecting the entire block.

A Brent Court resident told the Comet: “Many residents in the tower block near the town centre have had to relocate and destroy clothes following a major bedbug infestation on the third floor which has been known to the council since last year.

“After one application of the spray by contractors the resident failed to keep with guidelines regarding the treatment of clothing and bedding, which has caused the bedbugs to repopulate the flat in growing numbers due to the heating being put on in these colder times.

“Residents are extremely angered by this upheaval through no fault of their own and are disgusted with the council’s lack of follow up after the first incident.”

Another resident, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Comet: “It’s been going on since August last year, if they jumped on it then, it wouldn’t have got to this stage.”

Bedbugs are small blood-sucking insects which live in the crevices in and around beds and furniture. They crawl out at night a bite exposed skin to feed.

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While they are not dangerous, some people experience a reaction to their bites.

Bedbugs are not attracted to dirt and are not a sign of an unclean home, but can be transported easily in luggage, clothing and furniture.

Stevenage Borough council’s executive member for housing Jeannette Thomas said: “The council has informed residents of the risk of taking furniture or re-using mattresses from skips.

“While action has been taken by the council and its specialist contractor since bedbugs were first reported in August 2018, further urgent intervention is now required to fully eradicate the problem.

“We have taken action using public health legislation which gives the council powers to clean its properties and where necessary deal with contents. This is normal practice to ensure an infestation can be eliminated.

“We are working closely with all residents at Brent Court who are co-operating fully and we thank them for their positive approach. We have not asked anybody to destroy their clothing and we are not relocating anyone permanently. Getting rid of pests is a complex and multi-step procedure, which does require strict adherence to guidelines in order for it to be effective. This will avoid retreating the entire block again.”