Residents of Southampton apartments comment on bed bug problems

RESIDENTS of a Southampton block of flats have come forward after claiming years of recurring bed bug problems.

Those who live at Ventnor Court in Swaythling said they had been affected by the insect problem for up to three years.

Now, some have said they are angry when asked to pay the bill for their homes cleaning and treatment, claiming the problem is not with their homes.

The complex, which includes two separate buildings, is run by Southampton City Council and one resident, Silvia Colwill, said she refused to pay the money each time because the bugs are coming from other people’s homes.

The council confirmed that it was aware of the “ongoing problems”.

The 74-year-old said: “I had to change my bed twice, my sofa three times, I had other floors laid, but they’ll be back.

“They come back every three months and the Council doesn’t seem to be concerned about that at all.

“Anyone whose victim is supposed to pay to get treatment, but why should they do that? I had two bills for about £ 260 each. I refused.

“I spend enough all the time to replace my furniture and floors, and it costs me a fortune.”

Silvia has lived in her apartment for almost six years and said it was “a nice place to live” when she moved in, but now describes it as “hell”.

She has asked to move in the past but claimed the council refused to move her because she was “adequately housed”.

Now residents expect their homes to be treated to eradicate the bed bugs, but say they have waited almost a month.

Bed bugs feed on the blood of animals or humans and, with the most common cause, cling to them traveling with them and clinging to people, clothing or belongings.

Ventnor Court. Photo by: Google Maps.

Council Chairman Cllr Daniel Fitzhenry said: “We are aware of the ongoing issues at Ventnor Court and have worked with the pest control team to address them.

“Surveys have been carried out in the affected properties and treatments have been carried out if necessary.

“We have also worked with appropriate agencies to offer tenants additional support.

“Tenants may be asked to pay for treatments, but this will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and the individual circumstances of the tenants and the causes associated with infestation problems will be taken into account.”

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