A pregnant mum and her kids have been left to live in a bed bug-infested home for nine-weeks, in what pest control have described as the worst case they've seen in 30 years.
Shelley Bedford, 29 and from Plymouth, has called on Plymouth Community Homes (PCH) to "take responsibility" for the horrible situation.
Seven other homes in the block of apartments in Devonport are also riddled with bed bugs. Several people, including a three-year-old, have suffered bites.
Shelley explained that the tiny insects have spread through the block from another tenant who's had pest control issues for almost a year.
She also said that it took PCH two weeks to send a pest control specialist to review the homes after the issue was first reported, with her and other residents then having to wait a month until any action was taken, reports PlymouthLive.
Shelley said: "They had a bed bug pest control inspector come out two weeks after finding out about them, who said ‘it was the worst case of bed bugs he had seen in his thirty years of his career. It was May 13 when we had the specialist come in, so from then to now, that’s how long we’ve been waiting for the bed bug treatment.
"Bearing in mind I have not even slept in our bedroom for five to six weeks as we have been on a blow-up bed in the front room with our 15-month-old – and I’m 32 weeks pregnant.
"My mood has been up and down, my medication has been upped. The kids have been going to school playing up because of lack of sleep, waking up itching and finding bugs on them.
"It doesn’t matter how much we are washing and hoovering our belongings, and doing everything we can, it’s not getting better."
She added that, after falling asleep one evening, she woke up with a "track of bites" along her baby bump.
Residents were told they could not enter their homes during the heat and insecticide spray treatments, and were offered a place to stay during the day at Devonport Live cafe.
Before the pest control specialist attended their homes, they were asked to remove all clothing and soft furnishings and wash them at 60 degree heat before returning them to their homes.
PCH said they installed a mobile laundry facility for the residents affected by the bed bug infestation where Shelley said there were two washing machines and two tumble dryers.
Steve Ford, Head of Neighbourhoods at PCH, said: "Our housing officers organised for a specialist pest control contractor to visit homes requiring treatment, and we have since formed and initiated an action plan to tackle the problem.
"Heat treatments and insecticide spray treatments have taken place in some homes, and monitors are being installed to ensure the situation is managed moving forward.
"We have been in constant contact with the residents whose homes have been affected to support, advise, and keep them updated about the tailored treatment plan, which is bespoke to each address, and we’re confident this will provide a solution.
"We want to thank our residents for their patience while we do our utmost to support them and ensure their homes are successfully treated."
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