‘Treat my infested flat’ - Romford tenant

A sick Romford woman whose home is infested with a tiny wood-boring beetle is pleading with her social landlord to take action.

Johanna Madigan finds the mites crawling in her hair and she refuses to use her “overrun” bathroom following the infestation in her Rush Green flat.

The 60-year-old has been urging authorities at East Thames housing association, which manages her West Road home, to take action “for at least two months” without success.

She claimed: “A surveyor [from East Thames] told me it was up to me to get the place fumigated; but that’s their responsibility

“I have found [the beetles’] cocoon in my bed. They’re crawling out of light sockets, through cracks in the windows, falling from the ceiling onto my head.

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“I can’t use the bath now because they’re crawling out of the taps, so I’m using the sink downstairs to wash.”

The larvae of wood-boring beetles, which feed on wood and can cause severe damage to timber, can be treated with pesticide-like sprays.

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Johanna, who has lung disease emphysema, said she initially thought the beetles were patches of dirt, until she examined them through a magnifying glass.

“I felt physically sick when I saw them crawling about,” she said. “It’s disgusting; I’m sitting watching TV and I can hear them dropping around me. I don’t ever feel clean or comfortable.”

A spokesman for East Thames said: “We would like to apologise to Ms Madigan for the delay in inspecting her property, we understand the stress the infestation must be causing her and her family. We have arranged for a surveyor to carry out an inspection next Wednesday, once this is complete we will be in a better position to confirm the extent of any repairs, the nature of the infestation and whose responsibility it is to treat the home.”

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