Living hell as cockroaches infest Carlisle flats

Cockroach control in Newcastle.

People have been left living with cockroaches after the pests infested a block of flats.

Joyce Stewart, 69, said she wants to scream every time she sees the bugs “scatter” in her kitchen in Carlisle.

The creepy crawlies, which appear to have spread from an empty flat in the block of four in Rydal Street, off Botchergate, have also moved into neighbour Samantha Kirkwood’s flat.

Both women have spoken of their hell living with the insects, which can grow to be an inch long.

Their landlord, Riverside, is acting after saying officials could not get to the flat causing the problem until recent days.

Mrs Stewart, a widow who has diabetes, said the cockroaches also wander around her living room while she watches TV at night.

She said she first spotted them in her airing cupboard and has been suffering with the problem for months.

“I’ve seen them in the kitchen, on the worktops, everywhere,” said Mrs Stewart. “In the kitchen I go in and put the light on and you see them scatter.

“You go and put a cup of tea on and they will be on the floor. I don’t cook in the house anymore. In my airing cupboard they are running around the floor.”

Mrs Stewart said the bugs “move fast”. “Within seconds they are away and you don’t know where they are going,” she added.

“I had my sister here the other day and one was crawling up the wall behind the couch. I’m starting to worry about them when I go to bed. I’m frightened sometimes to go to sleep in case they come up on the bed.”

Mrs Kirkwood, 41, said: “Our flats are immaculate. They’re not dirty.

“I’ve ripped my skin to bits and my hands are absolutely terrible with bleach.

“But I’m not staying in the flat. I can’t stay in a flat like that.”

Mrs Stewart said she had trouble getting action from Riverside. Environmental health officials, she added, had carried out some treatment.

A Carlisle City Council spokeswoman said its environmental health department was aware of a problem.

A spokeswoman for Riverside said it had been “working closely with environmental health officers regarding the cockroach infestation in the block of four flats in Rydal Street”.

She added: “This appears to have originated in a property in the block which they were unable to access until January 22.

“As Carlisle City Council pest control have advised us they are unable to undertake the full works required, Riverside has appointed a pest control company to deal with the issue.

“They will make a joint visit with Carlisle City Council pest officers to assess the situation by the end of this week.”

The spokeswoman added: “One of the residents has been in regular contact with our housing officer.

“We do understand their distress and are working to resolve the problem as soon as possible. We have agreed to cover the pest control costs incurred so far.

“We will keep the residents fully informed of the timetable of works to deal with the infestation once those have been agreed.”


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