Mum tells of her health worries over cockroaches

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A MUM says her family’s life has become a living nightmare because of a cockroach infestation in her flat.

For the past three years, Marjorie Gatrell has lived in Horatio House in Meridian Road in Portsmouth with two children.

But in the past eight months they have found themselves overrun with cockroaches and believe the council could do more to help them.

Miss Gatrell said: ‘It’s mostly in the kitchen cupboards, but recently it has spread across the house.

‘I’ve contacted the council numerous times – they come in with traps for the cockroaches but they just aren’t working.’

Marjorie, 32, is now fearful of her children’s personal health. Cockroaches are known carriers of salmonella, dysentery and gastroenteritis.

She said: ‘Just the other day I had to take my six-year-old son to the doctor because he fell ill.

‘It has had a big impact on our lives. I have to check that everything is clean, just to try and keep them safe.

‘I’m trying to protect my children, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to do so.’

Portsmouth City Council says it is doing everything in its power to rid the building of the infestation.

Richard Lee, the city council’s environmental health manager, said: ‘We have made 15 visits to the property since being first told about the pest issue in June.

‘The treatment involves traps and poison.

‘However it’s vital appointments are kept, even if it appears the number of cockroaches are reducing.

‘Often the issue is not confined to one home, so in order for us to successfully get rid of the problem we need to treat neighbouring properties too.

‘Despite calling, and dropping off leaflets in all the flats above, below and to the side of the property, making it clear there would be no charge treating their homes, no-one has responded and allowed us entry.

‘We will continue to try and solve the issue, but urge tenants to get in touch and speak to their housing officer so we can treat other homes, too.’

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