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Northampton man is living in flat infested with ‘millions’ of cockroaches

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The tenant of a cockroach-infested flat is begging the borough council to exterminate the pests which are driving him to despair.

James Stewart, aged 33, has lived in a privately-rented apartment in Spring Boroughs since November 2012.

But ever since he moved in, the former landscape gardener said he has been plagued by an infestation of cockroaches, creatures known to carry diseases such as salmonella.

Mr Stewart, currently unemployed and battling depression and anxiety, said: “There are millions of them in here all the time and it gets worse at night.”

Mr Stewart said his landlord sent pest controllers to the property in 2013, shortly after he and his partner, who did not wish to be named, moved in.

But it only provided temporary relief as within weeks the creatures had come back in even greater numbers.

“They are dirty,” he said. “I can’t keep the plates in the cupboards because they are all in there,.

“They get round the back of my fridge, in the cooker.

“They will eat anything. When I tipped the dog food into the bowl, there were cockroaches crawling in it.”

In the past year, Mr Stewart claims he has spent more than £300 on bug-killing sprays, but even they have failed to keep the numbers down.

With limited income, he has not been able to hire professional pest killers to do the job and he now believes his only hope is for the borough council to send a team round to rid the flat before the infestation spreads.

“You never get used to it,” he said. “Because you always know that they’re there.”

But the authority says the responsibility to clear the pests lies with Mr Stewart’s absent landlord.

Cabinet member for the environment Councillor Mike Hallam, said: “In general it is the responsibility of the occupier or landlord to treat the infestation, but if the problem starts affecting neighbouring properties then we have powers to step in to require occupiers and owners to carry out the works needed.”

 

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