St Leonards woman, 88, concerned for her health after bed bugs found in flat

Joyce Joyce pictured in her bedroom at Beaufort Court in Silverhill
Joyce Joyce pictured in her bedroom at Beaufort Court in Silverhill

An 88-year-old woman living in sheltered accommodation in St Leonards says she is concerned for her health after bed bugs were found in her flat for the second time.

Joyce Joyce, who lives in Beaufort Court, St Leonards, said the first incident happened in February before the problem returned again last month.

She said: “The first time I had them, the bed bugs were evidently here before I moved in because I could see them coming in under the door.

“The second time, I got up in the night to go to the toilet and while the light was on I managed to catch a couple of them.

“It has made me quite ill. I have had two seizures and also collapsed in the hallway. It has not done me any good having these bed bugs.

“I have never stayed anywhere like this place before.”

Mrs Joyce said she spent £150 for pest control to visit her flat and deal with the first load of bed bugs, plus another £150 to have her bedding cleaned.

“It was awful,” she added.

“This is not something I need to be dealing with at this age.”

Jackie Kennedy, the interim head of retirement-living at Orbit, the housing association that owns Beaufort Court, acknowledged that bed bugs had been identified in a flat but said she was not aware of any medical treatment being required as a result.

In a statement, she said: “As a result of the inspection, bed bugs were identified in one other flat and that flat is currently being treated along with any immediate communal areas.

“We are not aware of any customer requiring treatment relating to this issue.”

Mrs Joyce said she reported the bed bugs to Orbit after her neighbour Bob Hadland complained of a similar problem.

However, Ms Kennedy said that no evidence of bed bugs could be found in Mr Hadland’s flat.

She added: “Normally we would expect customers to manage pest control issues themselves as per their tenancy agreement with us. However, we take these matters seriously and having heard of Mr Hadland’s concerns we instructed one of our specialist contractors to investigate further.