Infestations of rats, mice and bluebottles have turned a Salford street into “a living hell”, according to residents.
One mother of a three-year-old daughter says the problem is so bad they can’t eat meals in her Swinton home.
The residents of the houses on Rake Lane are all tenants of Salix Homes. But they say although they have made numerous complaints about the infestations, they will not help.
Emma Martin, 37, was rehoused in Rake Lane five months ago after she and her three-year-old daughter Margot became homeless.
But she said as soon as she moved in they were “overrun” with flies and rats under the floorboards.
Emma claims she has made numerous phone calls to Salix for help, but she says they have said there is nothing they can do.
“I’m at my wits’ end,” she said. “The volume of flies here is disgusting to such an extent I won’t feed Margot here.
“The rats are terrifying. I’ve videoed them in the back yard. We’re in a living hell.”
Her comments were backed up by Michael Benson, 58, who lives in a private house opposite Emma.
Showing a plastic bag full of dead flies, he said: “The flies in this area are horrendous and there is vermin all over the place.”
Zoe Brooks, 26, is another resident of Rake Lane and has lived there for eight years.
She said: “I’ve been plagued by flies and rats since the day I moved in. But I’ve been told it’s the tenant’s job to get rid of them.”
Demi-lei Keighley is another resident. She said: “I had a rat/mouse infestation. At one point it got so bad that I physically had to confine myself to one room where there weren’t as many.
“I could hear them scratching inside my skirting boards/walls and they eventually chewed their way through to my home that I have spent a lot of money on.
“There were holes everywhere from them chewing through, I found droppings on my TV, couch, table, kitchen sides, washing machine, cooker, and even my bed.
“What topped it off was, I got to absolute breaking point. I had five days until I was due to give birth to my baby who was already going to be three weeks early.
“I begged the council to help me, they refused and I have an email stating so.
“I cried myself to sleep because I felt like a failure knowing I couldn’t provide a safe and sanitary home for my newborn baby.”
An email from Salix Homes from an environmental administration support officer to Demi-lei, seen by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, says: “If you believe the rodents are getting through in certain access points, you can raise a job with our repairs team to have the holes filled in however we are unable to treat or fund this.
“If you are unable to fund the treatment you may wish to speak to Salford Assist who may be able to provide help.”
What has Salix Homes said?
A spokesperson for Salix Homes said: “Salix Homes is committed to providing and maintaining high standards within all our homes and communities and we take complaints from our tenants very seriously if they feel those standards are not being met.
“We took ownership of a number of properties on Rake Lane in Swinton in 2019 from a third party.
“In January this year, we received reports from a small number of residents at Rake Lane about an issue with vermin at the properties, which are located close to an industrial area.
“We quickly investigated the matter and worked with the Environmental Health department at Salford Council to put a series of preventative measures in place. This included carrying out pest control treatment and filling holes, which were identified as possible access points for vermin.
“After this work was carried out in February, all properties that had been treated were signed off as being clear and we didn’t receive any further reports from residents about rats or mice at the affected properties, so we were confident the issue had been resolved.
“We can confirm that we have recently received a report from one resident in Rake Lane about flies and vermin at the property. We made several prior attempts to arrange a home visit, which unfortunately couldn’t be accommodated by the resident. However, we did visit the property on Monday 25 July to meet with the resident and discuss their concerns.
“During that visit we did identify an issue with flies at some of the properties and we sympathise with the residents’ concerns. The properties are located in close proximity to an industrial area, which comprises waste disposal facilities, which can lead to an increased number of flies in the area, along with the warmer weather.
“This is part of a much wider environmental issue in the area, and while the location of the properties is beyond our control, we will now engage with the council and local businesses to further investigate the issue and find a resolution for the affected residents as a matter of urgency.
“We have also agreed to cut back undergrowth, which is currently located at the rear of the properties, and fill an external hole that was identified, as preventative measures to deter vermin.
“We would always urge residents with concerns about their properties or where they live to contact us on 0800 218 2000. We’re committed to working with residents and our partners to ensure our homes and communities across Salford meet our high standards.”
Salford Council opted not to comment further.