Woman forced to sleep on the floor after Cambridge flat is infested with bed bugs
The tenant of a flat in Cambridge was “forced to sleep on the floor” after her flat became infested with bed bugs. Elizabeth Holland and her flatmate John Wall moved into the property on Mill Road in June 2023.
When she arrived, Elizabeth said discovered the presence of bedbugs on the bedding. According to Elizabeth, the size and number strongly suggested that an infestation had been ongoing for a few months and was given bug spray to remedy this situation.
After notifying the landlord and putting the bedding in the bin, an exterminator was brought to perform a chemical treatment. She refrained from sleeping on the bed during that time and instead slept on the floor on an inflatable mattress she bought.
Elizabeth said: “Since my arrival in the flat, I have refrained from sleeping on the bed and have resorted to sleeping on the floor instead, on an inflatable mattress I have bought myself.
“Two days following the treatment, I started sleeping on the mattress with clean beddings I washed and dried in the washing machine on high heat, only to wake up the next morning with a multitude of painful and increasingly inflamed bedbug bites covering my arms, hands, legs and feet, with some even on my collarbones and hips.
“Seeking medical attention, I visited my GP who provided me with a note as medical evidence of the bites. Consequently, I have returned to sleeping on the floor as a precautionary measure.
“The exterminator left a note to say that it is fine to use the bed with clean beddings following the first round of treatment. The note also said that the bedbugs maybe active for 7-10 days but will die when they hit the chemicals he used.
“Later that day, while taking a nap on the bed, I experienced further bites. Taking the matter into my own hands, I inspected the bed and discovered three bedbugs actively crawling on the bed frame before quickly looking under the mattress.
“I have only encountered bedbugs in a Cambridge hotel months ago, a hotel which I left immediately and then took many preventive measures to prevent spread to my home, which were successful as we have never had pest issues in Newcastle nor Cambridge.”
Elizabeth said there were other issues with the flat, including cleanliness, leftover food from previous tenants and a persistent foul odour in the flat. She said this had taken a toll on her wellbeing and had an impact on her focus at work.
A spokesperson for Cambridge City Council confirmed that they were currently investigating the complaints being made. However, they declined to comment on the situation at this time.
However, they added: “We would like to encourage residents who are concerned about the suitability and safety of their private rented accommodation within the city to always contact us so that we can provide the necessary support that they need. Residents can contact us by email: email@example.com or call us on 01223 457900.”
The tenants have reportedly since come to an agreement to end their tenancy early. They also received compensation for the issues they encountered.