Family face bugs in their tea in mouldy property

Shanika and her family has been battling bug infestations since July 

Shanika and her family has been battling bug infestations since July - Credit: Jacob Phillips

A Marylebone family are enduring an insect infestation so bad they find insects in their tea and porridge.

Stroke sufferer Amelia and her grandchildren Shanika, 25, and Reece, 29, have been dealing with the pests in their home in Casey Close, near St John's Wood, for five months.

Amelia, 82, finds bugs in her porridge at her Marylebone home

Amelia, 82, finds bugs in her porridge at her Marylebone home - Credit: Jacob Phillips

The 83-year-old, who asked to be referred to by her first name only, said: “You just get used to it. Sometimes I see flies in my tea. They are everywhere.

“I cannot walk very well. I cannot use the kitchen. It makes me feel helpless.”

The grandmother has lived at the Westminster City Council-run (WCC) Marylebone property for 50 years after moving to London from St Lucia in 1959.

Flies and bugs have found their way into flour and food in cupboards. The family suspects they first appeared from rotting kitchen furniture.

Huge holes in the kitchen are a paradise for bugs in the Westminster Council run flat

Huge holes in the kitchen are a paradise for bugs in the Westminster Council run flat - Credit: Jacob Phillips

A six-inch wide hole has appeared behind the sink and mould is visible inside.

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The kitchen cabinets are peeling away and cupboard doors have been removed.

Now they want the council to step in and fix the issues after repeatedly calling the authority about it.

Shanika said: “It’s been really stressful. She doesn’t go anywhere, she’s stranded, she has a weak immune system – her home is her haven.

“We see bugs in her food. There were flies in her porridge. They will be crawling up the table and into cups. It’s just awful.”

Amelia's Marylebone flat is in deep need of repairs

Amelia's Marylebone flat is in deep need of repairs - Credit: Jacob Phillips

Reece added: “I have been calling weekly. They are still asking what needs to be done when I have already reported the issue.”

Amelia suffered a stroke in November 2020 and struggles to walk from the kitchen to the living room.

The pensioner has faced a number of issues in the past three years.

Amelia previously had to contact the council as her living room began to sink and the family faced a rat infestation earlier this year.

Shanika said: “We would see them running across the kitchen. It was terrible.

“We were seeing mice poo where she had her dishes. That’s disgusting.”

Shanika outside her family's insect infested property

Shanika outside her family's insect infested property - Credit: Jacob Phillips

Cllr David Harvey, WCC lead member for housing services, said a repair team had been at the property this week to re-decorate and to fix or replace any broken kitchen furniture.

"The work will be completed as quickly as possible and we will remain in close contact with the resident to assess her needs.

“All of our residents deserve to live in safe and comfortable homes and I apologise to the resident that these issues haven’t been resolved quickly enough.”

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