Danielle Arbour (R) and daughter Elizabeth McCallum stand next to a freezer that became home to a mouse nest. The residents of Centennial Manor are battling a pest infestation. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Danielle Arbour (R) and daughter Elizabeth McCallum stand next to a freezer that became home to a mouse nest. The residents of Centennial Manor are battling a pest infestation. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Besieged by mice and cockroaches, Langley housing complex residents are stressed out

Did a nearby demolition drive rodents into Centennial Manor? Not likely, according to city manager.

When Langley City resident Danielle Arbour heard the scratching and tapping sounds in the walls of her unit in the Centennial Manor, she thought it was noise from a neighbouring suite.

In the 20 years she and her daughter have lived in the subsidized housing complex currently managed by the Langley Lions Housing Society (LLHS) in the 20600 block of Eastleigh Crescent in Langley City, they had never had a pest problem.

“I keep my place clean,” she told the Langley Advance Times.

Then, about two months ago, mice appeared, running across her living room carpet.

“We found out [about the mice] from another neighbour who has had them for over seven months,” Arbour recalled.

“And by then it was too late and they were in our unit.”

“They chewed a hole into my living room,” Arbour elaborated.

“There’s numerous holes in my stairs.”

READ ALSO: Langley makes top 20 list for ‘rattiest’ cities in B.C.

She found a “huge nest” behind her fridge.

After that, she said, cockroaches arrived from another suite.

For the last months, she and her 24-year-old daughter Elizabeth McCallum have been battling the infestation.

They estimate they have trapped more than a dozen mice over a two month period.

“It’s the stuff of nightmares and horror movies,” McCallum commented.

Danielle Arbour took a picture of a mouse nest found in the walls of her suite. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Danielle Arbour took a picture of a mouse nest found in the walls of her suite. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Arbour estimates they have spent hundreds of dollars on cleaning supplies.

At least two other suites in the subsidized housing complex have reported similar infestations.

On the advice of a pest control company, Arbour is keeping all her food in glass jars.

Food for her elderly 14-year-old dog Shi Tzu Zoey is now kept in the fridge, and Arbour washes out the dish immediately after feedings.

Doors have been taken off closets, and mice have chewed holes in the living room sofa-bed, she said.

“I saved up four years to buy that couch,” Arbour related. “Now, I can’t use it.”

After a nest was discovered in a freezer, in the back where the compressor motor is, it was unplugged and now sits in her front yard.

Arbour said the infestation appeared to coincide with the recent demolition of some older townhouses on the same street.

READ ALSO: How clean is your favourite local restaurant or café?

Jeanette Dagenais, LLHS executive director, said the society has received “confirmed reports from sources that state that the increase in mice is most likely due to the demolitions.”

Dagenais said the society has a pest control contract “with a reputable company that we have been working with for years of whom we have every confidence on their ability to deal with rodents and pests such as cockroaches.”

“In addition, our employees in the maintenance department have been working diligently to plug all holes and crevices with steel wool as was recommended by the pest control company,” Dagenais said.

LLHS took over management of the 36-unit building in 2008 after it was approached by another society.

Danielle Arbour shows some of the cockroaches she has trapped in her suite at the Centennial Manor in Langley City. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Danielle Arbour shows some of the cockroaches she has trapped in her suite at the Centennial Manor in Langley City. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Carl Johannsen, Langley City director of development services, said the City has begun requiring what are known as “rodent letters” from developers before any demolition proceeds – a document that shows the premises have been inspected by a recognized pest control agency to ensure the the demolitions don’t displace rats and mice to nearby buildings.

“We don’t want to have problems with rodents,” Johannsen commented.

At the time of the Eastleigh demolitions, letters were not an automatic requirement, but Johannsen said the developer has told the City that there did not appear to be a problem prior to the teardown.

Langley Township also requires rodent letters.

For Arbour, the stress of battling mice and bugs is taking an emotional toll.

“I feel like a complete failure and I’m getting severely depressed, and we are both struggling with severe emotional distress and anxiety,” she expressed.

Arbour, who is on disability, said she and her daughter are trying to find another place, but there doesn’t appear to be anything in their price range.

This is a building with seniors, disabled and low income families mostly single moms and we can not afford to move,” she said.

She has even, out of desperation, looked into staying at homeless shelters.



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Langley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation guardian took this photo of dozens of vehicles parked along a forest service road in the Kennedy watershed. (Submitted photo)
Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District looks at enforcement of illegal camping

ACRD currently does not have an existing bylaw service to tackle the issue

Randy Brown, owner of Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue, has five trailers and a motorhome at the back of his property that he is renting to people who had been previously homeless. He wants to put 15 trailers on his property, hooked up to city sewer and water and BC Hydro. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Building owner digs in heels, refuses to remove illegal trailers from property

Port Alberni council gives owner two-week reprieve on remediation orders

A photo of the excavated area at McLean Mill at the end of the rail line, taken on Dec. 16, 2020. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
No environmental risk from oil spill at McLean Mill, says consultant

Terrawest Environmental concludes ‘end of spill’ report at national historic site

Melissa Martin from the Rollin Art Centre holds two paintings from the Rollin Art Centre’s permanent collection: an original portrait painted by the late Robert Aller, and a mixed media piece called ‘House’ from Peggy Larson that was part of Aller’s private collection. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Rollin Art Centre puts permanent collection on display

Works from Robert Aller, Arthur Lismer, Norval Morrisseau to be featured

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
536 COVID cases, 7 deaths reported as B.C. finds its first case of South African variant

Henry said 69,746 people have received their first dose of the COVID vaccine.

Police and fire crews at work at a fire scene at Mount Prevost School (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Classes cancelled by fire at a Duncan-area school for the second time this week

Fire this morning at Duncan area middle school follows Monday blaze at nearby elementary

Nanaimo RCMP seek public assistance after numerous tire slashings between Jan. 12-14. (News Bulletin file)
Police seek public’s help after ‘tire slashing spree’ in central Nanaimo

Ten reports of slashed tires in the last three days, say Nanaimo RCMP

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials says it will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Letisha Reimer died Nov. 1, 2016 after being stabbed at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.
No evidence that killer was in ‘psychotic state’ during Abbotsford school stabbing: Crown

Second day of closing arguments at ‘not criminally responsible’ hearing for Gabriel Klein

Seiners fill the waters between Comox and Nanoose Bay during roe herring fishery. file photo, Pacific Wild
Quota debate heats up on the eve of Vancouver Island herring fishery

Industry and conservationists weigh in how much catch should be allowed as DFO decision coming soon

Most Read