Children left in hospital as beetles infestation plagues Mayfield flats

Sophie is pictured with her step-dad Mitchell McLaren with a box of the bugs collected.

Sophie is pictured with her step-dad Mitchell McLaren with a box of the bugs collected.

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TWO children from the same block of flats have been hospitalised in the space of the week amid fears of a bug infestation.

A plague of hide beetles is believed to have spread through all six homes in a block at Eskview Road in Mayfield.

Leisa Langley, 34, said her two-year-old daughter Sophie was taken to hospital after being struck down by the same infection which floored her neighbour Kerri Scott’s five-year-old son.

With her neighbour’s family re-housed by Midlothian Council this week, mother-of-two Leisa wants the same care for her family.

She said: “We are in a top-floor flat. The bugs seem to come in through the roof.

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“I have got a tub of about 20 beetles and all the neighbours say they have had them too.

“Every single flat is riddled with these bugs.

“My daughter lifted a toy the other day and a bug was in it. They are absolutely everywhere.

“Sophie has tonsillitis and a very bad bacterial throat infection. I can’t link that with the infestation conclusively, but bugs carry bacteria.

“The doctors say they can’t connect it without blood tests.

“If anyone is infected and returns to the home they are at risk of catching the infection a second time.

“That’s when it’s frightening. I’m so worried for Sophie.

“I have asked the council to move us out as my daughter isn’t going to be well enough for the treatments they use to tackle the bugs.

“We shouldn’t be in this position. It’s just horrible.”

Ms Scott, whose family have now been moved by the council, described the situation in the block of flats in Mayfield as “beyond belief”.

Hide beetles are common pests and larvae feed mainly on dry decomposing animal matter but also feed on vegetable matter.

A Midlothian Council spokesman confirmed that hide beetles had been collected by environmental health specialists and that pest control experts were treating all the properties in the building.

He said: “Ms Langley’s child was taken into hospital suffering from tonsillitis and, after receiving antibiotics, returned home to recuperate.

“As a result, treatment of the house was temporarily delayed until her child had recovered. Arrangements have been made to treat her house this week.”

kevin.quinn@jpress.co.uk