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

Tom Lennox finds peace when he runs in the Cumberland Forest. He hasn’t missed a day in nearly a year. Photo supplied
Cumberland runner nears 366 consecutive days on the trails

Cumberland resident Tom Lennox has been running a minimum of five kilometres… Continue reading

Courtenay’s Ace Brewing Company’s Jet Fuel IPA was chosen for second place in the annual Canadian Brewing Awards. Photo submitted
Courtenay brewery takes silver medal at Canadian Brewing Awards

“It’s huge - they are the biggest awards in Canada that you can get (in the brewing industry).”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

The Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital District board is concerned about having to fund more than just hospitals like the one in the Comox Valley. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Comox Strathcona board worried over funding more than hospitals

Island Health points to seniors care to reduce demand at acute care sites

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
Up to 15 cm of snow forecast for Courtenay area this weekend

Snow to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

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

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance municipal staff meeting in B.C.

Vancouver Island firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
New COVID-19 protocols set for provincial courthouses

The new rules were issued on Jan. 21, and took effect immediately

Dog owners, from left, Marlyn Briggs with Nayla, Marjory Sutherland with Effie and Mick, and Christina Godbolt with Conon walk their pets frequently at the Chemainus Ball Park but are growing increasingly concerned about drugs being found discarded in the area. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Puppy rushed to emergency 3 times after ingesting drugs in Chemainus public spaces

Dog owners walking in Chemainus parks urged to take caution

Police in Vancouver looking for male suspect who allegedly spat and attacked a store manager for not wearing a mask, at 7-Eleven near Alma Street and West 10th Avenue just before noon on Dec. 17, 2020. (Vancouver police handout)
VIDEO: Man spits on 7-Eleven manager over mask rule, sparking Vancouver police probe

‘Unfortunately, the store manager sustained a cut to his head during the assault’

The Vancouver-based SAR team successfully rescued two lost snowshoers off of the west side of Tim Jones Peak in the early morning of Monday, Jan. 19. (North Shore Rescue photo)
B.C.’s busiest SAR team raises alarm after 2021 begins with fatality, multiple rescues

‘People beyond ski resort areas of Seymour, Grouse, and Cypress go without cell reception,’ SAR warns

Police are searching for an alleged sex offender, Nicole Edwards, who they say has not returned to her Vancouver halfway house. (Police handout)
Police hunt for woman charged in ‘horrific’ assault who failed to return to Surrey halfway house

Call 911 immediately if you see alleged sex offender Nicole Edwards, police say

Most Read