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 medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

Darren Landy stands next to his six-by-10-foot trailer that he uses to haul yard waste to the Columbia Shuswap Regional District landfill in Salmon Arm. Because the trailer is tandem axle, he is charged for disposal. There is no fee for yard waste dropped off by car or single-axle trailers. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Resident caught in tandem-axle dilemma at Salmon Arm landfill

Darren Landy argues larger single-axle trailers loaded with yard waste are being dumped for free

FILE PHOTO
Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

Firefighters stand near the railway tracks near the Narcisse Street NW crossing in Salmon Arm about 11 a.m. Friday, May 7. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
UPDATE: Smouldering sulphur residue prompts Salmon Arm firefighter call-out

Water and foam mixture used to make sure everything extinguished

An application for the proposed subdivision and related zoning and Official Community Plan amendments proposed for 222 Temple St. will go to public hearing. (District of Sicamous graphic)
Subdivision, rezoning of large lot near Sicamous’ downtown going to public hearing

Applicant seeks to rezone portion for single family residence

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Cops for Kids riders will be spinning 30 feet in the air on scissor lifts at SaveOn Foods locations in Kelowna, Lake Country and West Kelowna Saturday, May 8, 2021. (File photo)
Cops reach new heights for Okanagan kids

Nor-Val Rentals is doing the heavy lifting Saturday in Kelowna, West Kelowna and Lake Country

Interior Health nurses administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News file)
People aged 30+ in Summerland, Rutland offered vaccine amid high transmission risk

Interior Health offers residents of Rutland and Summerland aged 30 and up chance at vaccine

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

Lake Country firefighters assisted the RCMP on Kalamalka Lake Tuesday, May 4. (Fire Department file photo)
Okanagan RCMP interrupt houseboat break-in

Pair in their 30s arrested but no charges laid after alleged Kalamalka Lake incident

Most Read