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

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

DOH
Provincial grant tapped to finance downtown project

Butler and 10th next on improvement list

RDBN. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Houston Soccer club. (Submitted/Houston Today)
Houston Soccer gets record number of registrations

Club will have a soccer season amidst COVID restrictions

District of Houston
Safe Restart grant spending firmed up

Will help cover losses from recreation fees

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

FILE – RCMP officers wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 stand by as protesters opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion block rail lines, in Burnaby, B.C., on Friday, November 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Very scary’: B.C. travel rules too vague, shouldn’t involve police, civil liberties group says

BCCLA said that speaking with communities could have avoided top-down approach

Ocean Legacy Foundation members conduct a shoreline pollution cleanup in Vancouver. (OLP)
It’s time to end ‘suffocating’ plastic pollution along B.C. shorelines, advocates urge

This Earth Day, Ocean Legacy Foundation is launching a free educational platform to educate the public about plastic pollution

A teacher-librarian in Nanaimo was fired in 2019 for checking out an age-inappropriate graphic novel to a student. The discipline agreement was published Wednesday, April 21. (News Bulletin file photo)
B.C. teacher-librarian fired for checking out too-graphic graphic novel to student

Teacher had been previously disciplined and suspended on two occasions

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. university rowing coach ‘deeply sorry’ after complaints

Barney Williams says he’s been committed to ensuring no other member of the roster had a similar experience

Aria Pendak Jefferson cuddles ChiChi, the family cat that ran away two years ago in Ucluelet. The feline was missing until Courtney Johnson and Barry Edge discovered her in the parking lot of the Canadian Princess earlier this month. Aria and her parents were reunited with ChiChi in a parking lot in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
B.C. girl’s wish granted as her cat came back, two years later

Courtenay family reunited with cat that went missing in Ucluelet in 2019

(Bandstra Transportation photo)
Smithers family-owned business institution sold to publicly-traded company

Bandstra Transportation and Babine Trucking acquired by Mullen Group

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Most Read