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

Oceanside RCMP Cpl. Jesse Foreman visits the PQB News/VI Free Daily studios. (Peter McCully photo)
PQBeat: Interview with Oceanside RCMP operational support NCO Cpl. Jesse Foreman

Podcast: Talk includes policing, commercial fishing, COVID-19, Tour de Rock and more

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

(File photo)
Case of COVID-19 confirmed in School District 69 (Qualicum)

Individual was at PASS/Woodwinds, with a last date of attendance of Jan. 22

The Qualicum Beach Cafe team: from left, host owner Eli Brennan, general manager Amy Turner, host owner/chef Alan Tse, chef de cuisine Todd Bright, sous chef Jack Mitchell and pastry chef/baker Noemie Girard. (Submitted photo)
Fresh start: Qualicum Beach Cafe set to offer West Coast dining

New operators bring wealth of culinary, hospitality experience

Professional hockey goalie Connor LaCouvee of Qualicum Beach. (PQB News file photo)
Qualicum Beach goalie Connor LaCouvee joins AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners

Backstop returns to North America after stint in Slovakia

Rose Sawka, 91, waves to her son through the window of a care home in Prince Rupert in October. Residents of the care home received their first vaccine dose Jan. 20. (K-J Millar/The Northern View)
B.C. care home visitor access to expand by March, Dix says

Staff, residents, essential visitors top priorities for vaccine

Jerry Dyck plans to purchase a new RV to drive across Canada in, once it’s safe to travel again. (Courtesy BCLC)
Island man plans post-pandemic cross-Canada RV trip after $2M lottery win

Retired electrician bought the winning ticket in Duncan

Kyrell Sopotyk was drafted by the Kamloops Blazers in 2016 and played two seasons with the Western Hockey League club. (Photograph By ALLEN DOUGLAS/KTW)
Kamloops Blazer paralyzed in snowboarding accident sparks fundraiser for family

As of Jan. 24, more than $68,000 had been raised to help Kamloops Blazers’ forward Kyrell Sopotyk

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

(Pixhere photo)
B.C. dentists argue for COVID-19 vaccine priority after ‘disappointing’ exclusion from plan

Vaccines are essential for dentists as patients cannot wear masks during treatment, argues BCDA

The fine for changing lanes or merging over a solid line costs drivers $109 and two penalty points in B.C. (Screenshot via Google Street View)
B.C. drivers caught crossing, merging over solid white lines face hefty fine

Ticket for $109, two penalty points issued under Motor Vehicle Act for crossing solid lines

A registered nurse prepares a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Yukon’s Minister of Community Services, John Streiker, says he’s outraged that a couple from outside the territory travelled to a remote community this week and received doses of COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-POOL
Couple charged after travelling to Yukon to get COVID-19 vaccine

The maximum fine under the emergency measures act is $500, and up to six months in jail

Metis Nation of B.C. President Clara Morin Dal Col poses in this undated handout photo. The Metis Nation of B.C. says Dal Col has been suspended from her role as president. The Metis Nation of B.C. says Dal Col has been suspended from her role as president. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Metis Nation of B.C. *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Metis Nation of B.C. suspends president, citing ‘breach’ of policies, procedures

Vice-president Lissa Smith is stepping in to fill the position on an acting basis

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks in the in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Payette shouldn’t get same benefits as other ex-governors general: O’Toole

Former governors general are entitled to a pension and also get a regular income paid to them for the rest of their lives

Most Read