Belfast Telegraph

Derry woman 'at wits’ end over disgusting mites in kitchen

Sinead Quinn in the kitchen of her new home at Derrymore, which she is unable to use due to plaster mites
Sinead Quinn in the kitchen of her new home at Derrymore, which she is unable to use due to plaster mites
Plaster mites in the kitchen
Donna Deeney

By Donna Deeney

A woman whose new kitchen is infested with mites said she has been left totally frustrated in her attempts to get a replacement from her landlord, Apex Housing Association.

Five months after Sinead Quinn moved into her new home in the Springtown Road area of Londonderry last September, she noticed black dust and tiny insects in some of her kitchen cupboards.

Despite a number of visits from Apex, which along with a pest control company attempted to eradicate the mites, the infestation has worsened and spread to all of her kitchen cupboards.

Ms Quinn said the only solution left was to rip out the existing kitchen and replace it with a new one.

"At the start of February I found black dust and small insects in several of my kitchen cupboards, so I contacted Apex Housing Association," she said.

"Since then they have been out at my house a number of times and have confirmed these insects are plaster mites and the problem occurred because the plaster hadn't been given time to dry out before the kitchen had been fitted.

"They assured me they would sort the problem out, but the humidifier they gave me didn't work. Spraying the cupboards with toxic chemicals not only didn't work, but the infestation has since spread to all of my cupboards."

Ms Quinn's house is one of a number in the development affected by the mites, which she said were affecting her health.

She continued: "My kitchen has become a no-go area and I am getting more and more stressed as each day passes.

"I cleaned out the dead mites from the cabinets a few days ago, exactly three weeks since they had been sprayed. I found live mites in the cupboards and crawling on the counters.

"It is disgusting. I am at my wits' end. I have done everything to facilitate Apex and I have gone along with all their suggestions, but nothing has worked. I believe the only thing left to do is rip out this kitchen, dry it out and then install a new one."

A spokeswoman for Apex Housing Association said: "We have been working diligently alongside our contractor to find a solution. Unfortunately, a number of interventions have failed to solve the problem and further work is planned.

"We will, of course, remain in contact with Ms Quinn to ensure she is happy with the work carried out and that the outcome is satisfactory."

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