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Vermin plague persists at derelict Sandys home, say fed-up neighbours

Health officials have been accused of failing to take action over a derelict home infested with vermin — more than six weeks after being made aware of the problem.

Neighbours of the East Shore Drive property in Sandys claim they are still “being eaten alive” by mosquitoes, while rats plague the area.

And despite repeated complaints to Government, residents say nothing has been done to tackle the cause of the infestation.

Last month brothers Ray and Derrick Crofton told The Royal Gazette that their lives had become a “nightmare” because of the next-door eyesore, which they claim has been left abandoned for more than ten years.

They said neighbours were unable to go out in the evenings without being targeted by swarms of mosquitoes.

They said they had repeatedly spoken to Environmental Health officials and even contacted constituency MP Dennis Lister to see if the building could be condemned — but claimed authorities were only interested in “running away from the problem”.

Contacted last month, a spokesman for the Environment Ministry confirmed that officials were aware of the issue and that “an investigation is underway”.

The following day, Vector Control officers visited the site and put down fresh rat poison around the property border. But it is understood that officials cannot gain access to the inside of the building without permission from the owners.

Yesterday Derrick Crofton claimed no further action had been taken by health officers since he went public over the matter.

“The property needs to be condemned as a health hazard,” he said.

“Since we complained about the issue at the beginning of September, absolutely nothing has been done to get to the cause of the infestation and our lives are still a misery.”

Mr Crofton said there was some uncertainty over who owned the property and speculation among neighbours that the owner could now be living overseas.

“But if the Health Department can't get in contact with the owners, there comes a point where they have to take some sort of action. This problem has been going on for years and the health of the neighbourhood is now being put at risk. We're still being eaten alive by mosquitoes and the rats are still out in force.

“Apparently they've put down some really strong rat poison outside the property, but they need to get inside it, which is where they're breeding.”

Questioned yesterday about the allegations of a lack of action, an Environment Ministry spokesman replied: “Every week since the incident was first reported a member of staff from Vector Control has visited the property to monitor the situation.

“This afternoon a staff member is again going to one of the neighbours to gather further information, and a new Vector Control officer has been assigned to the area starting on Monday. It is hoped that any outstanding issues will soon be rectified.”

Run down: A derelict house in Sandys continues to attract swarms of mosquitoes and rats, six weeks after health officials were informed about it, say fed-up residents.

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Published October 18, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated October 17, 2013 at 10:40 pm)

Vermin plague persists at derelict Sandys home, say fed-up neighbours

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