A PRIVATE contractor has been brought in to tackle a persistent bed bug problem in a Kilmacolm sheltered housing complex.

River Clyde Homes have admitted to councillors that there is still an issue in Glebe Court despite working with Inverclyde Council's pest control team.

A letter in response to concerns admitted that as of July 3 there was still an infestation in six flats - many months after the problem first came to light in October 2019.

The letter said: 'RCH has been working closely with Inverclyde Council’s pest control team to treat the problem.

'While this has been successful in some properties, unfortunately it has not yet resulted in a complete eradication.'

Councillor David Wilson, who had raised concerns of behalf of residents, said he welcomed the move to bring in specialists.

He said: "This announcement is what I have been calling for.

"I am pleased that RCH have called in a pest control company to eradicate the bed bugs.

"This is the best way of making sure that the six rooms with a problem are properly dealt with.

"I hold Glebe Court in great affection as my mum resided there for some years and it was high time that RCH took the action it has.

"The council environmental department have tried for six months months to eradicate the problem, they were unsuccessful and it was time to try someone else.

"I do believe that RCH must improve their stewardship of this facility which is vital to so many residents."

RCH say they will ensure that any customers who require to vacate their flat for a short period will get the support they need.

A newsletter sent to them said: 'We’ve been aware of this light infestation since October 2019 and have been working behind the scenes with affected customers and with Inverclyde Council to eradicate the issue.

'It does, however, take some time often to eradicate this type of insect.

'We understand that many residents may be feeling anxious about the situation and want to provide you with information that can help you during this time.'

It is believed that the bed bugs could have been brought into the complex through second hand furniture, clothing or bedding or from another item brought from another household where there are bugs present.

A spokesperson for RCH said: "We’ve arranged for another pest control organisation to come to the complex to investigate the issue in conjunction with Inverclyde Council and RCH."

Inverclyde Council described the problem as 'an ongoing, low-level infestation of bedbugs since October.'

They said only a small number of flats had been affected and the number of bedbugs found 'is relatively low'.

A council spokesperson added: "Despite this we recognise that this is a distressing situation for those residents whose homes are affected by the problem.

"We have been working with River Clyde Homes to address the issue.

"Pest control officers have treated the properties where bedbugs have been found.

"Staff have also visited the complex to provide advice and support and to hear the residents’ concerns.

“Eliminating bedbugs can be difficult because of their habits and lifestyle.

"Once they have fed they can return to a hiding area for up to two weeks before requiring another feed.

"This means they can be missed when initial residual insecticide treatments have been carried out.

"They are small and tend to live in in accessible places such as behind skirting boards and under floor coverings, cracks and crevices , repeated treatments are often required to eliminate the problem."