PENSIONERS living in a Bournemouth housing block have spoken of their suffering following a bed bug outbreak.

An 80-year-old man was forced out of his flat six months ago after it became infested with critters and his bed had to be thrown away.

Ian Burgoyne moved in with fellow resident Mike Paine and has been sleeping on his recliner chair ever since.

While Ian’s flat, in Kingsley House, Coronation Avenue, Bournemouth, is now clear of bugs, he said he cannot move back as his bed has not been replaced.

Bournemouth Echo: Kingsley House in Coronation AvenueKingsley House in Coronation Avenue (Image: NQ)

He told the Daily Echo: “I’m 80, but I have aged 10 years with this aggravation.

“I’ve done nothing wrong in my life. I’ve been nothing but good to everybody. Why do I deserve this?”

Ian described how the retirement complex which is owned by Aster Group, has suffered outbreaks for nearly three years.

He added: “If Aster had done something about this two and a half years ago we wouldn’t be in this mess.”

Mike, who Ian is living with, has also been impacted by the bed bug situation.

The 85-year-old said: “Aster knew about the bed bugs nearly three years ago, and they didn’t do anything. It started in one room, but now the bed bugs are in the ceilings and the fabrics of the building.

“We keep getting little outbreaks. It’s horrible, but we have to just get on with it, and if we see anything, we have sprays to get them.

Bournemouth Echo: Mike PaineMike Paine (Image: NQ)

Mike added that the chair Ian is currently sleeping in has bed bugs, but there was nowhere else for him to sleep.

Kingsley House is made up of 60 one and two-bedroom flats and bungalows.

Residents have access to care services and a '24-hour emergency lifeline system'.

A spokesperson for Aster said the firm is doing everything to bring the issue under control and recognises the discomfort and disruption it is causing for residents.

The situation is being monitored with the company working with a specialist contractor. 

The spokesperson said: "We have worked closely with the local Environmental Health Team and acted on any advice that has been provided.

"We have also installed monitoring devices in each flat and in communal areas, which are checked on a regular basis.  During this time, we’ve seen a significant reduction in outbreaks of bed bugs.

“We are continuing to work closely with individual residents affected, liaising with external agencies as appropriate to ensure measures are put in place that reduce the risk of ongoing issues.

"In a handful of severe cases, our pest control contractor has recommended that some items of furniture are disposed of in order to manage the infestation.

"We have set up a hardship fund to support residents with the cost of replacing furniture where this has happened.

“We’re regularly in contact with residents and their families keeping them updated about treatment works and are doing all we can to support them during this time. 

"We would encourage any residents or family members who have concerns to speak to a member of the Kingsley House team.”