Your Newham Get Me Out Of Here Bushbash Challenge – rising to a slug infestation

Well – this is revolting.

I’ve been sent the slug gallery below by a resident of a flat in Newham.

R and their family (including a toddler and a very young baby) were homeless. They were living in the Newham Brimstone House emergency homelessness hostel. After a while, Newham council placed the family in the flat in the pictures below.

That was the good news. The bad news is that the family isn’t the only crowd there. Slugs have also made the flat their home, sliming their way across floors, walls, the baby’s room and cot, and over kitchen utensils, sponges and containers when they want a novelty ride. Seems as though even slugs are sick of the rain and parked-up jetstreams and are moving their operation inside. There are gaps in walls and holes to the outside, which the slugs clearly see as some sort of invitation to intimate dialogue.

The family reported the problem to the council and landlord months ago. Pest control has apparently been around, but clearly may as well not have been. The council did send the family some links on slug combat, but a bit of a surf isn’t really the same as being rehoused to somewhere habitable, and you start any fight against slugs a long way behind if they have multiple routes inside. You can napalm them with actual crap, or whatever you like, but they don’t care. They just find another door.

Here they all still are. Isn’t grinding poverty and homelessness fun.

Perhaps someone will respond to these photos:






6 thoughts on “Your Newham Get Me Out Of Here Bushbash Challenge – rising to a slug infestation

  1. Oooh, lovely! Just what you need when you come down in the morning!

    I had a few slugs find their way into my kitchen from the outside, but they seem to have forgotten their way in – but I did put salt down in the general area where they were getting in (a hole left by the contractors who installed a new kitchen I suspect) so that might have discouraged them a bit! But that infestation is awful, and it looks like the slugs have taken over!

    The council’s response seems pretty typical, any half decent council would have told the landlord in no uncertain terms to get it fixed, and maybe even consider taking on the property themselves, improving it and keeping it for a period of time before handing it back, which is something councils can do.

    Cardiff council did this some years ago in the Riverside area of the city where there were some very run down private letting properties that were declared unfit. I think council’s can take them on for five years in order to recoup their expenses in rehabilitating the property before handing it back to the owner. It’s an exceptional intervention that I think should become a norm.

    I also think that rents need to be controlled, that more council housing needs to be built, pronto, maybe using modern methods of prefabrication. The legislation around housing associations needs to be radically reformed, breaking up the huge associations that seem to excel only in the area of supplying unfit housing so that once again they become hyperlocal organisations where there is a statutory requirement that they be 100% tenant controlled.

    No one should have to live in such conditions where there is infestation or black mould, and what is particularly galling is how often tenants get blamed for these things when much of it is down to the poor actions by landlords, both private, public and semi-public (housing associations). Housing associations are notorious for making Victorian era housing air tight, when it should be known that the Victorians were obsessed with ventilation, to the extent that draughts were seen as healthful: no wonder then when hermetically sealed with double glazing and draught seals, black mould inevitably appears. But as a tenant you get ignored, as it is well known that housing association tenants are axiomatically stupid, and know nothing about house construction. (My experience as someone who, in the dim and distant past, was involved with tenant participation is that many tenants do know a thing or two that in terms of building knowledge runs rings around some HA development staff, whom, variously, didn’t know that chipboard off gasses formaldehyde, (just what you need in family housing where children, due to growth are more susceptible to the build up of that chemical in their bodies – it’s carciogenic) and also one poor sucker of a HA representative was completely at sea when asked about acoustic insulation standards for Wales, by a tenant who had seen a documentary about how Scotland went about the issue. (At the time Scotland had strict regs over acoustic insulation, whereas England and Wales had no requirement whatsoever, this was the 90s. there are standards now – but HAs often manage to balls it up. Quelle suprise!

    Glad to see you back Kate. Look forward to reading your next book, but please don’t publish it on Amazon, cos I won’t buy from there.

    • Fantastic post, Padi, and you’re right on all counts.

      Fear not about Amazon. I long ago deleted my account with those barracuda and would choose death over any relationship with them. I live for the day when a Bezos space mission ends in a head-on with an astroid. Now that I think about it, I might briefly activate Amazon prime for a livestream of that.

      But I’d delete it when the fun was over.

  2. The slug problem is more common than you might think. I’ve had slugs in my kitchen but not quite to that extent, the odd one or two on kitchen floor always making a bee line for the cat food or actually in the cat dish. I thought they were getting under the back door somehow so I put salt across the door frame but then I was still finding them and sussed out they were coming from under the kitchen sink cupboard via a small hole in one very inaccessible corner, so squirmed some spray bleach in there and stopped seeing them, apart from a couple of weeks ago found one small slug about 2 inches long actually in my cupboard under the sink where I keep my pans.

    My downstairs neighbour says he gets them and thinks they’re getting under his door, but he lives in the cellar, rented out as a bedsit. Another neighbour says there are slugs coming from under his washing machine and he finds them wrapped around side of cat dish.

    And back on the 80s I used to get them in the kitchen in a very old cottage I lived in that was, around 200 yrs old out in the sticks, and the kitchen was below ground level. In that case I think they were either getting under the tiny back door or through a louvered window.

    As for the black mould that Padi mentions, I had it on a bedroom wall and the cause was a blocked gutter and leaking drainpipe on the outside of the house at the back, which meant that for years rain water had been soaking into the wall causing damp inside.

  3. Perhaps ‘R’ could block the holes and access points up? I appreciate that a great deal of the accommodation now being offered is substandard, especially in London, but self-help would go a long way to making some of these places habitable. If an oven is filfhy – clean it. If there is mould – treat it. Slugs are not rats – blocking the entry points would solve the problem.

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