A mother has told how she has been ‘forced’ to leave her home with her four-year-old daughter after birds and bugs created a ‘living nightmare’ in her home.

Donna Sweeney and her young daughter, Leah, have been experiencing an infestation of bugs in their home for upwards of one year and recent weather conditions have caused damage to the flats they live in, allowing pigeons to nest in the roof.

Young Leah has found bugs in her toys and clothes, while Donna told the Post she had found them in her bedsheets and carpet.

Donna has managed the issue on her own due to lockdown, she laid new floors throughout the property on Trafalgar Street, Dalmuir, but this has not alleviated the problem.

Now, the mother-of-one has faced disputes with her Housing Officer after she reported hearing ‘scratching’ and ‘an animal with four legs and claws’, in the ceiling above her top-floor property which has left her daughter fearful of living in the house.

Donna said: “We heard it a few times and we were not sure what it was, Environmental Health came out and laid traps but also noticed ‘mouse like’ droppings.

“My wee girl has only just gone into primary 1 and she was so petrified of the sound, it's been a living nightmare for her with bug infestations and now she thinks rats are in her house.

“I approached the housing and all they said was that they would look into it, they opened up the loft and found holes where pigeons had been getting in but denied there was anything else up there.

“At first they said there were only birds, now I am being told there were also squirrels.

“Bird droppings can lead to infections if they are disturbed or get into pipes, I don’t know what risk that poses for me and Leah and I can’t rust Trafalgar Housing as they denied there were anything other than birds in the beginning so I genuinely feel they would tell me anything to stop me complaining.”

Breathing dust or water droplets containing contaminated bird droppings can lead to several diseases such as Psittacosis, a flu-like illness and pneumonia or Salmonella, a bacterial infection.

Her daughter is now living with her mother in Parkhall, temporarily, as she was so scared being in the house.

Leah has just started Clydemuir Primary School and Donna feels this issue is having a significant impact on her routine, upsetting her week and causing her to feel unsettled.

Donna is also concerned this is breaking Scottish Government guidance and is worried her daughter could infect her mother, who suffers from health issues, as schools in WDC have confirmed several cases of coronavirus.

She has asked Trafalgar Housing for alternative accommodation until they have sufficiently concluded that there is no further bird issues, nor risk of infection within the building.

A spokesperson for the housing provider said: “As far as we can ascertain at some point recently a roof tile had slipped down which had exposed a gap that pigeons had used to enter the attic.

“Although squirrels were seen on the roof area we have no evidence that they accessed the attic. In addition two cracked panes of glass have been replaced.

“The only remaining work in the attic area will be for a specialist company to check that no droppings have contaminated the attic area, this work should be completed next week.

“I do appreciate that it would be disconcerting to hear noise from the attic area but it is not uncommon for birds or even animals to gain access to an attic in the event of a broken window hatch, slipped tile etcetera, which is usually because of storm damage.

“We are confident however that we have remedied the issue as quickly as possible as we had to arrange for scaffolding to be erected external to the building to allow safe access.

“We could not prioritise Donna for a transfer to another property in either of the above issues as we feel we have taken measures to resolve them.”