It is not something that anyone wants to find when they open their front door.
But a floor covered in maggots was the nightmare at Southampton flats which have been overrun by the pests.
Residents have found hundreds of the creatures in their communal areas, bins, sheds and even their homes – and now they appear to be coming up through the floor.
Opening one bin released an unbearable stench, and inside dozens of white bodies crawled up the sides of the bin and plastic bags.
The problem developed yesterday morning when maggots, which come from flies’ eggs, appeared everywhere – under residents’ doormats, in hallways and even in one resident’s lounge.
People living in the block, in Meggeson Avenue, Townhill Park, yesterday spent more than six hours and used five bottles of bleach in an attempt to battle the creatures.
However they keep finding more and cannot be sure where they are coming from – and to make matters worse, cleaning products do not appear to be having much effect.
Residents say that they have never seen anything like it, but believe the problem may stem from the bins, which were not emptied last week.
Jenna Marshall, who is staying with grandmother Joyce Ford, believes that she has seen more than 1,000 maggots.
“They were everywhere, to the point where we came out here and we were playing hopscotch,” said the pub worker.
“It actually looked like the floor was moving.”
She says that she called Southampton City Council, which sent out a housing warden who took the bins away. But no sooner had they put down bleach into the cracks in the communal area than scores more maggots suddenly appeared from underneath the floor.
Last night, council staff spent a further three hours trying to clean the area with industrial hoses – but still more eggs keep being found with more maggots hatching.
Jenna said that the elderly people living in the block should not have to deal with this on their own.
Her grandmother Joyce Ford, 72, a foster carer, who has lived there for three years, said: “It was as if it was the attack of the maggots.
“I feel let down and angry. I don’t expect to come home and find maggots crawling in my home.
“It’s a nightmare – I feel like I’m in a horror film. It’s crazy.”
William Young, 77, retired, said: “We’re all affected. It’s disgusting.”
The council was unavailable for comment but confirmed that it had sent out a warden to deal with the problem.