A single mum has resorted to sleeping in her bath due to a bedbug infestation which is making her and her kids "scratch until they bleed".

Soon after moving into a two-bedroom maisonette in December 2020, Tegan Dare realised bedbugs were living in the walls and skirting boards of the property.

She has been pleading with Southampton City Council to move, so far to no avail.

The mother-of-two said: “We are sore from head to tail due to so many sleepless nights being eaten by the bedbugs.

“My children love to go swimming and when I took them to the pool people made comments about all the red marks on their bodies saying things like ‘I hope that's not contagious’ - it’s horrible.

“Our bodies are so scarred from all the bites, I don’t think I will be able to wear a dress ever again.  

Daily Echo: Tegan's children are covered in scars from the bugsTegan's children are covered in scars from the bugs (Image: NQ)

“Our mental and physical health is in tatters. We have had no support from the council, and it feels like they aren’t concerned with the welfare of my children.”

Despite many attempts, nothing has gotten rid of the bedbugs.

Tegan, 27, added: “We have been staying with family just to get away from that place. I have stayed up night after night killing bedbugs around my children.

“If it was up to me – I would have the place set on fire.

“My electric bill is also through the roof as we have to wash our clothes very hot to kill the bugs.”

Daily Echo: The bugs are in the walls of the propertyThe bugs are in the walls of the property (Image: Submitted)

In response to Tegan’s claims, a council spokesperson said: “We sympathise with Ms Dare’s situation, and we have offered considerable support and advice over a long period of time to help tackle the issue at her home.

“While bed bug treatment plans can vary depending on the severity of the infestation, a sustained and consistent approach, which relies on tenant cooperation and keeping to arranged appointments, is generally the most effective.

“Following the two most recent treatments, our pest control team reported a significant improvement in the condition of Ms Dare’s home when they last visited on 3 November 2023 and a further, final, treatment is scheduled for this week.

“We very much hope this resolves this issue, as only after all the treatments are carried out and the effectiveness of the work is determined would we consider alternative housing options.”