IN A WEEK where pest control companies have received an increase in reports in infestations, we are revisiting the great Barrow infestation of 1989.

Longway residents found their homes overrun by large cockroaches, with the four-legged house guests even crawling over the faces of children during the night and interrupting their mealtimes.

Homeowners, John Atkinson and Doreen Eccles found their home overrun by thousands of cockroaches.

The insects were attracted to any food in the house and hid inside the walls, cracks, and fireplace of the house.

Horrified resident Freda Ridley described the infestation in the June 26 1989 edition of the Mail.

“The kid next door dropped a biscuit on his bedroom floor and there were 30 cockroaches attacking it in seconds.”

Pest control professionals Ken and Keith McLaren, a father and son team with the environmental health department, were called upon to tackle the uninvited guests. They sprayed the houses with chemicals, drilled holes in the walls and made trapdoors to defeat the infestation.

Keith said: “We’re spraying any cracks or crevices where cockroaches might hide. People don’t like the smell but it’s better than having cockroaches.”

The father and son only needed about 30 minutes to treat each house. They sprayed skirting with insecticide and put boric acid powder under the floorboards. Freda declared that the McLaren’s had done a fantastic job and had liberated her home.