Residents terrorised by cockroaches have said they have been “forced out” of their apartments because the building belongs to the bugs now.

People living in Booth Court in Lewisham say they have seen the tower fall to the roaches over the course of a year and said the tower owners did not treat the problem before it became too extreme.

Maverley Campbell lives in one of the flats and said she and her two-year-old son couldn’t sleep in their home because they couldn’t deal with the cockroaches anymore.

She said: “They cockroaches have taken over my bedroom and my bathroom. We had to sleep on the floor at a friend’s house.

“When I wake up at night I see cockroaches run under everything. Eight floors and everybody there is having problems with cockroaches.”

Sanya Doyle said the problem had been going on for a number of months and that the insects even patrol the hallways and lifts.

The 38-year-old said: “You think it’s all gone, but you see them appearing again. They are even in the lift and the hallways.

“There were two of them outside my door trying to come in, they are literally everywhere in this building.”

L&Q, which owns the apartment block, said it has started a more serious and widespread treatment of the building starting November 11.

Speaking to News Shopper, an L&Q spokeswoman also said contractors suggested to them the cockroaches were brought in through footfall in and out of the properties and the issue was not to do with the pipes in the tower.

However the residents felt the problem should have been dealt with months ago. Sanya said: “They have been putting if off for ages.

“They are just pitting down some traps and checking then but it’s more serious than that. If L&Q had done it since last year it wouldn’t have gotten to this state.”

Maverley said: “There are cockroaches in the washing machine when I went to open it, we are homeless and they are doing nothing to help.”

An L&Q spokeswoman said: “Last year a small number of flats in Booth Court reported and were treated for cockroaches. Following this treatment we received no further reports of activity until this year.

“In June this year, the first of around 10 flats reported cockroaches once again and treatment commenced in those properties as well as in communal areas.

“It was confirmed by our Pest Control Contractors that the pest issue may be more widespread and a block treatment started on November 11 with further treatments being carried out in the coming weeks in order to eradicate them from the building.

“Treatment will continue until confirmation is received that this issue has been eradicated.”