The housing department this week defended the new treatment which has been criticised by tenants as ineffective in driving out the bugs.

Last summer the council promised to fumigate the building because the cockroaches were nesting in cupboards, babies' cots and fridges.

A council spokesman said that a new treatment of gel bait was introduced successfully in December, although it depended on tenants providing the contractor, Standby, with complete access to properties.

Three dates were set to lay the bait this year, but 10 percent of homes have not co-operated.

While some tenants are happy with the new treatment, others told the Comet that it is ineffective and accused the council of penny-pinching.