A mum-of-five fleeing domestic abuse said she has been placed in a house “infested with bed bugs”.

It is the eighth time she has been moved in the past six years by Croydon Council, she claimed.

The mum was moved to a new property in Mitcham in October and quickly started to notice a “lumpy rash” developing over her arms.

She was initially told this was scabies by a doctor but when it did not clear up, she discovered what she thought was a rash was bites from bed bugs.

She said: “I started to sleep downstairs away from the children.

"I started to clear my room and I saw all these bed bugs in my bed and everywhere. They were in the skirting boards and in an old walk-in wardrobe.

“Now they have gone into my childrens’ room and the children have all been bitten. I am absolutely terrified and it is so stressful.”

The 37-year-old has been placed in a privately rented house with Croydon Council paying her housing benefit while neighbouring Merton Council covers the council tax.

An email from Croydon Council, seen by the LDRS confirms this, as well as the fact the house is classed as temporary accommodation.

She added: “The council are not helping me at all – Croydon keeps telling me to go to Merton and Merton tells me to go to Croydon.”

Lead organiser for Wandsworth Renters Group, Andrea Gilbert, has been supporting the family.

She said: “It is absolutely disgraceful what is going on it just goes to show how landlords and councils can get out leaving vulnerable mothers in situations like {this mother] is in now.

“To get in touch with me you need to be worse for wear, she was very upset, very distressed.

"She is blaming herself for the situation which is just not fair.

"This is supposed to be a fresh start for her she is in a home she thought would be good for her but it is infested in bed bugs.”

Merton Council did not respond to a request for comment before publication.

A Croydon Council spokesperson said: “This tenant is being supported by the council and is currently on the waiting list for a permanent home.

"She is also eligible to bid for a property through Croydon Choice, the council’s lettings service portal.

"While there have been no reports of infestations received by the council directly, the council has been in contact with the landlord who will be working with the tenant to resolve the issue.”