AN ELDERLY woman is scared to open her only front-facing window because of a giant wasps’ nest outside her upstairs flat.

Widow Betty Windslow, of Liden, lives in a home owned by Sovereign Housing who, she says, has refused to remove the nest from her outside wall.

The 89-year-old said: “I haven’t seen it myself, I have to open the window to see it, but I’m frightened that if I open the window they’ll come in.

“I’ve been keeping my door open in this hot weather because I didn’t want to open the window.”

Betty, who is a grandmother to eight grandchildren and 10 great- grandchildren, discovered the problem when she returned from holiday in Weston-Super-Mare on June 14.

She said: “My neighbour came and told me she could see a nest outside my window. “We don’t even know whether it is wasps or bees. If they are bees, they might be short-haired bumble bees, then why can’t a keeper come and get them? If it’s wasps, then something has to be done.”

Betty has been in touch with both Swindon Council and Sovereign Housing in an attempt to have the nest removed.

She said: “Sovereign said it wasn’t their responsibility, the council said it wasn’t theirs, it was mine, and it would cost me £50 for them to send someone out.

“I’m a widow and social pays my rent because I haven’t got enough money,” she said, adding that £50 is a lot of money for her. “I don’t think it’s right, it’s not my property. If Sovereign are paying the insurance, they should pay for it.”

Pest control is not a statutory service offered by Swindon Council, and so it competes with other commercial pest control services in the area.

It does offer a service which costs £50 to treat domestic infestations of wasps on the property.

A spokesperson for Sovereign said: “While we fully understand our residents’ concerns, in line with our tenancy agreement, as the wasp nest is outside of the property, we are not responsible for its removal.”

A council spokesperson said: “The council has no statutory duty to treat wasps.

“If the pests are present because of any defect in the property or in any shared parts of housing schemes then this becomes the landlord’s responsibility. If wasps or other pests are found within a tenant’s home then they would normally be the responsibility of the tenant.

For details of the council’s pest control service visit http://www.swindon.