Councils in the North East hit top 10 for pest control call outs
5 Oct 2013
According to a recent survey, homes in the North have been subjected to a higher rate of infestations than the rest of the UK
Rats, mice, bedbugs, wasps and cockroaches . . . no one wants pests in their home.
But according to a recent survey, homes in the North have been subjected to a higher rate of infestations than the rest of the UK.
South Tyneside, Sunderland, Newcastle and Middlebrough councils all made the top 10 for pest control call-outs in 2012, the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) said.
Experts are stumped as to the root of the North pest problem, but said it could be down to the likes of population density and lively city-centre nightlife as well as availability of free pest control services.
Mum-of-two Michelle Kelly was forced out of her home after seeing a rat race across her bedroom.
“It was absolutely horrible,” said the 27-year-old, of North Shields in North Tyneside, who lives with sons Thomas, nine, and two-year-old AJ.
“I could not sleep in my house so moved to my mum’s. I thought the noises I heard was the dog upstairs but when I went up I saw a rat run across the room.
“It is just not nice to have that in your home.”
South Tyneside Council had the fourth highest rate of call outs in the UK in 2012, at 29.25 per 1,000 people, a total of 4,333 calls. However, this was down slightly from 4,477 calls in 2011.
A spokesman said: “We have a highly-experienced team of pest control technicians offering advice and support to residents and businesses.
“These figures reflect the high demand for our service which is well recognised locally and is generally where our residents turn to for assistance.
“The council also offers competitive rates compared to those of private pest control contractors and up until April 2012, when the BPCA’s research ended, many households received free pest control treatments if they were in receipt of certain benefits.
“People living in council-owned housing receive treatments which are paid for by the council’s housing company, South Tyneside Homes.”
Sunderland City Council was fifth in the UK with 29.06 call-outs per 1,000, a total of 8,007 calls. The council also ranked in the top ten for mice call-outs, with 2,663 calls in 2012.
Coun James Blackburn, portfolio holder for city services said: “Sunderland City Council provides a free domestic control service for the treatment of rodents and other pests where there is a risk to public health.
“The council also carries out proactive treatments. Many factors such as weather conditions from cold snaps or rain can influence the number of pest control incidents and reportings.”
Newcastle City Council was seventh in the table. It had 8,032 calls last year, down from 8,452 in 2011.
Peter Gray, head of highways and local services said: “We are a bit surprised at this league table.
“We have never noticed Newcastle or the rest of the North East having any ‘higher than average’ pest problem than the rest of the UK.
“I think these results show North East councils are very good and responding to and recording call outs.”
The North’s pest problem could be down to a number of factors said Richard Moseley, techinical manager of the BPCA, including population density and the liveliness of city-centre nightlife.
He said: “Where there’s a free service it is going to be more widely used.”
But he warned that any council cuts could lead to a noticeable increase in pest problems.
Mr Moseley added: “I think we have to be aware this could be a factor for the future because if you remove a free service then people will not use it or cannot because they do not have the finances.”