Pest control call-outs fall

PEST control complaints have fallen for the second year running according to new figures from environmental chiefs.

Hartlepool Borough Council was called out to a total of 2,023 requests in 2009-10, but that figure had fallen by more than 300 in 2011-12.

The latest figure includes a total of 900 requests for rat problems and 259 for mice.

Some treatments are free, but there is a charge for certain services.

Council chiefs say there is no statutory obligation to provide pest control services, but say they have always had a range of services because they are “valued” by residents and businesses.

Officers say the service has not seen a reduction in its budget, despite savage cuts from the Government to the council as a whole.

It is the second successive year the overall figures have gone down.

In 2010-11 the council received a total of 1,920 requests for pest control complaints.

A council spokesman said: “Although there is no statutory obligation for the council to provide pest control services, we have always delivered a range of services because they are valued by local residents and help protect the local environment.

“Despite the fact that the council has received significant cuts in Government funding, the pest control service has not seen a budget reduction.”

The council does not charge for call outs to domestic premises for rat and mice problems.

There is a £30 per hour charge plus materials and VAT however for call outs relating to fleas (human), bed bugs and cockroaches at domestic premises.

For other pests, including wasps, fleas (animal), woodlice, silverfish, earwigs etc, there is a £31 per hour charge plus materials plus VAT.

For business premises there is a flat rate of £50 per hour fee plus materials, plus VAT for all pests.

The fees were set in April 2011 and were frozen for the current financial year.

In 2009-10, the council received a total of 2,023 requests, including 1,078 for rats, 388 for mice and 273 for wasps.

In 2010-11, officers received a total of 1,920 requests.

That included 1,130 for rats, 317 for mice and 240 for wasps.

The figures continued to fall and last year, 2011-12, the overall requests fell to 1,703 which included 900 requests for rats, 259 for mice and 304 for wasps.

For more information, or to request a visit by the pest control officer, call (01429) 523357.