Council's 4,500 pest control call outs in a year

WIGAN Council's pest control squad was called out almost 4,500 times to get rid of rats and other vermin in the space of a year.

Mice were the most common problem, with 1,288 incidents, followed by 974 rat infestations.

Wasps posed an issue 969 times, with ant invasions leading to 734 call-outs.

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Fleas and similar insects posed a nuisance on 477 occasions, bed bugs 51 times and there were four infestations of cockroaches.

Although the number of pest call-outs had risen from 2013/14, (when there were 4,162 inidents), the overall trend is downwards, incidents in 2012/13 and 2011/12 numbering 6,605 and 6,894 respectively.

Paul Barton, Wigan Council’s assistant director for operational services, said: “While it is difficult to say exactly why the number of pest reports has gone down in recent years Wigan Council’s pest control team undertakes a proactive programme of sewer bating within the borough.

“The pest control team analyses operational data to identify the areas that have high levels of rat infestation in the summer months and then in the winter utilise any spare capacity within the team to target these areas under the programme of sewer baiting.

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“Weather conditions can also have a significant effect on the numbers of pests, either increasing or decreasing the volume.

“On the basis that prevention is better than cure, in addition to the pest extermination service that Wigan Council’s pest control team provides to customers, they actively advise customers on how the customer can reduce or eradicate pests in the future.”

The pest control teams provides the service to all, although this is a service that Wigan Council charges for.

Key client groups that the service is provided to are: WALH tenants, private tenants, domestic and commercial properties, private care homes, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, all council buildings and a number of schools within the borough as well as other council departments.

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Wigan Council has a web page covering pest control offering information and help:

The site includes pictures of all the different pests as well as related information so a correct identification of the pest can be done by the customer allowing for the correct advice and treatment can be delivered by pest control technicians.

There is also a self-help section attached to each different pest type so if the customer feels confident they have the option to undertake their own treatment.