Weather means rise in rodents

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WIGANERS are being urged to deal with rat problems properly to save money and the environment.

Basic Prompt, which registers qualified pest control technicians, says vermin such as mice and rats will have been encouraged to move into homes and outbuildings in the area by January’s freezing temperatures.

But warmer weather will not persuade vermin to move out again, says Basis, and failing to deal with infestations at the first attempt will be more costly to both householders and wildlife.

Rob Simpson, managing director at Basic Prompt, said: “This is a national problem, it’s not just specific to Wigan, but poorly-qualified pest controllers can do more harm than good.

“Rodenticides are a valuable tool for pest controllers and farmers, but there are issues with them.

“There is evidence that resistance to them is growing, and they can also be very harmful to wildlife if they get into the food chain.

“If a pest controller isn’t properly qualified, it is more likely that the problem will not be solved properly – resulting in more call-outs a few weeks or months down the line.

“It is also more likely that rodenticides will be administered, monitored and collected incorrectly, which increases the potential to harm birds and animals.”

To be eligible for Basic, pest control technicians need to have achieved the Level Two Award in Pest Management or Pest Control.

Registration has to be renewed each year, so members will always be aware of the most up-to-date techniques, products and legislation.

To remain registered, technicians and managers have to gain 20 CPD points a year. Points can be gained through a variety of methods, including training, attending exhibitions, online quizzes and reading trade magazines.

Mr Simpson added: “The key thing is to deal with the problem once and for all, and then take effective measures to stop vermin coming back. If anticoagulant rodenticides are used incorrectly and the infestation isn’t dealt with, untrained pest controllers are adding to the resistance problem.

“Using too much or too little rodenticide, or putting it in the wrong place, can make things worse.”

Basic Prompt tips for avoiding vermin infestations include:

Good hygiene is essential – food is one of the key requirements for pests, so if areas such as waste bins in the garden aren’t properly maintained they are an open invitation to rats, cats, foxes and flies.

Small furry things can attract small furry things – if rabbits or guinea pigs are kept outside, hutches are best to not keep food on show.

Millions enjoy feeding birds in the garden but too much bird food can encourage rats, mice and squirrels, so Wiganers are being advised not to leave too much out otherwise it will attract rodents.