Pest controllers in Leicester among busiest in country with 5,482 call-outs in a year
Pest controllers in Leicester have been among the busiest in the country, battling everything from swarms of wasps to rat and mouse infestations.
Leicester City Council's eight-strong team of exterminators was called out 5,482 times between April, 2010 and April, 2011, according to figures obtained by the British Pest Control Association (BPCA).
That made it the busiest local authority team in the East Midlands and 15th in the list of call-outs among 314 councils in England.
Councillor Sarah Russell, assistant city mayor responsible for neighbourhoods, put the high ranking down to the fact that the council offered to help everyone with pest problems, not only its own tenants.
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She said: "Many authorities will only help people who are council tenants but we will help anyone with a rat problem free and anyone with other pest problems for a fixed price, which people know up front."
"It means people are not forced to use private firms, where they do not know what they will be paying.
"I think this is perhaps why we are high up in the table, because we will go out and help people when they call – and people can trust us to do that."
BPCA asked all 314 local authorities in the country how many times they were called out to deal with a variety of pests.
The figures make up only part of the pest picture in Leicester because they do not include trips made by private pest control teams. Richard Flowers, owner of independent company Leicester Pest Control, said the figures did not surprise him.
He said: "We are getting a lot of rats these days, particularly around Jarrom Street because of all the redevelopment of the factories and old buildings.
"The rats in there have to go somewhere and we get called to get rid of them.
"Last year, we saw a lot of bedbugs.
"People aren't going abroad as much and instead are going on city breaks, bringing back bed bugs from nasty hotels in London.
"Also, I would say we are seeing more cockroaches and that may be because people don't have as much money as they used to.
"We will go in and tell them that we need to rip out all the chipboard they were living in and people will be reluctant because they haven't got the money to replace it. That causes pests."
Total call-outs in Leicestershire and Rutland
5,482 call-outs by Leicester City Council (15th highest in country).
1,628 call-outs by Charnwood Borough Council (119th in country).
1,276 call-outs by Harborough District Council (147th in country).
1,118 call-outs by Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council (176th in country).
923 call-outs by North West Leicestershire District Council (200th in country).
782 call-outs by Rutland County Council (219th in country).
675 call-outs by Blaby District Council (232nd in country).
671 call-outs by Oadby and Wigston Borough Council (233rd in country).
420 call-outs by Melton Borough Council (258th in country).
Rats, roaches, wasps and bed bugs
Between April, 2010, and April, 2011, Leicester City Council was called out 5,482 times to deal with various pests, placing it top in the East Midlands and the 15th busiest out of 314 authorities in country.
Among the total call-outs, they got rid of 1,820 infestations of rats, placing them 30th in the country of all authorities, when it comes to total call-outs for the furry pest.
785 cases of cockroaches, – the fifth most cases in the country.
1,835 cases of mice – 11th in country.
216 cases of bed bugs – 17th in country.
610 cases of wasps – 79th in the country.