There can be few things as unpleasant as seeing a rat running around your home or workplace, particularly in the kitchen. It can be a distressing, disconcerting sight, especially as rodents can spread disease and some people may have a phobia.
Therefore, it is understandable residents of North Lanarkshire, near Glasgow are up in arms after rat sightings have increased by around 200%, with many laying the blame at the fact people are being charged to have their bins taken away.
The local council implemented charging for bin collections in September of 2017, which saw general waste bins being picked up less frequently, once every three weeks, instead of every seven days.
The number of rat sightings reported to North Lanarkshire Council that year was 624. However, the following year, 2018, the ratio rose to over 1200, while, last year, it went up again, to more than 1600.
People have noted a sharp increase in rodent problems in the area since they began charging to take the bins away. There has also been a marked rise in pest control call outs, which surged from over 400 three years ago, to more than 800 in 2018, and then increased again to almost 1200.
Residents are now demanding something be done about the vermin problem. But, the Member of Parliament for Wishaw has stated other communities like Carfin, Muirhouse, Newarthill and Newmains have also reported rat sightings and the issue may be widespread across the local authority.
Critics say rat sightings have doubled inside 12 months and reducing waste bin collections may be contributing to a public health problem, leading for calls to overturn drops in uplifts.
Four years ago, North Lanarkshire Council brought out a £46.35 charge for pest control callouts for private, non-council, residents. It initially saw a drop in rat sightings in 2016, as well as the rate of callouts. But the charge now seems to be dissuading people from bringing in pest control experts to deal with rat infestations, resulting in a growth in their numbers.
For instance, the village of Newmains in Wishaw has seen a rise in the number of householders spotting rodents in their homes, as it has spread from two streets to the entire area. Leading a local councillor criticising cuts in waste management, resulting in an increase in cases of fly-tipping and pest sightings.
However, although sympathetic, North Lanarkshire Council maintains not all areas in the local authority have infestations, and those which have been affected may have their problems, which the community may focus on.
If you are worried about the possibility of a rat sighting, there are recommended measures you could take to prevent it, such as not leaving food out, disposing of it properly and closing household bins, amongst other precautions.
Do you require advice and information on dealing with a rat infestation? Would you like to know more about pest prevention, or use the most up to minute removal techniques? If you spot a rat in your home, you should give Pest-Master Ltd a call. We provide the leading pest control services in the West of Scotland, to dispose of the pest safely. You can depend on us.