|Hounslow Borough Council recently received a freedom of information act request, on reported pest activity in recent years. The report confirmed that there has been over 13,000 pest control related incidents reported in the borough over the past 3 years. As with many other boroughs, pests in Hounslow are clearly on the increase. But with government cuts and a recession still on going, is this really a surprise? According to the report, the most common pest treated in Hounslow of late is rats, closely followed by bed bugs.
The increase in the rat problem can be put down to a number of other factors. Waste is certainly one of the key factors. We all know that waste should be put out on the morning of collection, if possible. Unfortunately this is not always possible, or practical for large families. Sometimes people put their waste out days before. If there were 2 bin collections a week, the number of rats would undoubtedly fall considerably, as without a food source rats cannot survive. But this is not going to happen in the current conditions we are unfortunately in. Also with more small restaurants and fast food establishments around in Hounslow, there is more food waste available for rats.
Another issue with rats, all over London, is ineffective methods of control and removal. This is generally because many people are now forced in to choosing, due to the recession, to try and treat rats themselves, instead of getting professional help. This is all very well if you know what you are doing and continue the treatment until the rats have gone. But it is usually found in these circumstances, that people think that placing shop bought poisons just once will get rid of the problem, and don’t continue refreshing, or checking, the poisons placed. Quite often, second-rate shop bought poisons and incorrect dosages, can mean that rats actually thrive on these products and will in fact find the product quite palatable. This often means that when pest control companies are called to deal with a rat problem, it can take longer to get rid of the rats because they have to change to a stronger poison during treatment, because rats have built up a resistance to some poisons already.
At the end of the day, the best way to keep the number of rats down is to try and keep things clean and tidy. We can all help ourselves by not putting rubbish out early. If you need more bins, use metal ones as rats will chew through plastic to get to food. If you eat take away food and snacks when you’re out shopping or on your lunch break, please make sure you put all of your waste in the bin. These should be emptied on a regular basis.
If you do find yourself with a rat problem at home, please call in a professional pest control company.