NEARLY 7000 homes and businesses in Fife had problems with pests such as rats and cockroaches in the space of a year.
Fife Council dealt with a total of 6893 pest control call-outs in a 12 month period making it the second highest figure per 1000 residents in all 32 Scottish local authorities.
The data comes from a national survey ran by the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) which analysed demand for pest control help across all 393 authorities in the UK.
The survey showed that the Council was called out 883 times to deal with rats, the sixth highest figure in Scotland. 2814 calls were received for wasps and over 1000 call-outs were needed to get rid of ants. Bed bugs and cockroaches were also listed as problems in the BPCA survey.
Simon Forrester, chief executive at the BPCA, said: “This is the most comprehensive study of the demand placed on local authorities for pest control ever carried out and it covers a period when the austerity measures were starting to bite.
“There may be a number of local factors why a council appears towards the top of one of the lists, but on a national scale the BPCA is concerned that pest control budgets are being hit.
“That may make it harder for councils in Scotland to respond as effectively as they would like, which could have implications for both quality of life and public health.
“Authorities are reducing manpower and looking at new ways of dealing with pests. We would urge councils thinking of outsourcing services to use BPCA members – potential public health problems need to be dealt with by professionals, and failing to tackle an infestation properly leads to additional expense and resident dissatisfaction.”
Pest control is a discretionary service which local authorities do not have to provide though Fife Council does have such a service which is supplied for a fee.
Elaine Devine, Service Manager for Fife Council, said: “We are one of the few local authorities that provide a comprehensive pest control service, dealing not only with rats and mice but also ants, wasps, fleas, mites and beetles etc.
“The service is provided at very reasonable cost and it is not surprising therefore that we receive a high number of requests for the service.
“The recent spell of relatively dry weather over the past few days has certainly generated a very high level of call outs to deal with wasps and ants which is keeping our team very busy indeed.”
She added that the number of call outs and requests for the service will be governed by a number of factors such as cost, the range of insects treated and the population density of Fife.
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