The pest things in life are these...

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FIFE Council dealt with a total of 6893 pest control call-outs over a year.

That equated to 19.05 pest problems per 1000 residents – the second highest per 1000 figure out of all 32 Scottish local authorities.

The data comes from the first British Pest Control Association National Survey, which analysed demand for pest control across all 393 authorities in the UK over a 12-month period.

The survey shows that Fife Council was called out a total of 883 times over the period to alleviate problems with rats – equivalent to 2.44 demands for service per 1000 residents and ranking six out of 32 in Scotland.

British Pest Control Association (BPCA) research found that Fife Council had 2814 problems with wasps, ranking third in the per 1000 table with a figure of 7.78.

There were 1316 call-outs for ants in Fife, ranking second in Scotland with 3.64 per 1000.

There were 26 issues with bed bugs, equating to 0.07 per 1000 and ranking ninth.

Fife had 10 call-outs for cockroaches, ranking sixth with 0.03 demands for service.

The not-for-profit BPCA sent Freedom of Information Act requests to all local authorities asking for service demand figures for the 12 months to April 2011. Every council responded. Pests covered by the data include rats, mice, bed bugs, cockroaches, wasps, ants and birds.

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.”

Mr Forrester added: “This first British Pest Control Association National Survey provides incredibly valuable baseline data. Subsequent surveys will allow us to plot trends, to identify new threats and to gauge how cutbacks are affecting such a vital public health service.”