Wandsworth pest control department in the news for the wrong reasons

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Wandsworth Council’s pest control unit has found itself in the news for all the wrong reasons with a woman asking them to pay her vet’s bill after her two dogs were, she says, poisoned by mouse bait.

Freyja Westdal, 51, a teacher, contacted Wandsworth council’s pest control department after suffering from problems with mice in her flat in Tooting. She says that council staff came and put down ‘mice traps’ – her description for what were clearly bait boxes.

She was told her dogs would not be able to get to the poison but warned correctly that if they did she should take them to the vets immediately.

She claims that the mice took the bait out of the boxes and left it strewn around the flat where the dogs Mabel and Mac could get at it and they ate it.

Ms Westdal took the two sprocker spaniels, a cross between a cocker and spring spaniel, to her vet who treated them successfully. However she now wants the council to pay for the £250 vet’s bill, and to refund the £85 she paid for the ‘mice traps’, which she says did not work.

Freya Westdal Freyja Westal with her sprocker spaniels.
Picture © Wandsworth Guardian

Clearly upset, she said: “They think it does not matter because they are dogs, but what if it was children? The council haven’t done anything at all and I still have mice. There is a health and safety issue.”

The council explained: “Our pest control service carries out thousands of mouse treatments every year and this is the first time a resident has ever reported an incident like this. Our procedures comply with the highest industry standards and the quantity of bait used in these devices does not pose a significant health risk to a dog or other large animals.”

To read the story as reported in the Wandsworth Guardian click here.

Pest controllers know that mice have a tendency to remove bait from boxes but would they move sufficient to poison the dogs? And would they leave it where the dogs could find it as they tend to cache their food? Have you come across any similar incidents. Let us know what you think happenned here by emailing the editor.

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