Bolton is to introduce fees for dealing with rat infestation – a service that has previously been provided for free.
Under a proposal, the council will seek to charge £40 for two visits to deal with cases of rodents after hundreds of appointments to clear rodents were missed due to residents not being at home.
In 2019/20 the council’s pest control team made 6,555 visits to control rats in the borough.
There were also 2,029 additional visits to properties that had already received a treatment visit.
A report to Councillor Hilary Fairclough, cabinet member for environmental services delivery, who will decide on whether to introduce charges, said: “It is recognised that while the provision of an affordable rodent control service is of benefit to residents, pest control is not a statutory council duty.
“The provision of a free rodent eradication service discourages customer’s self-management of pests and also serves to inflate the numbers of service requests, with current demand suggesting that there is a larger pest problem in the town than exists in reality.”
The report highlights that Bolton is the only authority in Greater Manchester that does not currently charge for rodent control.