This years survey, unsurprisingly, reveals annual rat treatments have increased by more than 15% and mouse treatments by nearly 6% over 2006/7 the biggest rise recorded in the history of the survey.
The survey published on 8 February 2009, and this year produced in association with Sorex, includes full treatment data from no less than 80% of the UK Local Authorities with pest control responsibilities and identifies well over half a million complaints leading to rodent treatments in the year.
|“Brown rats continue to be our most important national rodent pest,” says NPTA survey co-ordinator, Barrie Sheard. “They were responsible for nearly three quarters of all the Local Authority treatments recorded in 2007/8.
“In total, the councils reported over 378,000 rat treatments. That’s fully 44% up on the previous year. At the same time, mouse treatments – at over 147,000 – were 39% higher than 2006/7, bringing overall treatment levels to well above those seen in our previous record year of 2005/6.
“On a like-for-like basis – to account for the welcome increase in local authorities responding to our latest survey (80% response in 2007/8 against 62% the previous year) – annual rat treatments have increased by more than 15% and mouse treatments by nearly 6% over 2006/7.
This is one of the biggest rises we’ve ever recorded since our annual surveying began in 1998/9,” he stresses. “And it takes place despite the growing number of councils either charging for rodent control services or referring residents tocommercial pest control businesses – both of which we know markedly reduce the number of complaints leading to treatments,” he concluded.
These results could not come at a worse time. Numerous cash-strapped Local Authorities are considering withdrawing their pest control services – see our Boom or Bust feature.
Commenting on the results, Graham Dukes, CIEH chief executive called for: “A single government department to have ultimate responsibility for supervising monitoring programmes and implementing pest management measures. In the UK control of our most significant pests is loosening when it should be tightening,” he said.
The survey was very publically launched during the BBC 1 Countryfile programme on Sunday 8 February. Congratulations to NPTA for this positive coverage. If you missed Countryfile you can see it on BBC iplayer – click here – but only until 15 February 2009. It is the second story featured about six minutesinto the programme.
A copy of the full report is available by clicking here. It is also available from the NPTA website as are several useful supporting documents. One shows regional totals – click here – another lists those Local Authorities who took part – click here – whilst a third makes interesting reading as it details the comments made on the returned questionnaires – click here.