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Horror as call-outs over pests in East Lancashire revealed
REPORTS of rodents and other pests were three times higher in Blackburn than Burnley over a two-year period, new figures show.
Rats, mice and wasps were among the problems environmental health teams were called to resolve.
The British Pest Control Association submitted Freedom of Information requests to councils throughout the UK asking how many call-outs councils had in 2011 and 2012.
In total, Blackburn with Darwen Council was called out more than 6,000 times over the two years, while in Burnley, which has a smaller population, the council was called just over 2,000 times.
More than 4,300 call-outs in Blackburn with Darwen were for reports of rats, with Burnley Council carrying out 1,577 during the same period.
It comes after traders and politicians called on Blackburn with Darwen Council to tackle the growing rat problem around the Cathedral and Boulevard since the knocking down of the old market.
Liberal Democrat Paul Browne warned the problem would cause shoppers to ‘go somewhere else’.Ribble Valley Borough Council was called out 247 times over the two years after reports of rats, with Pendle Borough Council dealing with 1,788 call-outs for same problem.
Blackburn with Darwen Council responded to 1,163 reports of mice over the two years, Burnley Council responded to 304 reports and Ribble Valley Borough Council was called out 188 times. The same councils responded to reports of wasps 560 times, 62 times and 371.
BPCA chief executive, Simon Forrester, said: “There are many localised reasons why an area could have a high prevalence of a certain pest, but we’re concerned that at a national level pest control services are being cut.
“Local authorities are under immense strain to come up with savings.
“The BPCA wants to make sure this doesn’t have an impact on public health. If a council stops providing pest control services it is important the public uses a reputable expert such as a BPCA member.
“The BPCA is very keen to make sure that short-term budget cuts don’t result in much higher overall costs down the line.
“If an infestation isn’t dealt with quickly and properly, it will spread.
“Dealing with it then is much more expensive and it carries a greater risk to public health.”
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