Advice on Pests (including rodents):
The Council does not have a statutory duty to carry out the removal of pests but we will offer advice and guidance.
Some minor pest control problems can be treated yourself and treatment, such as insecticides and rodenticides can be bought from most hardware stores, garden centres and DIY stores. If you do decide to treat the infestation yourself, please follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and ensure animals, pets or children cannot get access to the treatment and that you do not contaminate food or damage your furnishings.
When seeking the services of a private pest controller, always seek a minimum of three quotes to ensure the best service and value for money. Even after treatment, the problem may reoccur. Ensure the price given is a fixed charge to eradicate or you could be charged for each separate visit.
Pest control services can be found in the phone book, yellow pages, Thompson local, local press and the internet.
If in doubt, seek professional advice and ensure that any pest control service used is registered with the British Pest Control Association (call 01332 294 288 or visit www.bpca.org.uk) or the National Pest Technician Association (call 01949 81133 or visit www.npta.org.uk).
Pests and the law:
We enforce the following legislation that imposes a duty on owners and/or occupiers of premises/land regarding infestations:
Part 1 of the Housing Act 2004 introduced the Housing Health and Safety Rating System which requires the Council to assess any risk of harm to an actual or potential occupier of a dwelling that may result from any deficiency that can give rise to a hazard. The relevant hazard would be “protection against infection” and would cover domestic hygiene, pests and refuse. Any action taken will depend on the cause and who is responsible. Where the cause is the responsibility of the householder we can issue legal notices to require action to remedy the defects and, if necessary, carry out the works in default and recover the costs involved. Contact the Housing Standards team on 01283 508680 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Section 83 of the Public Health Act 1936 gives the Council the power to require the owner or occupier of a property to clean verminous premises. ‘Vermin’ includes insects and parasites, their eggs, larvae and pupae. Further advice is available from our Housing team (details as above).
Section 4 of the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 gives the Council the power to require the owner or occupier of land (not agricultural) to take steps for the destruction of rats or mice or keeping land free from rats or mice. We can also carry out the works in default and recover the costs involved. Last year we were involved with over 100 of these cases, and served Enforcement Notices for many of these, typically removing black bags of domestic waste and soft furnishings from rear gardens. Learn more on our Enforcement Team webpage.
Section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 extends the list of statutory nuisances to include ‘any insects emanating from relevant industrial trade or business premises and being prejudicial to health or a nuisance’. Under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, some insects are excluded and this provision does not apply to insects from domestic properties. Learn more on our Pollution Team webpage.