Hackney and Tower Hamlets councils have the highest call-out rates for rat, mouse, bed bug and cockroach infestations in London according to a report by the British Pest Control Association.
The figures show how many times local council authorities were called out to deal with various pests in their areas in 2012. London authorities have topped the national charts, and East London boroughs have shown particularly high numbers.
Hackney showed the highest numbers amongst ELL boroughs, with the council having been called upon 5848 times by residents to rid their homes of unwelcome animals. The council, when asked to comment, told us that these figures are not as frightening as they first appear and should be seen as a positive finding.
The data, which was collected through freedom of information requests, shows how many times local councils have been entrusted to rid homes of pests. It does not take into account private pest control firms, so higher numbers could show that residents trust their council to deal with pest issues.
Feryal Demirci, a spokesperson for Hackney Council told ELL: “Hackney Council runs a cost effective, efficient pest control service, which competes for work with private sector companies. Unlike most authorities, we offer a comprehensive service. The BPCA says that high figures are good news as they show people trust their councils to solve the issue.”
Laurence Barnard of the BPCA backed this perspective: “Councils are doing a good job and not letting people live with the problem. We would definitely say it’s good that they are dealing with pest control.”
This is a view shared by Tower Hamlets council, the borough that showed the second highest numbers of the ELL boroughs. A spokesperson for the council said: “Tower Hamlets Council Pest Control Service operates as a business and is a large team contracted to provide free treatment to approximately 40,000 tenants and leaseholders. This will account for the high volume of calls to our service compared to other councils.”
Both councils insist that the best way to deal with a pest control is through them. Details of the council pest control departments can be found on their websites.