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Pest Control

From 1 July 2018 the Council will be providing pest control services for vulnerable residents only.

Tenants

If you rent your property then you should contact your landlord or Housing Association as they are the owner of the building and are ultimately responsible for the buildings condition.

Home owners

If the infestation is in your property and the property is owned by you, then you're responsible for pest control.

From 1 July, the Council will no longer provide this service.  We recommend that you use an approved company which has signed up to one of the industry bodies such as the npta.org.uk or the bpca.org.uk.

It is advisable to get more than one quote, confirm what is included in the treatment cost, get recommendations or use a trade review site such as www.checkatrade.co.uk where possible.

If you are on means tested benefits (income based job seekers allowance, income support, council tax support, housing benefit, pension credit) the Council will arrange for a local contractor to carry out the pest control on our behalf. Before treatment takes place you would need to:

  • Confirm that you are the owner of the property
  • Pay the fee of £15
  • Prove that you are in receipt of the relevant means tested benefit.

Please contact our customer services team on 01279 655261 to request a visit.

Wasps

Before contacting a pest control company, read the information below to make sure they are not bees, otherwise you may be charged a call out fee.

  • Wasps have distinct yellow/black bands around their abdomen
  • Wasps' nests are normally only treated from the end of June. Wasp sightings may be seen earlier but the wasps nests are often too small to treat
  • When nesting in brickwork, will use one single hole/air brick to go in and out of

If you are not sure, visit the The British Beekeepers Association for further advice and identification.

Bees

Bees are highly beneficial to the environment and are in decline, therefore the Council does not recommend pest control for bees.

  • Honey bees or solitary bees (mortar & mining bees) are sighted in April/ May
  • Bees have non-descript light browny-yellow colour around their abdomen
  • Will nest in roof spaces, swarm in a small group and look like bumble bees
  • Can nest in brickwork and go in and out of several holes spread over 30cm area
  • Mortar bees will only be active on sunny days
  • Honey bees are protected and will sting only if provoked

If a swarm is outdoors and accessible, a registered bee keeper can remove them. (see local phone directory. For advice on swarms, contact the Hertfordshire Beekeeper's Association

Rodents

The following measures can be undertaken to help prevent rodents on your premises.

Reduce areas of shelter -overgrown gardens and piles of waste can provide ideal locations for rodents to hide.

  • Keep a look-out for signs of rats, such as burrows or droppings and take action to deal with them if they are found.
  • Where possible clear away items stored outside that are no longer used and cut back any overgrown areas.

Manage rubbish and waste - make sure that all bins are properly covered and that the lids are fully closed. If you over-fill your bins and cannot close the lids, they will be able to gain access to an easy food supply.

Prevent access to bird or pet food - rodents are quick to take advantage of an easy meal; especially one made up of "leftovers", and are highly agile.

  • If you feed the birds or have chickens, guinea pigs or rabbits make sure that the food is not accessible to rats.
  • Try using specialist bird feeders and remove excess food that may have fallen to the ground. 
  • Please also ensure that you only put out enough food for them to eat that morning or afternoon.
  • Never leave food on the ground or out overnight.

Manage your Compost bins -composting does not in itself attract rats.

  • But, if rats or mice are nesting in your compost heap, this is a sign that the heap is too dry. Add water until it has the consistency of a wrung-out sponge.
  • If you are worried about rats nesting in the compost, use wire mesh to protect the base and sides of the heap / bin.
  • Cooked waste food should only be composted in bins specifically designed for the purpose.

Check your property -rats and mice can get through the smallest of holes.

  • Check that there are no gaps around pipes coming through outside walls and make sure that airbricks and ventilation grills are undamaged.
  • Beware of climbing plants around windows and at the eaves of the property, as rats are good climbers. This applies to any outbuildings as well as the main house. Garden sheds with raised floors, and timber decking, can also provide shelter and an undisturbed area for rats and mice, and so need to be checked regularly for burrows, droppings and other signs of rodent activity.
  • Rats will use drains and sewers to move around an area, so look out for any burrows in the area of manholes and inspection chambers which might indicate damaged pipes.

Before calling a contractor check your home insurance policy as some policies include pest control and repairs to sewers.

Other Pests

Information on other specific pest problems is available from the British Pest Control Association.

If you have a problem with Bats please contact the Bat Conservation Trust

The Fox Website can provide information on fox deterrence.