It is usually an occupant's responsibility to control pests and in some cases the council can take formal action to ensure that they are treated.
Sedgemoor District Council does not offer a pest control service, however, most household pests can be treated effectively and cheaply by the householder. For difficult infestations or particular pests such as bedbugs, bees and squirrels it may be advisable to contact a specialist provider by looking on the Internet, in a local directory or phone book. DIY pest control treatments are often available from good DIY shops; ironmongers; garden centres and pet shops. Always follow instructions very carefully.
General advice on rats and mice
Spread of disease Rodents can carry many diseases that affect humans one of which is Weil's disease. It can be fatal following liver failure. The disease can be spread by contact with rats' urine and droppings. Care should be taken to avoid contact with the above and it is recommended to seek professional help.
They cause damage Rodents can gnaw through a multitude of substances from woodwork, pipe work and insulating materials through to items of stock. More seriously, gnawed electrical cables have been known to cause electrical fires with the consequence of loss of life, loss of stock, loss of productivity, or all of these.
They eat and contaminate our food Pests eat our food wherever it is grown, stored, manufactured, transported or sold. In addition they contaminate far more which then has to be discarded.
Their presence can contravene the Law The Food Safety Act 1990 and its Regulations require a food business to ensure that it is kept free from infestations and that the premises shall be pest proof. Evidence of an infestation of a food premise by rats, mice or insects is indicative of the condition of those premises and a major infestation may render the proprietor liable to prosecution.
When coupled with the fact that a pair of rats can reproduce 130 young per year, the above considerations suggest that pest problems must be dealt with quickly, professionally and effectively.
Sedgemoor District Councils Pollution Control Team will attempt to identify and provide advice on a pest, free of charge, if you can provide us with a specimen. Please contact us for more information. Some animals such as bats and badgers are protected so always seek professional advice if in doubt.
What can I do if someone else is causing the infestation?
Everyone has a responsibility to keep their property free from rats and mice and other pests. You may believe that your infestation or problems are caused by someone else. For example they may have a large accumulation of waste that is attracting rats or they may be feeding the birds excessively or irresponsibly. Sometimes there is a drainage defect that allows rats up from the sewers and into homes.