Category Archives: Home and Garden

Rats, Traps, Bugs and Cutbacks

If ever there was an argument for councils cutting free pest control for the masses then surely the BBCs Panorama programme on Monday 6th August Rats, Traps, Bugs and Cutbacks was it.

Firstly we had a Southwark Council employed pest controller making numerous visits to put poison down in a rat infested bin store just yards from a defective drain, the rats were shown coming and going at their own leisure from the said drain at ground level, was I the only one shouting `fix the bloody drain` at the TV.

Then we had a lady who lets her rabbit run around the garden dragging straw, hay and no doubt rabbit food with it complaining about rats invading her garden at night and finally a guy keeping chickens or some kind of fowl in a pen at the bottom of the garden getting subsidised pest control visits due to rat problems.

Instead of throwing millions of pounds away on rat baiting how about some basic education on the kind of habits that are likely to attract rats into your home and garden, if people persist in throwing scraps of food on the ground, letting bins overflow or scattering bird seed around then they should be liable for any pest control required and not the tax payers in general.

How about we maintain and repair our drainage and sewer systems so that the majority of rats are contained within the networks and where the available food source will determine the size of the rat population, and where incidentally it would be easier to bait and control them.

Flood risk to millions in UK is growing

MILLIONS of property owners face an increased risk from flooding because of climate change and urban sprawl, experts have warned.

 New research shows up to two million people in the UK – including almost 130,000 Scots – are at risk of flooding because they live in built-up areas where there is limited drainage and less grass and woodland to soak up rainfall.

The research, carried out at Dundee University and to be presented to the Royal Geographical Society this week, predicts that unless planners take climate change into account, the threat could rise by around 50 per cent to affect 3.2 million by 2050.

The flood risk warnings have emerged following Met Office confirmation that April to June 2012 has been the wettest on record. Last week, parts of England were over-run by flash floods, and rail services to Scotland cut off after landslips on both the east and west coast mainlines. Yesterday, services between Edinburgh and London were still being restricted but rail chiefs said the timetable should be back to normal today.

The Dundee research says climate change is leading to greater rainfall, while a growing population and, in particular, more people moving to cities is triggering greater urbanisation.

Dr Alastair Geddes, of Dundee University, said: “We will see more people exposed by living in areas of risk because of strong population growth.

“There are two main trends – population growth and climate change. However, we can’t take account of how planners will work to change drainage systems.

“It’s important to take action on that. That’s what we hope will come out of this work.”

The researchers initially looked at 44 cities across the UK, including Edinburgh and Glasgow, and then examined three more closely.

In Glasgow, one of the three, they found that 63,927 people are currently at risk of flooding from heavy rainfall – 5.5 per cent.

Across Scotland 2.6 per cent of the urban population was found to be at risk, while across the UK as a whole it was 3.3 per cent.

Rats forced into homes as sewers fill up

RATS are being forced above ground into homes and restaurants as city sewers fill up with rainwater.

Pest controllers in Brighton and Hove have reported an increase in calls about the rodents over the last few months, which have been some of the wettest on record.

Experts say the lack of a harsh winter in recent years had helped the rodent population to soar.

And the heavy downpours that have led to flooding in recent months have sent rats scurrying for higher ground – and into people’s homes.

One local Pest Control contractor  said he was receiving around five calls a week about rats, almost twice as many as last year.

He said: “The rain hasn’t dampened the rodent’s spirits. They’re thriving.

“The fact that we have had no harsh winters recently is a contributing factor as there is no death rate in these rats and they can reproduce quickly and  recent heavy rainfall had filled sewers up, pushing the rats out of drains and into buildings in search of food.

He said: “Compared to last year I’ve seen an increase in the amount of Rodenticide I have had to buy. I have been through one 20kg sack in a month and that is a lot for me.

A Brighton and Hove council spokeswoman said: “We have not seen a significant rise in requests for treatment this year.

“We do not believe the recent humid weather has lead to an increase of rat sightings, however, extreme wet weather conditions can lead to overflow from storm drains, causing rats to be displaced, but this is quite unusual.“