Following the outbreak of coronavirus and the lockdown, Halton Borough Council made changes to its pest control service and are providing self-help advice for residents on how to try and help prevent rats and other pests.

It is recognised that rats are a public health pest and so it is important that the Council’s Environmental Health department continues to provide a service to control rat activity where it is essential to the protection of public health.

However this has to be done in a way that balances the health risk posed by rats with the risk to staff and residents. Therefore, in keeping with the Government advice on social distancing, staff need to minimise their direct contact with households and properties as much as possible.

If you phone to report rats, staff will take the details and you will be called back by a qualified pest control officer to provide some advice on how you can control the problem yourself until normal service can be resumed.

A visit to your property will only take place if, in the opinion of the pest control officer, a visit is essential to protect the safety or health of the public.

To help keep your property pest free you can try following the tips:

  • Ensure all household rubbish is stored in refuse bins
  • Remove garden rubbish, debris, old furniture etc, which can provide harbourage that would attract rats
  • Clean up dog mess as rats will eat faeces
  • Maintain a tidy garden.
  • Remove food scraps and packaging from gardens or alleyways.
  • Avoid feeding birds
  • For food stored in sheds and garages, use sealed metal or plastic containers to prevent rodent access
  • Use brush strips where there is a gap under a door – this helps stop rats getting into your property
  • Ensure drainage inspection covers are in good repair and gully or grid covers are in place – this stops rats escaping from drains and sewers
  • Good building maintenance – such as filling in holes and/or proofing openings bigger than 2.5cm in diameter. This helps to stop rats getting into your property.

To report a pest issue, call 0303 333 4300 or complete the form on the Council website

The service is currently not available for:

Ants and Mice. During this period you may wish to consider treating the problem yourself using products available in most DIY stores. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and ensure pesticides are kept away from children and animals. Alternatively you can contact your own pest control contractor.

Wasps, Fleas, Bedbugs, Cockroaches. These pests require specialist treatment. You will need to contact your own pest control contractor.

Commercial premises. Commercial premises will need to contact their own pest control contractor.

The Council advises that you always  use a contractor who is a member of the British Pest Control Association

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