Surge in wasp and ant call-out reports

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Wasp and ant infestations have rocketed in Amber 
Valley, according to a survey.

The British Pest Control 
Association (BPCA) made ‘Freedom of Information Act’ requests to every local authority in the UK, asking for details on the numbers of call-outs council pest controllers had attended in 2012.

The figures showed that across the borough council area there were 591 call-outs for wasps in 2012, compared to 421 the previous year.

The increase came despite a disastrous summer for the insects last year because of persistent rain.

Meanwhile, ant callouts increased from 46 in 2011 to 70 in 2012.

The information has been gathered and analysed –highlighting what pests have most affected which areas, while also revealing what the 
BPCA have called “a worrying trend” that councils are cutting or out-sourcing pest control services as they attempt to balance their budgets.

However, in Amber Valley, the council still carries out its own pest control.

BPCA chief executive, Simon Forrester, said: “There are many localised reasons why an area could have a high prevalence of a certain pest, but we’re concerned that at a national level pest control services are being cut.

“Local authorities are under immense strain to come up with savings.

“The BPCA wants to make sure this doesn’t have an impact on public health.If a council stops providing pest control services it is important the public uses a reputable expert such as a BPCA member.

“The BPCA is very keen to make sure that short-term budget cuts don’t result in much higher overall costs down the line.

“If an infestation isn’t dealt with quickly and properly, it will spread. Dealing with it then is much more expensive and it carries a greater risk to public health.

“More councils are starting to charge for pest control services, but this raises the question of whether residents can afford to pay at a time when real household incomes have been hit so badly.

“If residents try to deal with issues themselves, or bring in unqualified controllers because they are cheap, infestations will get out of hand.”

Total pest call-outs across Amber Valley dropped from 2,103 to 1,263.

Call-outs for cockroaches fell from four. Meanwhile, call-outs for rats and mice dropped dramatically from 1,301 to 376 and 186 to 25 respectively.

Other types of insects fell from 125 to 96, while bedbug reports dropped from 20 to five.