The findings in this the seventh National Rodent Survey for the United Kingdom (UK) does not make for good news! In fact looking at this the latest 2006 annual report and bearing in mind all the previous reports we have to report a serious increase in both brown rat (Rattus norvegicus) and house mice (Mus domesticus) reports and requests for treatments throughout the whole of the UK. The report which divides the UK into 15 separate regions, with the exception of just one region, namely the Isle of Man, shows an increase everywhere.
The statistics which the Report relies upon are provided from a growing percentage of all the local authorities (Councils) in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
These statistics are presented in two main ways.
• The first as a total national average from all the councils who cooperated and sent in their returns; and
• Then divided into 15 separate regional areas within the UK.
12 regions within England starting with the Eastern Region covering Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk and finishing with the Yorkshire region.
In addition, there are 3 separate regions covering Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. For this latest Report besides asking for their statistics we asked specific questions about:
1. Each Council’s charging policy for rodent work (if any);
2. Each Council’s considered thoughts and experiences on the current liaison arrangements with their respective privatised water company;
3. Reasons that their respective Pest Control Technicians believe there has been an increase or decrease within their council area. Several appendices are produced within the Report that relate to these answers.
Brown Rat matters This report looks at the two years of 2004* and 2005* and shows that for both brown rats and “summer rats” we show an increase of 13% and 22% respectively. These percentages when added to the previous six years of statistics means that we show a year on year increase of 39% and 69% respectively for the years 1999 to 2005.
*Please note: Some Councils collect their statistics in financial years rather than in calendar years so this is taken into account within the final Report. The Report looks into the possible reasons behind this year on year increase and why it continues and is covered within the full Report and we have identified six (6) factors we believe are causing major problems time after time. These are listed below.
House Mouse matters Unfortunately mice have now joined this trend of increases despite 5 years of reductions from 1999 to 2003. The Report shows that comparing the year 2005 with those of 2004 we have a total increase of reports of mice and requests for treatment totaling a 14% increase. This means that for the very first time mice infestation numbers have gone above the zero level and show a year on year increase of 12.5%.
This Report’s six (6) serious factors causing major problems
PLEASE NOTE NOT IN ANY ORDER OF PRIORITY
That more Councils are starting to charge for domestic rodent work resulting in more rodents not being treated as before;
Private water companies who do not pay sufficient attention to clearing any reservoirs of Brown Rats from the sewers they are responsible for;
The overfeeding of wild birds and therefore a 24/7 source of rodent food;
Both litter, discarded food and containers from fast food outlets and the increase in fly tipping providing food and harborage;
Compost bins not used correctly and allowing rats in particular to get inside and find both food and harborage;
Derelict urban properties not being brought back into accommodation again providing harborage.
The Report contains line graphs and further detailed statistics Region by Region and also details of the Brown Rat, the “Summer Rat” and the House Mouse.
To assist you we have provided two further lots of information A full copy of the latest press release as sent out to the media's of TV, radio, selected magazines and newspapers (both national and local) and many other interested bodies and organisations.
In addition please visit the NPTA Technical & Documents section for the Press Release and any other documents, plus the full (23 page) NPTA National Rodent Survey Report 2006 which is provided as a pdf file here.
Should you wish to have your own ‘hard’ copy of the 2006 Report may we invite you to call NPTA House and ask to have your name, business and full postal address placed within our data base and we shall organise matters so that when the next report (the eighth) is published (hopefully in January 2008) we will be able to sent you a personal copy for your own use.