Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors

LGA Lib Dems: Motion on Rat Control (Basingstoke)

All council motions articles
Thursday, 3rd December, 2015

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A good example of a motion on pest control:

Council Notes
The British Pest Control Association (BPCA) has said that rats are becoming immune to traditional pellets used by homeowners and that the poisons which can be purchased in supermarkets may actually be turning the rodents into ‘super rats’.

The chief executive of BPCA has said, “The rodents have become resistant and, in some cases, immune to off- the-shelf poisons to the point where they’re actually feeding off the toxic pellets, which means their size and strength is increasing.”

Genetic testing by Huddersfield University has revealed that the rodents have developed a mutation that allows them to survive conventional poisons. In counties such as Hampshire, Berkshire, Surrey, Wiltshire, a Suffolk, and Kent, all the rats tested were found to have immunity to poison.

Rodents are difficult to kill with poisons because their feeding habits reflect their place as scavengers. Rats will eat a small bit of something and wait, and if they don’t get sick, they continue.

Council further notes that.
Stronger rodenticides can be more effective, but most are subject to strict legislation and must only be used by professional pest controllers.

The BPCA predicting that rats are likely to seek to enter homes for warmth and food in Winter months.

Rats can squeeze themselves through gaps as small as three-quarters of an inch and are often found living under floorboards, in the walls or in the loft.

In 2015, rats measuring 50-60 cm (2ft) have been captured in places as far apart as Cornwall, Kent and Liverpool.

Rats can carry illnesses which can be passed to humans, including Weil’s disease, which has flu-like symptoms initially but can lead to jaundice and kidney failure.

Rats chew on wood and electrical wires which can cause a lot of damage and poses a fire hazard.

Council Believes
That rats are a danger to the health and wellbeing of residents
That the problem of an increasing rat population which is immune to many standard poisons must be addressed
Inexpert use of poison can make the problem worse
Council resolves
1. To ask the Cabinet to reintroduce the free pest control service for all residents
2. To ask Cabinet to publicise the risk of poison resistant rats and offer advice as to how resident can rat proof their homes, by for example
prevent rodents from entering homes, fitting strips to the bottoms of doors, filling small gaps in exterior walls, repairing roof damage and covering drains to prevent entry via pipes.
3. To ask Cabinet to lobby the Government for national action on the problem of rats

FURTHER INFORMATION

Basingstoke and Deane offered a free rat catching service to all residents, this was abolished by the Conservatives in April 2007.
(the service was restricted to people on pension credit [less than 40% of pensioners], housing benefit and income support)

In 2008 Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council reinstated the free rat-catching service ONLY for the over-65s,

http://www.basingstokegazette.co.uk/news/2280476.ratcatcher_set_to_return/

Rat poisons are controversial, due to secondary poisoning and risks to children, pets and wildlife.

An effective rodenticide must be tasteless and odourless in lethal concentrations, and have a delayed effect.

There have been two generations of poisons given to rats. The first generation include warfarin and coumatetraly. The second generation are difenacoum, brodifacoum, flocoumafen and bromadiolone. But rats are growing increasingly resistant to both.

Pest controllers are calling on the EU to approve a third generation of stronger poison to deal with the growing problem of super rats.
The trouble is that people who try to treat problems themselves are likely to be making the problem worse. Rodents have become resistant and, in some cases, immune to off-the-shelf poisons to the point where they’re actually feeding off the toxic pellets, which means their size and strength is increasing.

Stronger rodenticides can be more effective, but most are subject to strict legislation and must only be used by professional pest controllers. So it has become very important to make sure infestations are treated by experts in the field

Quite apart from the health risks, rats foul water tanks and chew on wood or electrical wires which can cause a lot of damage and poses a fire hazard.

http://www.thedairysite.com/news/48393/how-we-created-and-can-address-the-super-rat/

ALDC Administrator