Rat numbers up by more than a third

PUBLISHED: 17:32 31 January 2007 | UPDATED: 10:32 24 May 2010

A PIED Piper is needed in Nailsea to lead away an army of rats, which have set up home in the town. North Somerset Council is carrying out a programme of baiting

A PIED Piper is needed in Nailsea to lead away an army of rats, which have set up home in the town.North Somerset Council is carrying out a programme of baiting following complaints about an increase in the number of rodents scurrying around the Clevedon Road car park.It is believed the rats are congregating by the recycling bins and using the nearby hedgerows as a hiding and nesting place.During 2006, more than 2,000 worried residents called North Somerset's environmental health department about rats - a rise of more than a third in three years.Nailsea Town Council clerk Ian Morrell confirmed he had received several complaints from people who had seen rats in the area.Mr Morrell said: "Rats have been seen in the Clevedon Road car park, especially around the bins area."The pest control department has spoken to people whose properties back on to the car park to cut back their hedges and check them for rat nests." Environmental leaders confirmed there had been an increase in the rat population across the district.North Somerset Council's executive member for environment and community, Councillor Deborah Yamanaka, said: "Officers have seen an increase locally in the rat population in line with national trends and an accelerated increase in public requests for assistance from environmental health. "This increase can be attributed to a number of factors including the fact that food is being left out for wild birds and rubbish is being put out on the street overnight or before collection day in bags or non-secure containers."To combat the problem the council carries out a routine programme of sewer baiting. It uses a range of bait to combat emerging issues of resistance. It has increased enforcement against flytipping and also provides a rat baiting service which is open to residents and businesses. "In addition, officers are currently working with South West pest control authorities to undertake a detailed survey of rodent infestation and causes. "This will enable us to have a more accurate picture of rodent activity across the region. This survey will be carried out over six months.

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