Wasps and rats top list of Harrogate's pest complaints

Stinging wasps and rampant rodents were the main cause of calls for help from Harrogate Borough Council's pest control services over the last year.

Tuesday, 2nd April 2019, 1:18 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd April 2019, 1:29 pm
Vermin: Rats were one of the leading causes of requests to the Harrogate Borough Council pest control services over the last four years.

The council's pest control unit responded to 1395 calls for assistance in 2017/2018, with wasps the most common complaint, followed by rats, then mice.

Of the 1395 service requests, 1040 were for wasp removals, with the second-most common issue being rats, with 163 calls logged for help to deal with the rodents.

Figures obtained via a freedom of information request show that pest control work cost the council £192,408.60 over the last financial year.

In that period of time the council recouped £101,369.02 for services given.

At the end of 2017/18 financial year invoices totalling £10,032.20 remained unpaid.

It is normal practice for the council to allow for accruals where a service is received in one financial year, but the council receive the reimbursement in the next.

The council deemed it highly likely that the remaining debts will be paid in full, with a bad debt provision made for just two invoices from one debtor totalling £77 - which the council has deemed "highly likely" not to be paid.

The number of service requests has exceeded 1000 per year over the last four years - with 1496 received in 2014/2015, 1003 in 2015/2016, and 1273 in 2016/2017.

Wasps and rats have been the first and second most common issue respectively in each of those years.

The council also provides pest control services for ants, bed bugs, cluster flies, fleas, insects, squirrels, and wasp nest removals.

A council spokesman said: “Our pest control team have helped thousands of Harrogate districts over the years deal with all sorts pests".

"The majority of calls are wasps, especially in summer when they come out of hibernation," the spokesman said.

“Anyone who needs help dealing with an unwelcome pest, whether that’s wasps, mice/rats or squirrels, please call us on 01423 500600 and we’ll be happy to help. Further information is available on our website at: https://www.harrogate.gov.uk/pestcontrol.”

Lachlan Leeming, Local Democracy Reporter