Problem pests have resulted in Calderdale Council’s pest control team being called out 1,249 times over the last three years.
Rats, mice, fleas, wasps and bees are among the creepy-crawlies that have been dealt with by the council’s pest controllers, according to Freedom of Information figures.
The annual figure fell from 509 in 2016 to 314 in 2017, but rose to 426 last year.
Mark Broadhead, who has run Crest Pest Control in Ovenden, Halifax, for seven years, said: “We had a busy year last year with wasps, but that was maybe because of the weather. But we deal with a lot of rats, plus bed bugs, cockroaches, all sorts really.
“I think it’s mainly down to social issues around cleanliness, certain areas with rubbish and pizza boxes on the streets.
“It’s just a food source for the rats. It’s also down to poor workmanship, with holes in buildings giving the rats access points.
“It’s probably getting worse I’d say but it’s difficult to say why. As I drive around I can see a lot more waste.
“I think people need to be vigilant about waste disposal, and use the council tips, and be vigilant about holes in your property where rats can get in.”
Phil Johnson, who has run the Technical Pest Control company in Halifax for a year-and-a-half, said: “We mainly deal with rats, I’d say every other call-out is for rats.
“Seventy per cent of the jobs I have are drain related.
“We offer a drain survey as part of our service.
“With a lot of new houses that are put up, they’re put up so quickly before moving on to the next one that things get hidden underground.
“If downstairs toilets are removed and put upstairs, and not properly capped off, rats are able to come up through the sewage system.
“I would advise anyone to get a company in if they are concerned about pests. Most will carry out a survey for them and identify whether rats can get in and what can be done to prevent it from happening.”
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhood Services, Coun Susan Press, said: “No one likes having to call out pest control, but we do our best to ensure that any issues are resolved quickly and efficiently.
“Each pest problem requires a different solution and our expert staff will approach issues in the most appropriate way and keep residents informed throughout the process.
“Although we received most call outs about wasps and bees last year, reports of rat problems were the second highest figure and probably the biggest concern for most people. There are some simple things that everyone can do to prevent getting a rat or mouse problem, including:
l Removing sources of food (i.e. bird food on the ground/chicken feed)
l Making sure any refuse/compost that is stored outside is secure
l Inspecting your property and removing any source of access i.e. holes in the fabric of the building.”
If you are suffering with any pests, contact Customer First on 01422 288002 (select option one), or for more information, visit www.calderdale.gov.uk and search for pest control.