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Residents asked to help as lockdown fuels UK rise in rodents

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Neath Port Talbot Council is reminding people that putting too much food down for wild pigeons and other birds can attract rats.

Due to many town and city centre buildings lying empty and streets being quieter during lockdown periods, the UK’s rat population is believed to have grown considerably with the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) announcing that around half of the professionals it polled during lockdown had seen an increase in activity.

Rats can typically have six litters per year, ranging in size between six and 12 young.

A spokesman for Neath Port Talbot Council said: “Some rat activity has been noticed in the shrubs and drainage ducts at the edge of the River Afan in Port Talbot’s town centre where a large amount of bread put down for pigeon also been seen.

“We would ask that people across the county borough do not lay excessive food down for pigeons and other wild birds as this could exacerbate the increase in the rodent population – something which is being experienced across the UK.”

Neath Port Talbot Council has received 17% more calls relating to rats and mice since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and has reacted to these with baiting works/treatments as required.

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For the past three years, the council has had a contract with Welsh Water to carry out baiting works to local sewers and these works are carried out on both a routine and reactive basis if complaints are received of vermin in the area.

Should a resident witness vermin in a particular area they can report it to pestcontrol@npt.gov.uk .


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