A survey has revealed that Pendle has the seventh-highest rate of call-outs for rat problems in the country, costing the council over £150,000 every year.
According to a British Pest Control Association national survey for 2016, Pendle had 1,092 call-outs for rat issues - an average of three a day - and an average of 12.2 per 1,000 people, placing it seventh on the list of boroughs with the most relative call-outs.
Surprisingly, given rats' preference for heavily urbanised habitats, the number of call-outs in the area increased by 3.2% on the previous year, with Pendle and its population of 89,452 constituting the highest-placed local authority on the list with a population of less than 138,000 people.
"The figure doesn’t reflect that we have a problem with rats," said Philip Mousdale, Pendle Council’s Corporate Director. "It highlights that we’ve taken steps to increase coverage to ensure we meet the needs of our residents and businesses.
“We recognise the importance of a proactive approach to pest control in Pendle," he added.
In total, the population of Pendle logged 1,621 call-outs across the year, with the survey revealing a further 220 call-outs about wasps, 135 for mice, 73 for insects, 59 for ants, 20 for mammals,17 for bedbugs, and five for cockroaches, making Pendle the borough with the 15th-most call-outs in the UK.
"The survey isn’t a definitive story on prevalence," explained Dee Ward-Thompson, British Pest Control Association’s Technical Manager. “It's important to recognise higher figures could simply illustrate that a local authority is working proactively to manage any issues."
The report also revealed that the average cost of each call-out was £94.99, costing the council a total of £153,980 per year, a figure which constitutes 1.3% of Pendle Borough Council's net annual budget of £12.2 million or 2.7% of the £5.7 million raised through council tax.
Despite figures showing a dip of 7.2% from last year, Pendle still had the second-highest average number of call-outs for every kind of pest per 1,000 people (18.1) in the entirety of Lancashire after Hyndburn's 20.2.
"Pendle Council provides a very competitive pest control service to residents and businesses," read a statement. "Its fully-trained officers can give advice and treat a wide variety of pests including wasps, bed bugs, fleas, and moles."
To book a pest control service go to www.pendle.gov.uk/pestcontrol.