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According to a survey by the National Pest Technician Association (NPTA), the United Kingdom’s rat and mouse population is spreading across the nation, reaching its highest level since the pest control organization’s first survey nine years ago.
In the NPTA report, survey coordinator Barrie Sheard stated, “In total, the councils reported over 378,000 rat treatments. That’s fully 44% up on the previous year. At the same time, mouse treatments—at over 147,000—were 39% higher than 2006-07, bringing overall treatment levels to well above those seen in our previous record year of 2005-06.”
Flamborough, in East Yorkshire, is one of the nation’s most affected areas. Local residents say they have seen hundreds of rodents running in from fields and scurrying through the streets.
Authorities estimate the region’s rodent population to be 60 to 100 million and growing—at least one rodent for every person.
Mr. Sheard said that rodents in the UK “have recently tested positive for Ljungam virus, first isolated in Northern Sweden several years ago and implicated in a number of human health problems, including diabetes, still births and sudden infant deaths” (ibid.).
He added, “This is even more essential as recessionary pressures bite and growing financial pressures on households, businesses and local authorities reduce the incentive for professional pest control services to be used as early or effectively enough as they need to be to stop rodent problems escalating even further.”