ro­dent night­mare: hilling­don named as the ‘rat cap­i­tal’

Bor­ough among top in west Lon­don for ro­dents

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - by Alexander Ballinger and Rob Grant alexander.balinger@trin­i­tymir­

SCARED of scaly tails? Well it’s bad news if you live in Hilling­don with Hayes and Har­ling­ton be­ing named the ‘rat cap­i­tals’.

Nearly 3,500 rat com­plaints were made to lo­cal au­thor­i­ties across west Lon­don last year.

The fig­ures, ob­tained ex­clu­sively by getwest­lon­don, rank the worst of­fend­ing bor­oughs in the area, with the high­est reach­ing nearly 1,000 calls from peo­ple con­cerned with the pests, and the low­est at just more than 150.

West­min­ster Coun­cil did not di­vulge spe­cific in­for­ma­tion on rat re­quests.

Hilling­don is the west Lon­don bor­ough with the worst record for rat re­ports to the coun­cil, the fig­ures have shown.

A to­tal of 930 rat com­plaints were made to the coun­cil be­tween Jan­uary and Novem­ber 2016 – around 200 more than the sec­ond worst bor­ough, Eal­ing.

Hayes and Har­ling­ton in Hilling­don are the ‘rat cap­i­tals’ of west Lon­don, with 182 calls com­ing from those ar­eas dur­ing the 11 month period.

The in­for­ma­tion was ob­tained by the Chron­i­cle us­ing Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion re­quests to eight lo­cal au­thor­i­ties in west Lon­don.

More rat com­plaints were made in Hayes and Har­ling­ton than were made in the en­tire of Kens­ing­ton and Chelsea dur­ing that period.

In Uxbridge there were 160 re­ports and 153 in Ruis­lip.

Eal­ing is the sec­ond worst west Lon­don bor­ough for rat re­ports, with 733, fol­lowed by Houn­slow with 647.

The low­est num­ber of rats re­ported be­tween Jan­uary and Novem­ber came from Kens­ing­ton and Chelsea with just 161.

Ham­mer­smith and Ful­ham was not far be­hind with 183 re­ports.

Mice and rats are nor­mally ac­tive at night and res­i­dents might not see them dur­ing the day. The fur colour varies be­tween light brown and grey. Body length varies be­tween 60mm to 90mm and the tail can add an ad­di­tional 100mm.

Of­ten the drop­pings found are black, rod­shaped and 3mm to 6mm long.

The most com­mon signs of rats are: Drop­pings Gnaw­ing Tracks Burrows Nests Dis­eases from ro­dents can be passed on to hu­mans by con­tam­i­nat­ing food or sur­faces with urine, drop­pings and hairs.

Rats, in par­tic­u­lar, can pass on lep­tospiro­sis, a dis­ease that can lead to Weil’s dis­ease and can be fa­tal to hu­mans. They can also gnaw a range of materials, in­clud­ing elec­tric ca­bles and wiring caus­ing dam­age to prop­erty.

A land­lord would only be con­sid­ered re­spon­si­ble if de­fects to the prop­erty al­low ro­dent ac­cess.

Res­i­dents need to check ten­ancy agree­ments or leases to see who is re­spon­si­ble for keep­ing com­mon ar­eas clean, as it may be the ten­ant’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to re­move the ma­te­rial which is at­tract­ing them and then or­gan­ise pest con­trol.

Any­one can re­port a rat prob­lem to Hilling­don Coun­cil by call­ing 01895 556000.

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