Calls for Gravesham Council's pest control fall by 71 per cent since charge introduced (From News Shopper)
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Calls for Gravesham Council's pest control fall by 71 per cent since charge introduced
SINCE Gravesham Council put a charge on its pest control service, the number of residents paying for rats and mice to be removed has fallen by 71 per cent.
In April last year, Gravesham Council wiped out its free pest control service and put a charge of £43.20 on every course of treatment.
A total of 1,139 people took advantage of the free service in the 2011/12 financial year, costing the council £41,940.
But in 2012/13 just 331 paid for pest control services, a 71 per cent drop on the previous year.
In a report to be put before members of the council’s community services cabinet committee on Tuesday, assistant director of communities Sarah Kilkie writes: “The much reduced number of service requests when charges were introduced, demonstrate that people have thought seriously about the need for a treatment from the council once they have been made aware of the charge.
“Some will have chosen to self-treat, others may have decided to try to get a cheaper contractor and others may have just ignored the problem.”
Customers who call Gravesham Council to report a problem and decide not to go ahead with paid treatment are given a letter and information sheet to help them deal with the problem, if they leave their address.
Ms Kilkie added: “It is a possibility that numbers may pick up when people realise the council’s service is very reasonably priced and or that laying of bait bought in the supermarket is not always as effective as bait laid by the pest control officer.”
Of the 331 people who paid for pest control treatment last year, 87 per cent of people lived in private properties whilst 13 per cent were council housing tenants.
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