COCKROACHES, bed bugs and wasps are just a handful of creatures which have been all but wiped off the face of Bexley borough, according to new stats.

Research released this week by the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) reveals Bexley Council’s pest control workers were called out only 612 times to pest-related complaints in 2010/11, compared to Birmingham, which topped the table with 34,795.

The data, which was obtained by a freedom of information request, ranked Bexley close to the foot of the table nationwide for the number of call-outs to rat infestations, in 312th place.

In comparison with neighbouring Lewisham, which saw its eight-strong team called to 746 rat-related incidents, Bexley’s team was called out only 59 times.

Wasps, one of the most common household pests, were dealt with 355 times in Bexley, comprising nearly half of total call-outs.

Commenting on the figures, BPCA chairman Simon Forrester told News Shopper: “The figures are likely to be lower because Bexley is not an inner city London borough and the population is less dense than say, Tower Hamlets.

“It could also be that the residents immediately jump on any issues or deal with the problems themselves.

“Or perhaps the council are good at getting local businesses to take pest control seriously and making sure they have effective pest control systems in place.”

He added: “It’s encouraging Bexley Council is doing a variety of treatments and not just dealing with wasp nests.

“They’re treating a variety of pests and that shows the council is taking the threat of them seriously.”

Daniel Steward, director of Shield Pest Control, based near Lewisham, said: "It’s one of those surveys when you’re glad to be nearer the bottom of the league tables.

"Of the 314 councils surveyed by the BPCA, Bexley residents can be pleased there are so few pest control call-outs and be reassured that rats, the pests that clients are usually most distressed by, aren’t at problematic levels in the borough.

"It’s a testament to the good food hygiene of home owners and waste disposal services in the borough as when refuse is left for long periods or is not held in proper containers then that becomes an obvious attractor for rats and mice."

Despite neighbouring London boroughs boasting pest control teams of at least six or seven workers, Bexley’s is headed up by one team leader at the council.

Work is then delegated to contractors, who deal with the pests - including squirrels, fleas and mice - on their behalf.

Foxes, maggots, moths and ants are, however, not deemed worthy of immediate removal.

A Bexley Council environment spokeswoman said: “The figures quoted refer specifically to reports of pest control issues in the home and we’re pleased our residents are not reporting major problems in comparison to other areas.

“We’re not complacent about this though and will continue to encourage residents to take pride in their neighbourhoods and keep them clean and tidy.”

Side bar - Bexley Pest Control call-outs (2011/2012)

Rats - 59
Mice - 8
Wasps - 355
Bed bugs - 20
Ants - 1
Cockroaches - 39
Insects (eg. fleas/mites) - 18
Birds (eg. Seagulls, pigeons) - 25