The recent industrial action between Birmingham City Council and refuse workers has had considerable impact on the City’s pest populations. Whilst many residents have experienced the inconvenience of missing refuse collections, Birmingham pest controllers have seen a rise in the number of calls regarding rats and flies who find the growing mountains of uncollected waste around the city a fertile breeding ground.
With already increasing, year-on-year, growth in the number of calls to deal with rat infestations throughout Birmingham, the City’s binmen strike has inadvertently created a situation that is considerably exacerbating the problem across all Wards.
Dee Ward-Thompson of the British Pest Control Association said: “Rats and other pests are always searching for food, water and shelter and they can find all three in household bins – particularly those that are overflowing with rubbish [and] infestations can build up very quickly so bins that are left full on streets and around homes for long periods pose a significant threat to public health“.
Of course, rats aren’t the only pest flourishing in the current environment, residents have complained about infestations of maggots in food waste and fly infestations once they develop into flies. The cross-contamination and nuisance element of fly infestations has caused many residents to keep windows closed during the Summer months.
The recent strike action has been suspended by UNISON, the refuse workers’ trade union, but there is a huge backlog in collections and many areas of the City are still strewn with rubbish and uncollected bins and, with the threat of further industrial action still on the table, it looks like the problem isn’t set to be resolved anytime soon.
Furthermore, even when all the rubbish is cleared, the rat population that has increased considerable due to the available food sources for them, won’t suddenly disappear! They will simply look for other sources of food which can cause problems in itself as they can start looking to infest domestic and commercial premises.
We would advise anyone affected by pests associated with the current refuse situation in Birmingham to contact pest control specialists as soon as possible to prevent problems spiralling over the coming months.