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Cheap rat service plan in north Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 15:52 30 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:03 13 July 2010

A council which withdrew free rat control six years ago is poised to reintroduce a discounted service.

The move at North Norfolk District Council comes after a rat survey which revealed that many problems cropped up in gardens with bird feeders and compost heaps.

A council which withdrew free rat control six years ago is poised to reintroduce a discounted service.

The move at North Norfolk District Council comes after a rat survey which revealed that many problems cropped up in gardens with bird feeders and compost heaps.

So as well as hoping to bring in a system which is about a third of the commercial cost, the council will seek to launch leaflets giving advice on how to avoid encouraging rodents.

A scheme costing about £36 for up to three visits is due to go to the council cabinet in September, suggesting using an approved contractor at discounted rates to tackle rodents and other pests, said environmental protection team leader Mark Whitmore.

The council replaced a free service with a charged one in 2002, then dropped it three years later, because it was not cost effective, but with a view to find a commercial partner.

Major infestations, where property owners refused to act were dealt with through court enforcement and recovery of costs - but most people were left to find private contractors costing about £100.

A survey was carried out last year, asking 250 properties chosen at random, with 72 taking part.

It revealed that of the 21 properties with infestation problems, 20 had bird feeders and 16 compost bins - but there was no link with the fortnightly rubbish collections.

Bird food should not be put on the grass, said Mr Whitmore. Proper bins were better for compost and rats could be kept out with mesh screens.


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