There is no direct link between rat infestation and alternate weekly collections (AWCs), claims the chairman of the National Pest Technician Association (NPTA).
Barrie Sheard has made a U-turn since the NPTA released the National Rodent Survey Report in 2006 when he said that the introduction of AWCs contributed to the increase in rodents. In the new report for 2007 Sheard has changed his views. There is no direct link between rat infestation and AWCs. So long as its properly managed then householders should not have a problem. If AWCs are badly managed then you will have a problem with attraction of food supply.
So long as wheelie bins are not overflowing with lots of side rubbish about then you will not have a problem. There are good benefits to AWCs: more materials are being salvaged and recycled.
The report is based upon facts provided by 62% of local authorities within the UK. Since 2000, the number of brown rats increased year on year to 40% in 2005 but decreased in 2006 to 16%.
The report says that one of the main reasons for this decrease was because local authorities had received fewer telephone calls from the public for rat treatment. More councils are charging for treatment so there are less requests for treatment. Treatment is where the appropriate poison is laid down to kill the rats. In the past it used to be automatically for free but because it is not now, people are now buying the treatment and doing it themselves. Therefore, the figures are down.
Image: NPTA chairman Barrie Sheard