If you are experiencing a pest problem the Council can provide advice on measures to prevent and control the problem. Statutory action can also be taken against owner(s) or occupier(s) that fail to take adequate preventative measures to stop their properties becoming infested with rats or mice.
For advice on common pests please contact the Environmental Health Department at Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council. A list of pest control companies can be found on the British Pest Control Associations website at www.bpca.org.uk or the National Pest Technicians Association website at www.npta.org.uk
Mice often destroy much more than they consume because of their wasteful habit of discarding partially eaten food and because of contamination by their faeces, urine and hairs. They can also cause damage to electrical wiring due to gnawing.
To prevent mice from infesting your property:
- Inspect your property ensuring that there are no obvious entry holes for mice to gain access into your home ie. around waste pipes from kitchens/bathrooms, central heating pipes and air vents. If holes are present seal them up with a durable material
- Keep doors closed, especially in winter and spring.
- Remove all food sources in the home by placing food in a pest proof cupboards and putting food in tightly fitting containers.
Rats are capable of transmitting disease to man and livestock and also can cause damage to food stuffs and buildings.
Many people also find the presence of rodents unacceptable.
To prevent rodents from infesting your area:
- Keep gardens clean and tidy, cutting back overgrown areas to minimise harbourage.
- If feeding wild birds, store food in containers, ensuring rats cannot reach the food. Any uneaten food will encourage rats to your garden.
- Inspect your property ensuring that there are no entry holes for rats to gain access into your home, ie. around waste pipes from the kitchen and bathrooms, central heating pipes and air vents.
- Ensure drains are covered and that manholes are intact ie. no rat holes are present in the near vicinity of the manhole.
- Ensure all household waste is enclosed in a rat proof container, eg wheelie bin.
- Keep doors closed to prevent access.
Pigeons are regarded as unacceptable, especially in large numbers. They are regarded as potential transmitters of disease. They can also be a noise nuisance.
Are They a Problem?
Pigeons can cause problems when roosting on buildings through the fouling of ledges and on other nesting or roosting areas. Their droppings may also cause ‘slip’ hazards on walkways and pavements.
What Happens if We Feed the Pigeons?
Many people take pleasure in feeding pigeons. Unfortunately, the number of pigeons attracted to an area depends on the food available. If pigeons are being fed, more pigeons will be attracted to that area. All pigeons require nesting and roosting sites (eg balconies, window ledges and roof areas of surrounding buildings) as well as a reliable food source. It is vital that food sources for pigeons are kept to a minimum. There have been a number of cases where people have been prosecuted for causing a health risk by repeatedly feeding pigeons.
How Can They be Controlled?
If pigeons begin to roost on part of your property:
- You must also ensure there is no possible food source available to them, in the immediate area.
- Pest proofing – there are many products available to professional pest controllers that prevent pigeons from landing on ledges, roofs or balconies, eg netting on overhangs and spikes on ridges or spouting.
- It may be advisable to attempt to ‘scare’ the pigeons away; to let them know that it is not a suitable nesting place (eg methods can be simple – such as a piece of string with silver foil attached or imitation predators, eg owls, hawks in a visible location).
If you are a private owner you may have to contact a private pest control company who would normally be willing to give you a quote for pigeon proofing at your property.
All pigeon proofing work should be carried out by an experienced professional. This is due to this pest’s ability to adapt to obstructions.