Falkirk Council’s pest control policy stings householder in the pocket

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A Falkirk resident was fuming after she discovered she could not count on Falkirk Council to deal with a wasp nest.

The fact the council no longer offers a pest control service was news to Mungalhead Road householder Pat Bennie, who was also disappointed when the local authority could not provide her with a list of preferred local pest control firms.

Mrs Bennie said: “Thankfully I have not had a wasp problem for several years. I remember phoning the council at the time and they responded within hours and removed the nest for no cost.

“Obviously they don’t do this anymore. I said I would be willing to pay a small fee, but according to the council, you have to find a private company to deal with the problem.

“I eventually found firms online and the quotes I received ranged from £84 to £140. I thought we paid our Council Tax to have this kind of service provided by the council.”

Falkirk Council was called out 3127 times between March 2013 and March 2014, when it still offered a pest control service, but it now appears – along with encouraging residents to take over the running of their community centres – the council’s ethos of community empowerment also includes letting householders deal with their own pests.

On its website the council confirms it does not provide a pest control service anymore and adds the responsibility lies with either the owner or the occupier of the land or property to ensure “infestations are eradicated”.

According to the council, when it comes to large scale infestations, householders are advised to engage a private pest control contractor.

The site also lists advice on what residents should do if they are confronted with problems of rats and mice – stating traps and treatments can be bought from “most hardware stores”.

As for wasp nests, it advises some infestations can be treated with insecticides from “hardware stores” and “garden centres”.

Last month the council appointed a pest control contractor to deal with an infestation of rats at Bonnybridge’s Antonine Primary School.