Hundreds of call-outs to rat reports in South Tyneside
South Tyneside Council dealt with almost two rat sightings a day last year.
New figures show the authority received 630 reports of the rodents in 2017, a drop of nine on the previous 12 months.
Sunderland had the most calls in Tyne and wear, with 2,341 reports, followed by Newcastle with 1,659.
There were 593 call-outs in Gateshead and North Tyneside handled 615 reports.
A South Tyneside Council spokesperson said: “We have a highly experienced and knowledgeable team of pest control technicians who offer advice and support to residents and businesses in dealing with a variety of pest problems.
“There is high demand for our service, which is well recognised locally and is generally where our residents turn to for assistance. Our service includes the initial visit to their property, investigating the cause of the problem, any subsequent visits within the guarantee period as well as carrying out treatments as part of the management and prevention of further problems occurring.
“We continue to give free telephone advice and guidance on how to proof their properties.
“The council offers highly competitive rates for pest control, for both domestic and commercial premises. For further information, visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk or call our Customer Contact Centre on (0191) 427 7000.”
The British Pest Control Association has issued advice on how to prevent the spread of rats:
lRats only need a gap of 15mm to gain entry to a building, so eliminate places which could harbour them, including sealing gaps around pipes and under sheds;
lRemove potential nesting sites by keeping yards and gardens clean and tidy, cutting back overgrown areas and clearing wood and debris;
lEnsure drain inspection covers are in a good state of repair;
lCover any household waste rats can get access to.