Rat catchers called out more than 1,000 times

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Pest controllers in the north of the county are being called out more than three times a day on rat and mice infestation calls.

In a never-ending war on the rodent population councils are spending tens of thousands of pounds removing the vermin each year.

As part of the Evening Telegraph’s Your Right To Know campaign, we can reveal the four councils in the north of the county were called to a total of 1,213 rat and mice infestations in 2011.

The area worst affected was East Northamptonshire where the council was called on 712 jobs – almost two a day.

But despite the number of calls, Kettering Council environmental services manager Chris Stopford said the problem here was no different here than anywhere else in the country.

He said his officers expected to be dealing with rats and mice in the winter and wasps in the summer every year.

According to one private pest control firm, one of the most common causes of domestic rat infestations was bird feeding.

Daniel Sumpter, owner of DKS Pest Control, in Union Street, Desborough, said: “Most of the calls to people’s homes for rat problems are the result of overflowing bird feeders.

“The food is left lying on the ground and that attracts the rats.

“Overflowing wheelie bins is another problem.”

Rat infestations can be so serious it can force the homeowner to move out.

Irene McGilly first spotted rodents in the garden of her former house in Wick Close in Corby.

She said: “It was a nightmare and I was gripped by fear.

“The whole idea of rats in the garden made me feel sick. I was petrified and didn’t want to stay in the house until it was sorted out.”