Households and businesses collectively produce an incredible 180 million tonnes of rubbish a year in England alone, according to Government statistics. Add to this fact that you are never too far away from a rat – or any pest for that matter – if you don’t secure your bins properly, you put your home or business premises at risk of attracting unwanted visitors such as rodents, seagulls, squirrels, cockroaches and wasps.
Nick Collinson, managing director of Essex and Suffolk Pest Solutions, who offer professional pest control services in Colchester, Woodbridge, Felixstowe, Ipswich, Harwich, Braintree and Chelmsford, says incorrect waste disposal can be a huge problem.
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“If waste is not put into bins or the bins are overflowing, then rats and gulls can get to the contents,” he said. “Rats need water and a food source, and harbourage too, if they have all three of these, they breed very quickly.
“Rats only have a three week gestation period and they can have eight young at a time. These young mature at 10-12 weeks, so you only have to do the maths and the numbers can escalate very quickly in a year.”
He said incorrect waste disposal included:
- Overflowing bins,
- Rubbish bags left out on the street instead of being secured in plastic bins,
- Unsecured bins,
- Bins with holes in, and
- Food spillages that haven’t been cleared up, including spillages of grain and cereals in agricultural industries.
A number of pest control callouts in Essex and Suffolk also involve blocks of flats where people are not disposing of their waste properly in the communal bins.
“Problems come about when people sling their rubbish over the bin stores, don’t shut the bins, or leave their rubbish in bags outside the bin stores to avoid unlocking them,” said Mr Collinson.
Food industries, such as restaurants, cafes, pubs and hotels, are another food source for bin pests – and at certain times of the year around half of the company’s commercial pest callouts are to do with improper waste control.
It is thought that the problem has escalated since fortnightly bin collections were introduced in 2005, and if people skip a week and forget to put their waste out, rubbish can soon mount up.
So What’s the Solution?
If you have a rat or bin pest problem, the best thing to do is to call on the experts at Essex and Suffolk Pest Solutions. We will carry out a full survey of your premises, provide pest control solutions and offer advice on pest proofing.
In addition to residential pest control, we also offer contract services which include free site audits and recommendations, free callouts and full pest reports at each visit. We will ensure your bin stores are proofed, provide regular inspections and if rats are a problem their food supply can be replaced with rodenticides.
Here are eight common pests that are attracted to unsecured bins:
Rats – Once they spot a food source, such as overflowing bin stores and bags of rubbish being regularly left out the street, rats will harbour as near as possible to it, which can be in a hedge or in a house. They are attracted to waste such as leftover food and can multiply very quickly.
Mice – Like rats, they live where humans do and are attracted by a ready food source such as overflowing bins and spilled food. And, as they can get through gaps as small as 25 mm they can be a real menace. Kitchen hygiene and proper waste disposal is vital to keep these rodents at bay.
Seagulls – Unsecured bins or bags of rubbish left open are a target for gulls who can raid bins and rip open bin bags, scattering your waste across the street. It is advisable to put household bags out on the day of collection and invest in a lidded bin, if you haven’t been supplied with a wheelie bin.
Ants – As these insects leave a trail of pheromone to identify a food source to other ants, your bins can soon be overrun by these tiny creatures. Clean up waste and empty bins, including household bins, regularly.
Flies/Maggots – Flies are attracted to rubbish if they have access to it; they lay their eggs in the bins, which hatch into maggots. Maggots will take between 10 days to a month to hatch depending on the weather conditions. Restaurants bins containing food waste are particularly affected, so it is advisable to keep bin lids closed and to wrap food before throwing it away. Regular cleaning of both inside and outside of bins will discourage flies and will also help to prevent them completing their life-cycle.
Cockroaches – These are less of a problem for outside bin stores, because of the temperature, but they are associated with poor hygiene and are attracted to waste and spillages inside homes.
Squirrels – These don’t pose so much of a problem associated with waste disposal as the pests outlined above, but it depends on the food source. Grey squirrels can tear up bin bags and have even been known to chew through plastic food waste bins!
Wasps – Bins and exposed waste can be a magnet for wasps so make sure your rubbish is in a secure bin with a lid and repair any holes in bins.
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