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Problems with rats and reports to pest control are rising in Ceredigion with steps to restart “sewer baiting” underway, councillors were told this week.

An overview of the community warden and pest control services was brought to scrutiny committee on Wednesday (September 22) following previous discussions about rat problems in Aberystwyth.

A report states that in 2020/21 there were 265 rat issues reported to pest control, compared to 220 in 2019/20 and 163 in 2018/19 and the “apparent increase may be attributable to a whole range of factors.”

These include “takeaway foods become more popular resulting in more food waste, rubbish being collected less frequently, poor housing conditions, low income/vulnerable households unable to afford pest control services, and milder winters.”

Members of the healthier communities overview and scrutiny committee heard that after running with just one officer for a considerable amount of time the community warden service had recently filled a vacant post, with training and accreditation to be completed.

Councillors were also “pleased to hear” that steps to achieve the necessary safety certification required by Dwr Cymru to resume joint sewer baiting work was being considered to fight the problem in Ceredigion’s towns.

“The current situation in Aberystwyth and other towns in the county is not acceptable, and it’s certainly not acceptable to the public,” said Cllr Alun Williams.

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