Report 
  Title  
  RAT CONTROL by LOCAL AUTHORITIES within the UNITED KINGDOM
  Key Words  
  Rattus norvegicus infestation control strategies
  Author  
  Gai Murphy and David J. Oldbury
  Abstract  
  The control of rats in the United Kingdom falls to various public and private sector organisations. Local authority environmental health departments do have certain legal duties related to the public health risks posed by rodents, but the way in which they meet these duties varies. This paper reports the findings of a survey sent to all Local Authority Environmental Health Departments in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Sixty-two percent (n = 250) of the 402 Local Authorities returned completed questionnaires. External harbourages, defective drains/sewers, poor structural maintenance, and poor hygiene were identified as the most important causes of rat infestations. The most likely sources of infestation were external harbourages, sewers, and defective drains. A quarter of the respondents charged for treatments to control rats in domestic premises within their Authority boundaries. The most popular active ingredients used were second-generation anticoagulants presented as edible baits. Nineteen percent of respondents reported experiencing treatment failures. The most likely causes of treatment failures were re-invasion from untreated areas, non-co-operation from client/neighbouring buildings, and poor bait take. Only 65% of local authorities were able to confirm the arrangements within their boundaries for sewer treatments. The need for a fundamental review of the current arrangements is examined.