Local authority pest management services in the UK.
  Key Words  
  Urban pest management, local authorities
  R.G. Murphy and S. Battersby
  The National Pest Advisory Panel (NPAP) of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) in the UK was established in 2001 to advise the CIEH on its pest control policy. As part of its work, a pest survey was developed to investigate the way in which pest management services within local authorities (LAs) were operationalised and delivered in the UK. Questionnaires were distributed to all LAs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and a response rate of 67% was achieved. Although there is no statutory duty on LAs to provide pest management services, only 3 of the LAs which responded did not provide one. Seventy–eight percent of LAs had in house services, 13% contracted out pest control services out and 9% had a mixture of in-house and contracted out service provision. The management and nature of contracted out services varied with 56% of the authorities issuing fixed term, fixed price contracts, 30% issuing contracts based on the jobs done or the number of properties treated and the remainder having a mixture of the two. The survey confirmed considerable variation in the staffing levels, the pests treated, the financing of the services provided and the means by which performance criteria were used to judge the success of the pest control measures taken. The survey also explored the arrangements in place to manage contracted out services. In the UK, LAs and the water and sewerage companies should share responsibility for the control of rats in sewers. This survey found considerable variation in these relationships. The adverse public health impact of the changes to and variations in local government pest management services and the impact of much of the sewerage infrastructure being controlled by the privatised authorities is considered.