Pest Control- Charging

Cornwall Council is making changes to the pest control service provided to the public in order to provide the same level of quality service across Cornwall.

Each of the former district and borough councils used to provide different levels of service for domestic premises in their areas.  For instance the former Caradon district council did not provide any pest treatment service at all, whereas others provided a free service for rats and mice.

The changes, which come into effect on Monday 19 April, do not affect the Council’s public health responsibilities in any way.

One significant change will be the introduction of one number on which to request a pest control treatment.  This new number will be 0300 1234 212.

The same level of service will now be available to all domestic premises in Cornwall.  For rats and mice only, the Council will arrange for a professional pest operative to visit, assess an infestation and if appropriate lay bait.

Another significant change will be the introduction of a charge of £36 +VAT.  The charge has been set at this level to cover the cost of the contract.  There will be no net cost to the council.  Consideration was given to offering a reduced cost to those on certain benefits however the customer contact centre (who will taking the calls) are unable to verify if a householder is in receipt of benefits.  The amount charged by the Council will be for 1 full treatment this will be an initial survey, and the laying of bait, a further revisit 6-8 days later to check on bait take and remove any carcases and a third follow up visit if necessary.  The charge set by the council is extremely competitive and in some cases almost half of that charged by private companies.

Householders wishing to use this service will be asked to pay up-front either by cash, or card either at one of the Council’s 22 one-stop shops, by phone through the Council’s customer contact centres.  For people wishing to undertake baiting themselves advice is available on the Council’s website.  There are also at least 13 separate private pest control contractors listed in yellow pages as working in the County.

No service will be provided in respect of any other pest species such as fleas and wasps but staff in Customer Contact Centres will be able to offer advice on the best way to deal with this type of pest.

Several other local authorities across the UK currently charge for their pest control service including Stevenage, Brentwood, Walsall and Southend.  Other authorities have chosen or to cease provision completely for example the former Caradon District Council.

Unlike many services undertaken by the Council it is not duty-bound to provide a pest control service.

However, the council is still under a duty to investigate allegations of rats and mice on land.  The Council’s enforcement powers remain the same as they have been for the last 60 years.  The Public Health and Protection Service will continue to investigate allegations of infestations and where infestations of vermin exist, or sufficient steps to prevent them from occurring have not been taken, then the Council can, and does, require the occupiers or owners of land to take action to deal with the problem.

Hope this information helps. Feel free to comment.


  • Anonymous

    Why is a council offering a service that it has no legal obligation to offer, is already provided by the private sector and undercutting it,not what I pay my council tax for…

  • Cllr Andrew Wallis

    I was only aware this was happening when I got the briefing notes on it (today). I believe most Councillors would have no idea that this was decided.

    Personally, I find it very annoying that I was only given the 'Heads-up' on this on a Friday before it comes into force the following Monday.

    Something I will be taking up next week with the relevant Portfolio Holder.

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