London is a bustling, vibrant place, full of interesting people and characterful buildings. Unfortunately, it's also full of pests such as rats, bed bugs, pigeons and moths. A new report from the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) has shown that certain London boroughs have more infestations than anywhere else in the UK.
Out of over 700,000 call outs to pest controllers across the UK in 2010-11, Tower Hamlets had the most, with 8% of people having to ask for help over the course pest control London of the year. This represents a lot of cases in a small area, with around 902 requests for each km2.
The problem is not limited to London, either. The South East, including counties such as Hertfordshire and Essex, also had a lot of callouts. The region had more pest removal requests than any other. Across the country as a whole, rats were the most common problem, accounting for 42% of cases, while mice (18%) and wasps (23%) were also widespread.
When we think of Tower Hamlets, we usually think of the glistening spires of skyscrapers soaring above docklands. In reality, though, the area includes much of what is traditionally thought of as the East End and has a very dense population. It shouldn't be surprising that pests are common here, because where there are people, there are pests.
One of the biggest problems in London is the easy availability of food. Pigeons, for example, only live in cities because food is plentiful - the same reason we see seagulls in playgrounds. Their natural habitat is a rocky cliff top, but they have adapted to city life to take advantage of all the scraps that are dropped on the floor. Rats and urban foxes are common for the same reason. Foxes in particular tear open bin bags in search of food, which in turn can encourage other pests.
Insects come in search of food as well, but it may not be food as we usually think of it. Moths can be particularly troublesome nowadays, particularly the clothes moth. While a cashmere cardigan may not seem a tasty snack to you or I, the larvae of the clothes moth feed on natural fibres such as wool and silk. Carpets and old clothes left undisturbed in dark corners are the perfect environment for these insects.
Bed bugs are another problem insect. 9 of the top 10 places for bed bugs in the UK were London boroughs, and Tower Hamlets was number one with over 2000 cases. Bed pest control Londonbugs feed on human blood, but are often difficult to find.
Luckily, or perhaps because of the level of the problem, some of the best pest management and removal companies are located in London, Herts and the South East. All of the cases mentioned in the BCPA's report did the right thing - they asked the professionals for help. To identify a pest in your home and have it removed, contact a pest control service immediately.