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It’s official, City of Westminster is full of rats!

The London borough had more rodent call-outs in the last year than anywhere else in the capital, according to data from home services firm Fantastic Services.

Westminster – home to the Houses of Parliament and a breeding ground for the nation’s politicians – also saw the most pest-control call-outs of any kind, while the east London borough of Newham is London’s cockroach and bed bug capital.

In the 12 months up to May 2020, Fantastic Services pest control teams were called out to tackle rodents at Westminster homes 448 times, just slightly more than Wandsworth’s total of 440, while the London borough of Lambeth saw 413 call-outs.

Bed bugs were another common pest to plague Londoners in the last year, especially the residents of Newham, who called for professional exterminators 146 times, way ahead of second-placed Wandsworth, with 117 call-outs. Newham also topped the list for cockroach emergencies, with its 45 call-outs antennae, head and shoulders above second-placed Brent, with 35.

Other critters to make up London’s ‘Big 5’ are moths and fleas (illustrated in the table below), which across London saw 553 and 356 call-outs respectively, while wasp, ant and fly infestations are also common in the capital.

London pest safari: Where can you go to spot London’s ‘big 5’?



Bed bugs



Westminster (448)

Newham (45)

Newham (146)

Westminster (58)

Lambeth (29)

Wandsworth (440)

Brent (35)

Wandsworth (117)

Lambeth (51)

Haringey (24)

Lambeth (413)

Haringey (31)

Tower Hamlets (113)

Kensington & Chelsea (45)

Hackney (22)

*Fantastic Services call-outs in the last year



The title for the most densely pest populated London borough goes to Kensington and Chelsea, which saw 76 pest call-outs per 10,000 households in the last year, 51 of these being rodent-related.

Fantastic Services sent pest control teams out in London more than 12,500 times over the last year and in recent weeks, the company saw a spike in call-outs to residential homes, with lockdown causing rats to migrate from restaurants to houses in search of food.

Rune Sovndahl, Co-founder of Fantastic Services, said: “Lockdown has taught us to be strict about who we let into our homes, but unfortunately, it’s also led to a rise in uninvited four-legged guests. Once rodents gain access to your property, they can be very difficult to control and it’s likely that you’ll need professional help to get rid of the problem.”





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