Recent Vermin and Pest Control News
The caterers that run all the food services at Leicester City’s King Power stadium have been fined by magistrates, after mouse activity was discovered in a number of the dining and food preparation areas at the stadium.
Compass Contract Services (UK) Ltd is facing a bill of more than £16,000 – of costs and fines – after admitting to three charges of contravening food hygiene regulations before Leicester Magistrates Court.
The court heard that environmental health officers from Leicester City Council found evidence of mice at 10 of the 16 food kiosks inside the ground when they visited on March 3 last year. Prosecutor Nicki Agalamanyi said that the environmental health officers made a total of eight subsequent visits between then and April 17 and, despite seeing the drawing up of action plans by the caterers and significant cleaning being carried out, there was still significant evidence of mouse activity on April 17.
Miss Agalamanyi stated: “There were dropping in the Great Hall, the Walkers Hall and there were droppings on napkins on shelves in the Weller Lounge.
“There was a dead mouse in a cooking oil filter in a ground storage area.”
Birmingham-based Compass, which is the largest provider of contract catering in the UK and Ireland, admitted not putting adequate pest control procedures in place at the stadium and also not ensuring that the premises were adequately protected from vermin.
The company was given an £8,000 fine and ordered to pay £8,245 in court costs.
Pest controllers in Berkshire will be using a remote controlled helicopter to douse an area of woodland in the west of the county with insecticide, as part of efforts to half the march of the destructive caterpillars of the oak processionary moth.
The pest controllers from the Forestry Commission are using insecticide that poses no risk to human health and is made from a bacteria that occurs naturally in soil. The 25 acres of affected woodland lie just south-east of Pangbourne and include Herridge’s Copse and Broom Copse.
The government has recently allocated an extra £1.5 million of funding to help with the efforts to wipe out the caterpillar, which has taken hold in a number of sites within London. The Berkshire site, however, is only the second site outside of the capital to be affected by the caterpillars, which defoliate oaks and whose thousands of hairs cause itchy rashes upon contact with people.
Local people have raised concerns, however, that the use of aerial sprays will kill off other indigenous species of butterflies and moths that are known to live at the site and amount to excessive force.
Antoinette Earl, who lives near to the woodland, told The Guardian, “I am aware of the toxic nature of the caterpillars, but also aware that previous control methods have reduced the number of caterpillar nests from several dozen in 2011 to only three last year. The aerial spraying approach feels like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.”
A mouse infestation has seen a major Preston employer reported to environmental health chiefs, following a number of sightings throughout this year.
Shop Direct, in London Road, Preston, has had a number of sightings reported by members of its 600-strong staff, according to the Lancashire Evening Post. Some of the workers have also raised concerns about the vermin accessing and eating their food.
Shop Direct, which owns the building, told the newspaper that they were taking the matter very seriously and were working with the staff employer, Serco, and pest controllers to address the issue.
“In January this year, a mouse was spotted by a member of Serco staff and we immediately called in our pest-control company who dealt with the incident,” a spokesman said. “Last month, a further mouse sighting was reported and has subsequently been dealt with by the pest control experts. The Environmental Health team inspected the building and felt that no further action was needed.”
A Preston City Council spokesman said that they were aware that their health staff had been called to the site and they were satisfied that the matter is being dealt with sufficiently. He said, “The company received a good score in their last inspection.”
Pest controllers are working at the seat of Scottish politics, following numerous reports of mice spotted scurrying around the corridors of Holyrood.
The rodents are frequently being seen around the Scottish Parliament, particularly by after-hours workers, who have said that they are becoming increasingly bold.
Lothians MSP, Kezia Dugdale – whose workload frequently sees her stay at her Holyrood office well into the evening – has said that she has seen mice in the building several times over the last few weeks.
“If I’m in the office past 8pm, one of them comes up from the floorboards and looks at me, as if to say, ‘What are you still doing here, this is my time’,” she said. “The first time I saw one I tried to scream the house down, but at least it gives me a good reason to pack up and go home. Maybe it’s time to get a Holyrood cat.”
Insiders have claimed that the problem is stemming from the removal of individual bins in the office as part of effort to encourage recycling. More food and crumbs are now being left around in individual rooms and offices, providing rich pickings for hungry mice.
A Holyrood spokeswoman said that they have taken “preventative measures to deal with mice”.