Feature articles

09 February 2018

Pest Awareness Week is just rubbish

The inextricable link between litter and pests is clear. More rubbish, particularly food stuffs, supports the emergence of pests, and rodent infestations particularly. 

Research from the Animal and Plant Health Agency explored housing survey data collected during the period 1996–2010 to determine the prevalence of commensal rodents in and around domestic dwellings in England. They reported that the presence of litter around the dwelling, keeping pets or livestock outside and drainage system faults, all increased the odds of mice being present indoors and rats being present indoors and around the dwelling.

Pest awareness week will take place on week beginning Monday 27 February and BPCA invites its members and supporters to join in. As usual media communications about pest facts and fiction will be shared, and various activities members are doing to raise awareness will be reported on.

On the weekend of pest awareness week, it is also the Great British Spring Clean which calls on people to head out into their local public spaces to clean up and ‘fight the war’ on litter. The BPCA staff team will be out in force at a local Derby park armed with litter pickers, and video equipment to record examples where litter is likely to support pest species.BPCA at KBT Networking Conference 2018

Members can also join in the Great British Spring Clean, simply by registering an event on the Keep Britain Tidy website and heading out for a few hours during Pest Awareness weekend. Members that do participate in the activity can request a template Press Release from BPCA which should then be distributed to local media.

Ian Andrew, BPCA Chief Executive said,

“Litter has a significant impact on the environment. The environment is at the forefront of our thoughts already through initiatives like the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU)."

“The Great British Spring Clean also represents a key vehicle in how we can raise awareness of pest control in the public eye, and highlight to the wider world why it is not acceptable to dump litter and rubbish where ever they feel like it."

“Supporting Keep Britain Tidy allows us to work with some of the leading organisations in environmental sustainability and I openly encourage members to take the time to educate their local community before, during, and after pest awareness week."

This week members of the BPCA team attended Keep Britain Tidy’s networking conference (above) to talk about the implications for the environment when litter becomes such a problem.

Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive, Allison Ogden-Newton said,

“Pests like rats and urban foxes feed on the litter and rubbish we leave behind – without the litter problem, these pests would be less of an issue. So, our message is simple – ‘keep it clean, don’t feed the rats’.

Members who would like to signal their involvement with Pest Awareness Week are encouraged to email the BPCA staff team.


Image left to right; Ben Massey Marketing and Communications Manager, Natalie Bungay Field Officer and Ian Andrew Chief Executive. 

Source: BPCA