Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council pest control teams handled nearly 450 rodent cases over the past year, new figures show.
Statistics show that employees were called almost 800 times to fight vermin throughout the year.
The data was published at the request of the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) on freedom of information.
Despite the lockdown measures in place since March last year, the total number is down 266 from the previous year.
In 2019, the Lisburn Castlereagh environmental team announced they had treated 1,064 pest cases across the municipality.
The local authority did not specify where exactly the pest control was taking place and said that since the information was “personal information” it could not be made public.
On the subject of matching items
On the subject of matching items
Wasps were by far the most common problem pest control workers had to deal with as they faced 298 sorties throughout the lockdown.
Further analysis also found that nearly 443 visits were made to properties dealing with rodent-related issues in the past year – 40 more than the previous year.
Meanwhile, the Lisburn Castlereagh Council said it was too difficult to estimate the total cost of pest control because the service was “demand-driven and busy” at certain times of the year.
The spokesman also stressed that households receiving government benefits also receive the service for free.
Households not receiving benefits pay between £ 50 and £ 120 for each visit, depending on the type of pest.
A spokesman for Lisburn Castlereagh Council said: “The staff are trained to a high level of expertise in health and safety
Regulations. We only use pesticides and methods that comply with legal requirements. ”
A national trade organization is also calling on households and businesses in the region to draw attention to pests during a further extended embargo period.
The British Pest Control Association (BPCA) warned people to stay vigilant as Covid-19 restrictions remain in Northern Ireland.
A spokesman said a regular pattern for rodents is that when temperatures drop and food becomes scarce, they go inside.
A BPCA spokesperson added, “When the weather gets colder, field mice also look for warmer nesting sites and begin moving indoors as well. They are very adaptable and do not hesitate to use a warm nesting site during the winter months.
“This pattern for rats and mice all indicates a need for special care and attention with lockdown.
“One of the biggest threats many closed businesses face is the possibility of serious pest infestation, which may have emerged when their premises were left inactive and unprotected from pests.
“Property owners are required by law to keep rodents free on the premises or, if rodents pose a threat to health or property, to report the infestation to local authorities.
“Proactive pest management is the best way to manage the risks to public health and safety.”
The BPCA website has an AZ of pests describing the habits and life cycles of various species, as well as signs of infestation and the dangers they can pose, including the spread of disease and property damage.
An online guide to rats at bpca.org.uk/rats provides helpful information on identifying an infestation and tips on when to seek advice.