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Boom time rats worry officials.

Pest controllers yesterday warned of possible major public health problems, after reporting a sharp rise in the numbers of rats in the UK. The 2006 National Rodent Survey, published each year by the National Pest Technicians Association, highlighted a number of reasons for the jump in rodent populations, including litter from fast food outlets and councils charging for services.

It describes a 39% increase in call-outs concerning brown rats between 1999 and 2005 - and an even more worrying 69% jump over the same period for rats during the summer, a time when they are normally less active in urban areas.

The survey says that call-outs for house mice have also started to increase after five years of reductions from 1999 to 2003.
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 5, 2007
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