How Much Do The Council Charge For Pest Control?

Mouse in your house? How much does it cost to evict them?

How much do the council charge for pest control? And do they even offer pest control services in the first place? 

Whether it’s rats, mice, cockroaches, or wasps, you’ll probably want any sort of pest infestation dealt with quickly and effectively. However, getting help from the council will depend on where you live, the type of infestation, and the policies of your local authority.

In this article, we explain council pest control prices, the services on offer as well as ways to save money on pest control services.

Do councils provide pest control?

In short, some councils provide pest control. But others don’t.

According to the latest National Survey from the British Pest Control Association, 80% of local authorities offered some form of pest control to private homeowners. 

So, how can you check?

There’s a useful tool on the website that lets you enter your postcode and find out whether your local council provides pest control services.

While this works for most local authorities and postcodes, you might sometimes get the message, “we do not know if they offer this service”.

In this case, follow the link taking you to your council’s website, where you’ll find more in-depth guidance.

If they do offer pest control services, it’s time to look at council pest control prices.

How much is it to get pest control out in the UK?

It’s no surprise lots of people want to know how much does pest control cost?

There’s no UK-wide set free structure, which means pest control prices depend on your local authority.

Factors impacting the price could include the size of your home as well as the type and size of your infestation. The larger and more complex the infestation, the more expensive fixing the issue will be.

As a rule of thumb, basic rates start at £40-£100 for “simple” pest control issues like rats and mice. For more complex problems (for instance, bed bugs or clothes moths), this can easily rise to between £300 and £500, or more.

As well as heading to your local council, you can also pay for private pest control services.

Most professionals charge at least £150 to £300 per job, but it’s important to ask for a quote before agreeing to any services. Again, this figure will increase or decrease, depending on the size and complexity of the infestation.

Don’t be scared to shop around and get quotes from a few companies. Written quotes should always clarify how many visits are included in the price, and any extra charges for unexpectedly large infestations or things like nest removal.

To find a reputable pest control company, visit the British Pest Control Association’s website and search for qualified professionals in your area. You could also ask friends and family for trusted recommendations.

How much is pest control for a house?

Most councils have a standard “flat rate” for pest control callouts. This is the same whether you live in a flat or a house.

As we’ve seen, the exact charges are different for each council. So you’ll have to check with your local authority.

But to give an example, Southampton Council currently charges homeowners £187.61 for treating issues with rats, mice and squirrels. This includes 3 separate visits (if required). For any additional visits (booked within 21 days of the last visit), you’d pay an extra £72.61.

For bedbugs, a mandatory initial assessment costs £86.25. A full treatment for a 1-2 bedroom dwelling (a flat or a house) would cost £463.66. This rises to £612 if you have 5 bedrooms or more.

Discounts are generally available for residents receiving council tax or housing benefits.

To compare these costs, Wandsworth Council (for example) charges between £134 and £150 for treating issues with rats, mice and squirrels. This covers 2 visits.

For bedbugs, Wandsworth council charges £268 for treatment of a 1-2 bedroom dwelling. This rises to £538 for 3 or more bedrooms.

Do councils offer free pest control services?

If you receive benefits or live in a property owned by the council, you might qualify for free or discounted pest control. To find out whether you’re eligible, check with your local authority in the first instance.

Some councils even provide free services to all residents in the local area.

For free or discounted pest control services, qualifying benefits normally include:

  • Housing benefits
  • Income support
  • Universal Credit
  • Council tax reductions
  • Disability living allowance
  • Pension credits
  • Working tax credits
  • Income-based job seekers’ allowance

A word of caution, though. Even if your council offers free pest control services, you might still have to pay if you request a visit and professionals don’t find evidence of pests. So do check your property carefully before arranging a call out.

Does the council remove rats?

Yes, most local councils remove rats.

However, this isn’t the case for every local authority.

For instance, Tower Hamlets Council gets rid of rats in or around local homeowners’ properties for free. They do charge for mice, though, so it’s best to have a chat with your local pest control team if you’re unsure of the difference!

On the other hand, some councils (such as Stratford-upon-Avon District Council) don’t take any pest control bookings at all.

And other councils do remove rats, but charge for these services. It’s a bit of a lottery.

We’ve already seen prices ranging from £130 to £180 for rat removals (charged by Southampton and Wandsworth Councils). But this can be as little as £42 (Manchester City Council) or £80 (in the case of Bedford Borough Council).

As always, check with your local authority on whether they offer pest control services in the first place. Make sure to ask how many visits each “treatment course” includes and what the total costs are.

Should tenants or landlords pay for pest control?

In general, the person who’s responsible for the pest infestation should pay for pest control measures.

It’s not always straightforward figuring out who’s responsible, however. 

If there’s any disagreement between landlords and tenants, an Environmental Health Officer (or other pest control specialist) might be able to identify the cause of an infestation.

A tenant could be responsible if they haven’t cleared away leftover rubbish or food, or they’ve brought bed bugs into a property with old clothes and bedding. In this case, they’ll have to fix the issue.

Alternatively, if the landlord is responsible, it’s their responsibility to solve the pest problem. This could be due to issues such as disrepair (including holes in the walls or badly fitted pipes) or a furnished home where pests were present before the tenancy started.

A landlord might also be responsible for paying for pest control if the tenancy agreement (i.e. the contract between landlord and tenant) specifies this.

There’s more advice on who’s responsible for dealing with infestations on the Citizens Advice website.

How can I save money on pest control services?

Whether it’s private companies or local council pest control prices, there’s no doubt, dealing with unexpected infestations can leave you out of pocket.

There are some ways you can cut down on these costs, though. Here are a few ideas:

Arrange appropriate insurance cover

Whether you’re a landlord or a private homeowner, make sure you have the right insurance in place. At A-Plan, we know there are some emergencies you can’t plan for… like burst pipes, faulty electrics or, yes, those pesky animal infestations.

That’s why our Home Emergency policies give you cover for up to £1,000 (including all parts and labour) with a qualified and professional contractor dispatched to your property. We provide this service day or night, 365 days a year, so you can rest easy.

Act quickly

We’ve already seen how local councils and private companies might charge more for pest control if they need to make multiple visits to your property. With this in mind, acting quickly could save you money. 

So as soon as you see (or suspect) a pest infestation, get in touch with the relevant professional services. They’ll advise appropriately and stop the infestation from growing out of control.

Thorough housekeeping

Prevention is always better than cure… and the one way to really save money on pest control is stopping infestations from occurring in the first place. 

Making sure your home is clean and tidy (with trees, hedges and eaves regularly checked), will minimise the potential for uninvited guests. Frequently removing household rubbish (and keeping bins and food securely shut away) will also reduce the likelihood of intruders like rats and mice.

Try tackling the issue itself

Now, tackling pests yourself won’t be right for everyone. If there’s any danger (such as wasps nests), or you’re unsure whether you’re dealing with a protected species (in the case of nesting birds) — it’s advisable to call the professionals.

For the odd mouse or a few bed bugs, however, you might be able to set traps or lay powders yourself. Consider safety precautions first and foremost, and always follow manufacturer guidelines when applying pest control products.

Do bear in mind, though, you might not be aware of the full scale of the problem. So if you fail to deal with the issue (and the pest infestation grows), this could leave you out of pocket in the long run.

Looking to protect your property? At A-Plan, we offer Home Emergency Insurance that covers a massive variety of issues. So no matter what life throws at you, you know your property and investments are protected. Complete our short form and get a quote today.

Also read:
How to get rid of wasps (safely)
What is Home Emergency Cover? (And Who Needs It)
Spring gardening – top 10 tips