A national trade body wants rodent control to become a matter of public debate following the release of a report examining rat and mouse complaints.

The British Pest Control Association (BPCA) welcomed the research carried out by Harrow councillor Susan Hall, which revealed that more than one hundred complaints are made to London councils each day.

It sits alongside its own findings, which are released annually to assess the state of the UK’s pests.

Dee Ward-Thompson, technical manager at BPCA, said: “The presence of rats is an issue of national concern. BPCA represents more than 500 companies with extremely valuable expertise and we want that knowledge to contribute to local and national policy.

“Our survey is produced because we are concerned about how public sector cutbacks are affecting pest control provision.

“Councils and local authorities are having to make savings and we were getting a lot of reports that pest control services are being reduced or outsourced. We are keen to make sure that these changes don’t affect public health.”

The body noted how, as well as being a nuisance, rats and mice can carry harmful diseases that can be easily spread to humans through their urine.

It added how reports of problems are likely to increase as temperatures drop during the winter months.

Pests seeking shelter, combined with the increase in food and waste over the festive period, means complaints could “soar”.

BPCA advises that residents inspect their properties thoroughly and seal up any potential gaps which could be utilised by rats.

Bins should be well-maintained and leftover food should be thrown away immediately.

It also suggests that drain coverings are routinely looked at and outdoor areas kept clean to reduce the possibility of nesting sites.