Tag Archives: sewer

Tony’s Tales – Rats in the Kitchen

Tony Halliday, our boss, has spent years on the front line of pest control in London. His tales of strange situations and even stranger customers would fill volumes. He’s allowed us to record some of the skirmishes he’s experienced in his battle against vermin in Southwark and beyond.

A lot of Tony’s pest control stories feature Rats. These unsavory rodents breed in the old London sewers, making their burrows in the cracks and crevices of decaying Victorian brickwork and broken pipes.

Not surprisingly, rats often turn up in kitchens. They’re always hungry and always looking for food. In older houses, often those which have not been so well looked after, there are plenty of gaps and holes through which the rats can slip in.

On one call-out in Southwark, Tony and his mate were met by a burly South American bloke who didn’t speak a word of English. Tony tried to explain why they were there and the South American responded by waving his arms around and firing off a torrent of words in a foreign language.

Eventually the South American seemed to calm down and led Tony through to the kitchen, a ramshackle affair that had seen much better days. There, on top of the washing machine, peering out from under the worktop, was a rat.

Despite his size, the South American refused to enter the room and simply pointed from the doorway. Tony and his mate knew that they had to get rid of the rat and take measures to protect against other vermin.

Catching a rat is relatively easy using modern pest control measures, such as sticky boards. Unfortunately, this encounter was before Tony’s team had such equipment. So he was forced to hunt the rat down to catch and dispatch it.

This particular rat had a strong sense of self-preservation and did not want to be caught. It quickly disappeared, leaving Tony and his mate to begin a cupboard by cupboard search. They removed kickboards and emptied cupboards as they methodically closed in on the creature.

Looking into one cupboard, Tony thought he heard a noise from the back. He grabbed his torch, put his head in the cupboard, and found himself literally face-to-face with the rat, which was hiding in a saucepan.

For the rat, it was almost a case of out of the frying pan into the fire. Tony dealt with the rodent quickly and efficiently. The South American, despite being unable to speak a word of English, understood that the job had been done and was effusive in his gratitude to the pest controllers.

Click here to follow Bypest on Twitter

Click here to follow Bypest on Facebook

Billions to be Poured Into London Super Sewer

Most of us picture London’s sewers as a network of brick-lined tunnels infested with rats and other unsavoury pests. It’s a fairly accurate image but plans are afoot to construct a new super sewer that could run beneath the streets of Southwark or Tower Hamlets.

The huge drainpipe is being designed to capture the overflow from the existing sewer system, which regularly reaches capacity and spews raw waste into the River Thames. The project is going to cost over £3.6 billion and the tunnel will run deep underground for over 20 miles.

The exact route hasn’t been decided yet and part of the process to help determine where it will go was a public consultation, which closed recently. The most expensive option is to run the tunnel beneath the Thames but it could be diverted to cross either Southwark or Tower Hamlets.

When the route is chosen, the planners will get to work, followed by the builders. It’s a massive project that will take years to complete and the tunnel won’t be ready before 2020 at the earliest.

The notion that a sewer is home to countless rats should be dispelled by this twenty-first century scheme. Numerous pest control measures will be incorporated into the design and many of the materials used will be rodent-resistant.

Environmental health officials from across London will want to be sure that this new channel for waste won’t become the breeding ground for more vermin. They’ll want the confidence that increasing London’s capacity for handling sewage won’t also boost the local rat population.

Unfortunately, the new super sewer won’t replace the existing and aging Victorian tunnels. It will supplement them but the old network, with its millions of holes and crevices that make ideal homes for rats, will remain. This means that even with its new super sized flushing mechanism, London’s problems with pest control will remain.

Click here to follow Bypest on Twitter

Click here to follow Bypest on Facebook