Pest control services

If you need to get rid of common pests in your property, like mice and bedbugs, your local council may be able to help you. Find out which pest control services your council may provide and get tips on preventing an infestation.

When your council can help

Your council is usually only able to help you get rid of certain pests.

Every council varies in the pest control service it provides. Belfast City Council provides a free control service for most pests. Other councils will simply provide advice or control for a fee. Contact your local council to check its pest control provision.

Typically, councils will help you to get rid of some or all of the following:

  • rats
  • mice
  • wasps
  • fleas
  • cockroaches
  • bedbugs
  • carpet beetles
  • pigeons
  • ants

Councils don’t usually help with controlling animals such as foxes, rabbits or grey squirrels. 

Local councils also have powers to make sure people take all necessary steps to deal with pests in their property.

Mice and rats

Mice and rats are common pests in the home. They are normally active at night and you might not see them during the day.

A key sign you have mice is finding food, packaging or other material that has been nibbled and small droppings. You may also find nests, which look like balls of material loosely woven together.

The most common sign of rats is droppings, along with evidence of gnawing, tracks, burrows and nests.

Health and safety risks from mice and rats

Mice and rats can carry a wide range of diseases. These can be passed on to humans by contaminating food or surfaces with urine, droppings and hairs. Rats, in particular, can pass on leptospirosis - a disease that can lead to Weil’s disease and can be fatal to humans.

Rats can also cause structural damage to property. They can gnaw electric cables and wiring which could cause fire or electrocution.

Reduce the risk of mice and rats in your home

Mice and rat infestations can be avoided by blocking access to your home:

  • check air bricks are in place and intact - don’t block them
  • look for access points around gas, electricity and water pipes
  • check that doors fit tightly
  • fit cone guards and balloon guards to drainpipes to stop rats climbing up – these are available from hardware or DIY stores
  • make sure drain covers and grilles are in place and not damaged

Improved hygiene will discourage mice and rats by restricting their food:

  • store food carefully so mice and rats don’t have access
  • sweep up spills immediately
  • remove rubbish
  • clean under work units and other areas where food debris builds up
  • keep the garden free of food debris
  • don’t compost meat, fish, bones or bread, as these attract vermin
  • avoid over feeding wild birds or a build-up of food residues

Controlling mice and rats yourself

The first step to controlling mice and rats is to find out where they are living and feeding and their routes between these areas. Look for:

  • holes and burrows
  • damage and gnawing
  • droppings
  • footprints
  • sightings
  • a musky smell

Block any holes you find with newspaper and come back 24 hours later to see which holes have been reopened. You can then permanently seal all access holes and routes.

Fleas

If you have fleas in your home, try to identify the source of the problem. In many cases this is a family pet.

To treat fleas on your pet, use an insecticide aerosol spray, pour-on product or a tablet. For more information about the product, ask your vet or the pest control officer in your local council.

Alternatively, the pest control officer can treat your premises using insecticides and products that stop flea development.

Bedbugs

Trying to get rid of bedbugs yourself is unlikely to work. If you find bedbugs in your home, contact your local council’s pest control service immediately or a private pest controller.

Squirrels

Grey squirrels are an introduced species that are common in Northern Ireland. They can cause damage and fires when they access buildings and chew electrical wiring.

Nuisance birds

Advice is available on the following page:

More useful links

Share this page

What do you want to do?
What is your question about?
Do you want a reply?
Your email address
To reply to you, we need your email address
Your feedback

We will not reply to your feedback.  Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

This feedback form is for issues with the nidirect website only.

You can use it to report a problem or suggest an improvement to a webpage.

If you have a question about a government service or policy, you should contact the relevant government organisation directly as we don’t have access to information about you held by government departments.

You must be aged 13 years or older - if you’re younger, ask someone with parental responsibility to send the feedback for you.

The nidirect privacy notice applies to any information you send on this feedback form.

Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.
Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.

What to do next

Comments or queries about angling can be emailed to anglingcorrespondence@daera-ni.gov.uk 

What to do next

If you have a comment or query about benefits, you will need to contact the government department or agency which handles that benefit.  Contacts for common benefits are listed below.

Carer's Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912
Email 
dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Discretionary support / Short-term benefit advance

Call 0800 587 2750 
Email 
customerservice.unit@communities-ni.gov.uk

Disability Living Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912 
Email dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Employment and Support Allowance

Call 0800 587 1377

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Contact your local Jobs & Benefits office

Personal Independence Payment

Call 0800 587 0932

If your query is about another benefit, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

Comments or queries about the Blue Badge scheme can be emailed to bluebadges@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk or you can also call 0300 200 7818.

What to do next

For queries or advice about careers, contact the Careers Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Child Maintenance, contact the Child Maintenance Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about claiming compensation due to a road problem, contact DFI Roads claim unit.

What to do next

For queries or advice about criminal record checks, email ani@accessni.gov.uk

What to do next

Application and payment queries can be emailed to ema_ni@slc.co.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about employment rights, contact the Labour Relations Agency.

What to do next

For queries or advice about birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates and research, contact the General Register Office Northern Ireland (GRONI) by email gro_nisra@finance-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries about:

If your query is about another topic, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

For queries or advice about passports, contact HM Passport Office.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), including parking tickets and bus lane PCNs, email dcu@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about pensions, contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre.

What to do next

If you wish to report a problem with a road or street you can do so online in this section.

If you wish to check on a problem or fault you have already reported, contact DfI Roads.

What to do next

For queries or advice about historical, social or cultural records relating to Northern Ireland, use the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) enquiry service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about rates, email LPSCustomerTeam@lpsni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about  60+ and Senior Citizen SmartPasses (which can be used to get concessionary travel on public transport), contact Smartpass - Translink.