PEST control services could be recalled by a local authority after losing a major contract with a local housing provider.

Middlesbrough City Council is considering shutting down its pest control services after losing a major contract with a local company.

The council stopped its domestic operations a few years ago and now focuses only on businesses and community-owned homes.

Some councilors believe the council is now considering cutting the service to a minimum, which has generated an outcry.

They argue that after the pandemic, pests like rats increased in the city.

Starting October 1st, Middlesbrough residents will have to call private companies to resolve pest issues, and many believe it could cost too much for residents.

Middlesbrough City Councilor Matthew Storey said: “I was on the board of examiners and found it very unusual that we don’t have housing services.

“The council only did business deals because they are the ones who make money.

“However, we lost the Thirteen contract, which covered 60 percent of our pest control calls.

“I believe we don’t need to recall this service, we need to rethink and expand it to everyone.

“The council should keep its service, we could fight pests and make money from it, so it would be a win-win situation.

“We would also ask for a cheaper tariff than private companies.

“I already get a lot of voters ringing the bell about pests.

“This is of course a really important service, not only for environmental reasons, but also for public health reasons.”

Many of the current pest controllers fear that their jobs will be at risk if the council cuts their service.

Some of them feel that they have a choice between moving to a private company or taking on unemployment benefits.

The council had 16 vermin fighters and three were transferred to work for Thirteen.

One pest exterminator, who wanted to remain anonymous, said, “We are not allowed to offer discharge or reinstatement to dole, but that’s not an option anyone wants to take.”

UNISON Regional Organizer Victoria Murray said, “UNISON believes that services are best provided directly by the Council.

“We will work with the council and support those affected by this change.”

The council has said it is committed to pest control in public spaces across the city.

A Middlesbrough Council spokesman said, “The council continues to have a significant number of trained staff who can assist with our pest control so that we can continue to meet our current commitments and all external contracts.”