Pest controllers in Wales have made almost 90,000 rodent related visits in a year, new figures claim.
The statistics, obtained by the Welsh Conservatives, also say that in 2009/2010, Welsh local authorities dealt with 42,000 calls from the public – an average of more than 100 every day of the year.
Swansea topped the rat and mouse league, with more than 31,000 visits in the past two years – following over 11,000 vermin-prompted calls.
In second place was Rhondda Cynon Taff with 27,000 visits and revisits – following 8,000 calls.
The figures were released today following a Freedom of Information request by Darren Millar, AM for Clwyd West.
He said: “Rats and mice are running rampant right across Wales.
“And with 31,000 visits to deal with rodent infestations in Swansea alone, local residents must be wondering whether the Pied Piper is living in the city.
“Welsh Conservatives have been warning for some time that local authorities have got to get a grip on issues like littering and fly-tipping, which can increase rodent populations if they go unchecked.
“Large rodent problems are unhealthy and costly, and we need to target the causes to get rid of them.”
Shadow minister for local government Jonathan Morgan, AM, said he welcomed the efforts of some councils on the issue but added the problem was still not going away.
He said: “We need national action to introduce tougher penalties for littering and fly-tipping and better enforcement to address these issues. Where rubbish is dumped and allowed to fester, rats and mice will always thrive.”
In the figures for 2008/2009, pest controllers for 16 out of 22 councils in Wales made 92,651 rodent-related visits – with the 2009/2010 tally being 89,072.
Local authorities which did not provide data on pest controller visits were Ceredigion, Conwy, Flintshire, Pembrokeshire, The Vale Of Glamorgan and Wrexham.