Residents praise 'tireless work' of Hertsmere Borough Council's Environmental Health team

Borehamwood Times: Geoffrey Newton watches as Steve Cozens lays bait Geoffrey Newton watches as Steve Cozens lays bait

A resident who compared a Borehamwood road to a “third world slum” after it became infested with rats has praised the man who has fought to beat the rodents.

Geoffrey Newton, who lives in Drayton Road, spoke to the Borehamwood Times in January after he found rats crawling under the floorboards of his and his neighbours’ Victorian terraces.

He had traced the pests to a service road behind shops in Shenley Road which he said resembled a “third world slum”, strewn with rubbish in which the rodents were breeding.

The therapist and foster carer said he had complained to Hertsmere Borough Council about the problem and had been met with apathy at first.

However, as soon as the council’s environmental health squad realised the scale of the problem, they worked hard to stem the rising tide of rats.

He praised one man, senior environmental health technician Steve Cozens, who had made it his personal mission to eradicate the pests.

The rats had spread out in a circle from the original breeding ground, and Mr Cozens had traced their movements and returned every week to bait traps and block holes they might have crawled through.

Mr Newton said: “I was really disheartened at the original apathy of the council who did not realise the scale of the problem, but all that has gone now.

“My neighbours and I would like to thank Steve for his untiring dedication to tackling the rat problem. Steve has been amazing. Most people would have tackled the obvious infestation, but Steve has worked tirelessly to ensure he found all their lairs and has baited everywhere.

“Just over a month ago I spotted five rats in five minutes in my garden. I could hear them scratching under my floorboards and they were everywhere in the service road.

“There is still a slight problem with them but it’s nothing like as a bad as it was. We’re winning the battle now thanks to Steve.”

He also praised Mr Cozens’ managers, who had allowed him so much time to tackle the problem. 

Mr Cozens said it was “fantastic” to receive acknowledgement for his work from Mr Newton and his neighbours.

He said: “I was on holiday when the problem was first reported, but as soon as I could I came down to tackle it. I am passionate about pest control, I find the challenge of beating rats, who have evolved to live off our food, fascinating.

“I always do the best job I can but it’s wonderful to have by hard work recognised and I’m grateful to Mr Newton.”

He said the main reason for the spread of rats was people feeding birds in their gardens.

He said: “People lay 15kg of bird food in the garden and it’s gone by morning. They think they have very hungry birds but what they don’t realise is its being eaten by rats who are breeding and infesting their houses.

“They should stop feeding birds if they want to stop rats.”

Comments (3)

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4:25pm Mon 3 Mar 14

mr.taxpayer says...

I dont think people feeding birds in their back gardens will of caused the rat outbreak, maybe it's the 100's of takeaway outlets in Shenley Road that are to blame.

If you ever dare to visit the service roads behind some of these places, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't eat from them again.

But then a lot of blame must lay in it's customer's laps also, as you don't often have to walk too far in the village to see chicken bones etc all over the pavement from the people who think its acceptable to spit them all over the place.
I dont think people feeding birds in their back gardens will of caused the rat outbreak, maybe it's the 100's of takeaway outlets in Shenley Road that are to blame. If you ever dare to visit the service roads behind some of these places, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't eat from them again. But then a lot of blame must lay in it's customer's laps also, as you don't often have to walk too far in the village to see chicken bones etc all over the pavement from the people who think its acceptable to spit them all over the place. mr.taxpayer
  • Score: 0

1:02am Tue 4 Mar 14

Believe in butter says...

mr.taxpayer wrote:
I dont think people feeding birds in their back gardens will of caused the rat outbreak, maybe it's the 100's of takeaway outlets in Shenley Road that are to blame.

If you ever dare to visit the service roads behind some of these places, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't eat from them again.

But then a lot of blame must lay in it's customer's laps also, as you don't often have to walk too far in the village to see chicken bones etc all over the pavement from the people who think its acceptable to spit them all over the place.
Taxpayer- do you not think that the rodent expert might have a point here? I imagine that your experience in pest control is not as extensive as that of Mr Cozens. Although the takeaways, like the rats should not be encouraged.
[quote][p][bold]mr.taxpayer[/bold] wrote: I dont think people feeding birds in their back gardens will of caused the rat outbreak, maybe it's the 100's of takeaway outlets in Shenley Road that are to blame. If you ever dare to visit the service roads behind some of these places, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't eat from them again. But then a lot of blame must lay in it's customer's laps also, as you don't often have to walk too far in the village to see chicken bones etc all over the pavement from the people who think its acceptable to spit them all over the place.[/p][/quote]Taxpayer- do you not think that the rodent expert might have a point here? I imagine that your experience in pest control is not as extensive as that of Mr Cozens. Although the takeaways, like the rats should not be encouraged. Believe in butter
  • Score: -1

6:09pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Believe in better says...

Believe in butter wrote:
mr.taxpayer wrote:
I dont think people feeding birds in their back gardens will of caused the rat outbreak, maybe it's the 100's of takeaway outlets in Shenley Road that are to blame.

If you ever dare to visit the service roads behind some of these places, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't eat from them again.

But then a lot of blame must lay in it's customer's laps also, as you don't often have to walk too far in the village to see chicken bones etc all over the pavement from the people who think its acceptable to spit them all over the place.
Taxpayer- do you not think that the rodent expert might have a point here? I imagine that your experience in pest control is not as extensive as that of Mr Cozens. Although the takeaways, like the rats should not be encouraged.
I don't know whether to flattered, annoyed or amused that some pillock had chosen to mimic my chosen pen name...... whatever floats your boat.... I will add that I entirely agree with his/her response to Mr Taxpayer... I wonder if we will always agree?
[quote][p][bold]Believe in butter[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]mr.taxpayer[/bold] wrote: I dont think people feeding birds in their back gardens will of caused the rat outbreak, maybe it's the 100's of takeaway outlets in Shenley Road that are to blame. If you ever dare to visit the service roads behind some of these places, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't eat from them again. But then a lot of blame must lay in it's customer's laps also, as you don't often have to walk too far in the village to see chicken bones etc all over the pavement from the people who think its acceptable to spit them all over the place.[/p][/quote]Taxpayer- do you not think that the rodent expert might have a point here? I imagine that your experience in pest control is not as extensive as that of Mr Cozens. Although the takeaways, like the rats should not be encouraged.[/p][/quote]I don't know whether to flattered, annoyed or amused that some pillock had chosen to mimic my chosen pen name...... whatever floats your boat.... I will add that I entirely agree with his/her response to Mr Taxpayer... I wonder if we will always agree? Believe in better
  • Score: 0

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