NEVER mind gulls and cat-killing foxes, the biggest pest in Gloucester is its residents.

That’s according to the city council’s pest control tsar, who says people who put out feed for birds and animals are encouraging more pests.

Councillor Colin Organ, cabinet member for health, said: “They are all part of nature and if you look at it, the biggest pests are us.

“If you put food out for them, animals will come. It is about using common sense when putting feed out.

“Don’t put out too much feed or we will have hoards of them which will create health problems for us.”

Urban foxes have become a common sight in Abbeydale – and have even been spotted dragging household cats away to their death.

Councillor Andrew Gravells (C, Abbey) said: “I’m getting an increasing number of calls about foxes from people who have seen them on several occasions.

“It has become a worry for some people.”

But city council bosses have washed their hands of tackling fox problems. Julie Wight, environmental health manager, said: “The majority of problems are with rodents, fleas and wasps. Foxes are not part of the service.”

The number of pest control complaints has not increased in the past year – but the service was once free and now taxpayers have to fork out each time a call out is made.

A household visit for rats or mice will set you back £40, while fleas cost £45 and £39 will sort out your wasp infestation. Gull populations in the city are being controlled by experts who treat their eggs.

But some feel the 10-year policy of egg treatment has had its day and birds of prey such as falcons should be brought in to scare the gulls out of town.

“If they were pursued by falcons they would not come back in a hurry. I’d put my money on the falcons doing the job,” said Mr Gravells.

The council has ruled out using falcons again, although they are used at Hempsted landfill.

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