COCKROACHES are becoming an increasing concern in Cheshire homes.

A Freedom of Information request submitted to Cheshire West and Chester Council has shed light on vermin levels in the borough over the past three years.

The response details the number of visits made by council officers in response to reports of rodents, bedbugs and cockroaches.

It is the latter of these critters which appears to be a potential cause for concern, with the number of call-outs jumping from two in 2022 to 12 in 2023.

The council says this increase is due to the requests from commercial premises.

A spokesperson said: “If residents have an issue with cockroaches, our advice is to ensure that areas are thoroughly cleaned, paying particularly close attention to any nooks and crannies, especially on equipment such as hobs, ovens, fridges and freezers where there may be food residue.

“Also look at any potential water sources, such as cupboards with leaking taps or behind and underneath refrigerators where the compressor and drip tray are located, as cockroaches like areas which are warm, dark and damp.

“If you continue to see cockroaches, then we would recommend that you seek treatment from a professional pest control service.”

Pest control treatment is a paid-for service in Cheshire West and Chester.

A treatment for cockroaches, for example, costs £75.

Meanwhile, charges for rodent and bedbug treatments currently stand at £60 and £96 respectively.

The number of bedbug visits has remained fairly consistent in recent years with 21 in 2021 and 22 in both 2022 and 2023.

Rodents, which include rats and mice, make up by far the biggest proportion of pest control call-outs, with 1,387 in 2021.

This dropped to 1,020 in 2022 but has shot back up in 2023, with 1,297.

The Freedom of Information was submitted to Cheshire West and Chester Council by Direct Line Home Insurance.

Maria Lawrence, the firm's product manager, said: “The public will understandably be squeamish upon learning about the scale of pest problems faced by authorities in the UK, particularly as they can create real issues for people’s health.

"Across the UK there is a huge difference in the costs people face, depending on where they live, with either free services or significant charges to tackle these issues.”