A BOLTON pest controller says the town could be overrun by rats, mice and foxes if bin crews keep missing entire streets.

Martin Begley, who owns Fur and Feather Pest Control, says his workload has more than trebled since new bin rounds started in late September.

But Bolton Council says it is dealing with fewer calls — although Mr Begley claims more people are using private contractors such as himself.

He said: “We have found that we are being called out to areas of Bolton that we haven’t done any work in for the past two years, including Blackrod, Sharples, Egerton and some of the private developments off Chorley New Road.

“We are going up there and finding bins overflowing.

“The bin problem needs sorting or else this could turn into a major risk to public health.”

Bolton Council admitted it had received some calls from worried residents but said none of the callers had taken up the offer of a free pest control service.

A spokesman said: “Our pest control service has also not seen any noticeable increase in the number of direct calls over the past six weeks since the waste modernisation began.”

Council figures show that, compared to the same time last year, the number of times they have been called out to deal with rodent infestations has actually fallen.

But Mr Begley says that in the last week he has collected 47 rats compared to five to 10 in the weeks before the bin changes.