London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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Hampstead 1960

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Hampstead Borough]

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No. of properties inspected as a result of:Local AuthorityDwellings (including Council properties)All other (including business premises)Total
Total inspections including re-inspections64,347794,426
No. of properties infested by: Rats12595265

Control of Rats in Sewers
I am indebted to the Borough Engineer and Surveyor for
particulars in regard to the control of rats in sewers.
It has been the policy to bait the sewers twice a year
but owing to the pressure of other work and the shortage of staff
it was only possible to carry out one such service in the year under
During 1959 in conformity with the wishes of the Ministry of
Agriculture Fisheries and Food, we departed from our usual
practice of poisoning with zinc phosphide and arsenious oxide in the
sewers and experimented with the use of an anti-coagulant "Warfarin".
This was contained in polythene bags suspended in the manholes and
entrances from step-irons, etc. The result of the first such treatment
appeared to be unsatisfactory but nevertheless it was decided
to continue the experiment.
The results were as follows:-
Number of manholes baited 735
Number of manholes showing partial take 117
Number of manholes showing complete take 1