Latest UK pest control and management news for professionals

01 July 2022

Festival invites pest techs to combat UK’s spiralling rat population


As part of this year’s Northumbrian Water Innovation Festival, Data and AI specialist Aiimi will host a hackathon that will aim to address one of the water industry’s most pressing challenges: rat infestations. 


Where: Newcastle Racecourse
When: 12-14 July

As part of the ‘Rat Out’ sprint, participants will harness Aiimi’s best-in-class technology, AI and data capabilities and expertise, to create solutions that will bring the UK’s spiralling rat population—estimated to be anywhere between 10.5 million and 120 million—under control.

The hackathon will also bring together stakeholders from different organisations, from local housing associations to councils, to water companies and others, providing a unique opportunity for organisations grappling with this problem to share infestation data so that more effective solutions can be derived.    

Melissa Tallack, Interim Head of Intelligence and Analytics, Northumbrian Water Limited, says, “It is estimated that rat infestations increased by 42% during the pandemic due to lockdowns, and the number of these rodents is multiplying fast.

"Left unchecked, rats damage urban areas, contaminate food, destroy infrastructure, and pose a significant public health risk—particularly so when it comes to our most vulnerable and deprived communities. Harnessing data is essential for understanding the problem and ensuring sustainable and scalable solutions can be created and rolled out across the nation. This is the primary goal of the Rat Out hack.”  

Ian Andrew, BPCA Chief Exec will be at the event. He commented:

"Pest management professionals are uniquely placed to provide expertise on this subject, and building relationships with other affected industries is crucial. It would be brilliant to see plenty of you there!"

Tom Millbrow, Utilities Account Director, Aiimi, says, “The Rat Out hack is a perfect example of how using data to collaborate can solve some of our most pressing challenges in society. Water and sewerage companies, local government, and public health authorities are under increasing pressure to take action on these issues, but no single organisation can resolve them alone.

"We are incredibly excited to see what the best and brightest working across these sectors can achieve in just three days when they come together at this year’s festival.” 

Aiimi’s hackathon events will also feature guest speakers and subject matter experts to provide guidance on each challenge. 


Those interested in getting involved in the Rat Out hackathon can sign up below.

Register for Rat Out 

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