Lithium battery fires

Lithium batteries have caused fires in the rubbish lorries. Please do not put batteries in your waste or recycling bin. All batteries (including lithium batteries from e-bikes and e-scooters and other re-chargeable devices) can be taken to the Reuse and Recycling Centre at Northumberland Wharf.

Pest control

Tower Hamlets Pest Control Service

We offer affordable pest treatment options for Tower Hamlets residents.

We also work with businesses and other organisations in the borough.
We have experienced trained officers and effective treatments and can give advice on how you can stop pests coming back.

Our services for businesses and other organisations

In our borough we work with

  • private landlords
  • schools
  • nurseries
  • community centres
  • places of worship
  • commercial non-food businesses

Please contact us by email at A supervisor will get back to you to discuss your request and provide a quote.

Please do not use the online booking form for residents. Our officers won't carry out any work if you book a pest control visit for a non-residential property. We will only issue a partial refund to cover the cost of our time.

Our services for residents

We charge most residents for our services. For tenants of some social landlords we offer our service at no direct cost to you for public health pests.

Find out more about the pests we treat in residential properties.

Information about the pests we treat

Book a pest control visit



Charges for borough residents

These prices include VAT:

Resident charges

Bed bugs (three rooms)

£213.60 per treatment

Bed bugs (additional room)

£73.80 per treatment


£146.40 per treatment


£81 per visit


£146.40 per treatment

Pharaoh ants

£146.40 per treatment


£81 per visit

Black (garden) ants

£81 per visit




We do not carry out proofing and repairs for mice infestations.

If there's still a mouse, cockroach or pharaoh ant infestation after the course of treatments you have paid for, we will charge for further visits.

If flea or wasp activity is still a problem after seven days from the first treatment, we will visit again. This will be free of charge.

Cancellations and refunds

You have the right to cancel a booked visit. 

When treatment has already started, we will offer a partial refund.

Rat infestations

This service is free to all borough residents. Whether the rat is in a home, garden or other residential outdoor area.

You need to prepare your home for bed bug treatments

Infested rooms must be prepared before we visit

If this is not done, the officer may not be able to treat the room(s).

If bed bugs are still a problem three weeks after the first treatment, we will make a further visit. This is free of charge for paying customers.

Further treatments will not happen if you do not prepare your property.

State pensioners who live on their own or with another pensioner

If this applies to you, treatment for public health pests is free. Please have proof of this to show us when we visit you.

Our contracts with Social Landlords

If you are a tenant or leaseholder of one of these organisations, we will provide treatment for

  • rats
  • mice
  • bed-bugs
  • cockroaches
  • fleas
  • pharaoh ants/ghost ants
  • wasps

This will be provided at no direct cost to you.

Our contracts with housing associations

  • Tower Hamlets Homes
  • ARHAG Housing Association
  • Belgrave Street Housing Co-operative, odd numbers 13 to 49 Belgrave Street, E1
  • East End Homes
  • One Housing Group (Island Region residents only)
  • One Support residents at John Sinclair Court, 36 Thrawl Street, E1 6RN
  • Poplar HARCA (Services are only for tenants of Poplar HARCA. Leaseholders will be charged for our services)
  • Providence Row Housing Association
  • Spitalfields Housing Association
  • Wilfred East London Housing Cooperative residents at 1–95 Corbin House, Bromley High Street, E3 3BQ.

What we do not treat

What we do not treat


As foxes do not pose a direct threat to public health, we do not consider them to be pests. We accept that they can cause problems though.

Like other London boroughs, we do not trap or destroy foxes as this is not effective. When a fox is removed another fox will take over the vacant area.

Advice is available from The Fox Project charity website. You can also contact them on 01892 824 111 or email

We have suggestions on how to minimise the problems foxes can cause.

Emptying dustbins or tearing refuse sacks

Foxes, cats, rats and dogs can all spread rubbish around. The easiest way to solve this is to keep lids on bins and don’t leave food waste outside in bags or bin-liners.

Disturbance at night by calling and barking

Between December and February female foxes (vixens) make a screaming sound at night to show they are ready to mate. You can buy a strong-smelling repellent to discourage foxes.

Marking territory with droppings and scents

Foxes communicate with each other using scents with strong-smelling urine or faeces used to mark their territories. If you can, remove the reason for foxes marking your garden as part of their territory. This could mean removing easy sources of food. Blocking holes in fences used for access or preventing access to resting places under sheds or elsewhere can also help.

Threats to smaller household pets

Foxes pose no threat to dogs and will rarely attack a cat. If you have smaller pets or chickens in your garden, make sure you keep them in secure hutches or enclosures, especially overnight.


We are currently unable to provide a pest control service for pigeons. If pigeons are creating a nuisance and fouling on your property, please contact our Environmental Health team on or call 020 7364 5008.

Residents in properties managed by Registered Social Landlords should contact their Housing Officer.


The Oak Processionary Moth (Thaumetopoea processionea) is a pest that lives on oak trees and poses a risk to human and animal health.

Health risk

The caterpillar of this moth comes out in April every year and produces thousands of irritating hairs. These can cause skin rashes, sore throats, breathing difficulties and eye problems if you or your pet comes into contact with them.

What to do if you see or touch them

If you see any Oak Processionary Moth nests or caterpillars (OPM) you should report them immediately.

It is important not to come into contact with the caterpillars, hairs or nests.

If you think you have been exposed and have an itching skin rash and/or conjunctivitis or other symptoms see a pharmacist to relieve the symptoms. If you have a more serious allergic reaction, contact your GP or call NHS Direct on 111. The call is free from any phone.
Consult a vet if your pet has a serious reaction. It is important to restrain pets from approaching nests or caterpillars.

Advice for contractors

Regulations are in place which affect how contractors working with Oak trees should be handling material within the Oak Processionary Moth affected areas.

Pest samples for insects and other invertebrates

We provide a free pest identification and advice service

We can help identify and advise on insects that are being a nuisance in large numbers.

We can also give a quote for a chargeable treatment service for some types.

How to send a pest specimen

Place the specimen in a secure container/package together with your name, address and contact number.

You can either hand it in or post it to:

Pest Control Service
Environmental Health and Trading Standards
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
4th Floor Tower Hamlets Town Hall
160 Whitechapel Road
E1 1BJ 

Private tenants

If you live in a privately rented property and your landlord refuses to deal with an infestation, you can contact Environmental Health on 020 7364 5008 or email

Contact us

If you have any other questions about pests or our services, you can contact us at If you cannot use the online form, please call 020 7364 5007.