industry news SME profile Friday 03 Jan 2020 @ 12:55 Who's in Control of the UK’s Pest Control?

Profilink LTD T/A Bed Bug Hunters & Prime Pest Control

In order to understand the importance of the pest legislation in the UK we have to know the point of pest control. Most pests carry and transmit various diseases and pose a direct threat to the public. Businesses may suffer customer, reputational and financial losses due to poor pest management,  often resulting in damaged buildings and properties, crop damage, loss of animal livestock, and/or fires caused by rodents in many cases.

It is important that we regulate pest management, specifically with regards to health and safety, as well as the responsible use of insecticides and rodenticides. The pest legislation not only safeguards the interests of the public and businesses, but also aims to regulate pest control operators (PCO), and protect protected and non-target species of animals and preserve the environment as a whole. After all, we should be creating a  more sustainable and healthy environment  for our children and ourselves.

There is no one primary pest control legislation in the UK, there are pest control provisions found littered in various Acts, Regulations, Codes of Practice and Guidelines issued by the relevant associations and other professional bodies (BPCA, NPTA and Basis PROMPT in UK) (“Pest Control Laws”).

The challenge:

There are many pest control operators and individuals in the UK that treat or tackle pest infestations without knowledge of  the Pest Control Laws and/or without holding a professional qualification and this may lead to serious complications.

Irresponsible use of insecticides and rodenticides may cause direct health issues to people and pets. It may also build up natural resistance of the targeted pest(s), leading to multiple costly ineffective treatments and loss of business, environmental impact such as secondary poisoning of protected and non-target species.

Property owners, businesses in various industries and even pet and animal owners that  may be affected by a pest problem, should be made aware  of their obligations and responsibilities under the Public Health Act 1961, Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949, Environmental Protection Act, Animal Welfare Act 2006, Food Safety Act and other major pieces of UK legislation that relate to pests or any risks that they may pose to us or the environment, as well as any work related risks.

The solution:

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (CoSHH) legislation under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 defines the duties and responsibilities of pest control operators and their employees. This specific piece of legislation strongly encourages pest professionals to substitute hazardous substances with non-toxic approaches and solutions in every aspect of the technical and operational control of pests. Another key point of the legislation is to minimise or eliminate the risks for the general public or the customer, the PCOs and the environment.

Generic, Site and Environmental risk assessments issued by an accredited pest control company or a fully qualified PCO must be sufficient and show due diligence to ensure the health and safety of those onsite, taking into consideration any post-treatment effects or threats. Thorough assessment by an expert is not very expensive or maybe free in some instances, saving you unwanted complications with pests. Our Company, Prime Pest Control will always be glad to provide friendly advice over the phone as our call service operators are experienced technicians. Inspections and risk assessments of schools, care homes, as well as people in difficult situations are usually free of charge.

Businesses and landlords, PCOs and pest control companies, animal keepers and owners, should know the relevant legislation to ensure the health and safety of the general public and environment, whilst being more effective in the cases of ongoing pest infestations, implementing the best practical methods to achieve successful control. Such measures are recognised as Integrated Pest Management, which are not necessarily the most expensive for successful pest control. Integrated Pest Management aims to minimise any risks, ensuring the least toxic yet most effective long-term solution is implemented.

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