What is Pest Management, the law and technology

  • Rats
Jonathan White - Sales & Marketing Manager Abate Pest Management

Get into a conversation with someone about pest control and immediately most would refer to rat catchers and wasp nest removers. In contrast, the UK market size for pest control continues to grow with an estimated value of over £320m per annum. It does include rats and mice, more about that later, but it also includes many other areas which many people would not think about. 

This blog article gives an insight into what pest management really is and how businesses can protect their assets and reputation by having a simple preventative contract in place. 

In the UK there is considerable legislation concerning the responsibility of property and business owners with regard to pest control. Having pest control is not the law, but there are certain acts which you should know. If your business is in the food chain, you will need to follow very stringent pest control practices for health, safety and hygiene. However, all businesses and employers have a duty of care with regard to protecting its workforce from pests and the hazards posed by pest infestation in the workplace. 

Here are some of the acts and what they mean to you:

The Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949. 
This act often relates to the presence of pests either on land or within a building that are affecting other properties. The act enables Local Authorities to take enforcement action to eradicate pests. This act also includes businesses which manufacture, store and transport foodstuffs as contamination by pests has serious health risks and covers aspects relating to insect infestation of foodstuffs as well. 
A good example of this is when we were recently called to sort out an infestation of rodents that were causing major issues to a business. The problem was that the root cause was within a building next door where the occupiers didn’t manage the issue until the local authority intervened.  

Food Safety Act 1990 
Under this act, businesses must ensure that the food they sell is safe to the health of the people consuming it. The act outlines the need for business owners to take due diligence – by employing a professional pest controller to monitor and deal with infestations in a timely manner, helps you in meeting the obligations laid out in the act. 

We have many contracts within the food chain. Every location has a detailed service report pack where we record every visit and the treatments carried out. We also manage electronic fly killers, perform fly counts and record these, a must for certain levels detailing what type of fly was present to enable trend analysis. 

Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations 1995 
These regulations are aimed at food proprietors and cover the basic rules that state that you should make sure all food is supplied in a hygienic way, all food safety hazards such as rats and mice are identified and that you know the critical activities for food safety and that safety controls are in place. A regular pest monitoring contract can assist you meet your obligations to these regulations and provide you with constant security from rodent or insect infestation. 
Typically, we visit a premises 6 to 8 times each year (some monthly) to check on any pest activity. By law, you only lay toxic bait when rodents are present. We bait and revisit 3 times or until the issue is resolved. Following this we revert back to non-toxic baits.

Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 
All employers must take necessary measures to secure the health, safety and welfare of their employees and visiting contractors. This would include making areas safe and clean. 
We get called to manage projects for bird control where birds become an issue attacking staff and contractors or bird droppings causing issues on vehicles, let alone the diseases that can be spread if not properly managed. 

Technology drivers within Pest Control
Even pest control is getting techy. At Abate, we have been using laser systems for bird control. We have installed one at Sizewell Power Station to reduce the amount of gulls nesting on the roofs. One laser covers 16 roofs and is charged by a small wind turbine and operated through GPRS so engineers can manage it directly from the office. 

We are also now using a new type of rodent box which will send a signal via wi-fi if the box has evidence of pests. Some may say that’s not a bad innovation. But when you think more, managing pest control on a food manufacturing site and you have 50 rodent boxes. This system will alert us to the exact box, which also means you only have to make that part of the site live with toxic bait.  

Today we have the ability for a client to log in to our client portal which will show them their pest control contract, locations, visits and treatments carried out. In 2018 we are developing a new online reporting suite of systems which will take us to a new level of enhanced management. It will be a booking system linking the office to the client and the technician. 

Can we assist?
We offer discreet assistance with pest-related problems to businesses at very competitive rates. We offer treatments and rolling contracts which are tailored to your needs. Our contracts provide businesses with any necessary treatments, regular inspections and free call outs should you need us between your visits.

At Abate, we manage rodents, insects, birds, woodworm and specialist hygiene services. 

We are based near Wymondham and have been in the industry for over 18 years and employ a team of technicians to cover Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex and parts of Herefordshire and Bedfordshire. 

We offer a no obligation report and survey to assist you with your pest control needs so please get in touch if we can help you via the website or by calling us on 01953 603390. 

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