A leading UK pest controller says that the change in rules governing the use of insecticide dust Ficam D should be seen as a chance for operators to demonstrate their skills – and increase their prices.
Iain Urquhart, who represents small and medium pest control businesses on the BASIS PROMPT committee, says that the new rules, which ban the use of Ficam D on wasp, Asian hornet and ant nests outdoors, should viewed as a business opportunity rather than a limitation.
The ban follows the re-approval of Ficam D by the Health & Safety Executive, which has outlawed its use in outdoor locations such as garden shelters, trees and underground nests, although will allow it to be used in indoor voids if the operative is outdoors.
The new label has also seen the removal of a host of insects, including cockroaches, moths, silverfish and beetles.
Ficam D manufacturer Bayer estimates that up to 95% of pest controllers use Ficam D when treating nests of wasps and hornets and Mr Urquhart, who runs his own business, Advanced Pest Management in Shropshire, welcomed the move because it will force pest controllers to seek alternatives when working outside.
This, he says, will benefit companies whose staff are professional, informed and responsible and this will in turn improve the industry’s reputation among the public.
He said: “Public awareness of the plight of insect populations, especially bees, is growing and it’s up to our industry to show that it shares their concerns for the environment by seeking alternatives to using chemicals.
“That’s why I believe that the recent reclassification is welcome, because it makes us innovative and will encourage us to look for products other than chemicals when treating unwelcome insect infestations.
“Inevitably, using other methods will increase the time taken to deal with wasp nests and it’s only right that this is reflected in an increase in call-out charges.
“I believe that we under-estimate our value to the public and so if by adapting to this reclassification positively, we will send out a sign that we are safe and responsible and worth the extra money.”
Professionals who still have stocks of Ficam D with the previous label are permitted to continue using it, although this period of grace will end on July 29.
Stephen Jacob, chief executive of BASIS PROMPT, said: “The reputation of the pest management industry is shaped by its professionals’ adherence to the legislation and there is no doubt that the reclassification of Ficam D will require members of the industry to change the way they operate.
“This is why it is so important that pest controllers stay abreast of all developments, reclassifications and the latest good practice within the industry by making CPD a part of their working life.”
For more information about BASIS PROMPT visit www.basis-prompt.co.uk
Notes For Editors
Pests that endanger our health, contaminate our food and environment and damage our property must be controlled. However, it is essential that their control is carried out responsibly by people who are properly trained and competent.
The BASIS PROMPT Pest Controllers register is an industry initiative which provides independent proof that a pest controller has received proper professional training and has continued to update their expertise through Continuing Professional Development (CPD). As registration has to be renewed each year, members of the register will always be aware of the most up-to-date techniques, products and legal obligations.
Support for the BASIS PROMPT scheme has come from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH), the Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland (REHIS), the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), the British Pest Control Association (BPCA), the National Pest Technicians Association (NPTA), the UK Pest Controllers Organisation (UKPCO) and the Sector Skills Council.
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