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30 August 2018

Ask the technical team September 2018

Technical | PPC92 September 2018

When you’re a BPCA member you can get technical support whenever you need it via our experienced technical team. Here are just a few of the latest questions posed...


  • Ensure you are aware of any standards that may apply to a particular site
  • Pigeon guano is not hazardous waste
  • Bees rarely present a problem that requires pesticide treatment
  • Landlords cannot ask for precautionary pesticide treatments where there is no pest activity

BPCA inbox


When can I use an insecticide on a soil association site?

Natalie-Bungay-Staff-BubbleNATALIE REPLIES: The soil association has many standards ranging from farming to textiles, so it is essential that you are aware of the specific standard that your customer is needing to adhere to. A common standard we may come across is ‘food and drink’.

Generally, you should only use non-toxic methods such as desiccant dusts, hygiene and housekeeping, freezing/heating, proofing and general environmental controls. The use of synthetic pyrethroids has to be authorised and permission needs to be obtained.

Ensure that pest control substances:

  • Do not contaminate organic foods 
  • Do not cause damage to the environment 
  • Are used as little as possible.

Read more about your site’s standards here:


Is pigeon guano a hazardous waste?

Dee-ward-thompson-Staff-BubbleDEE REPLIES: The Environment Agency confirmed that, under EWC classification code 20:01:99, pigeon and rodent carcasses, their nesting materials and guano are not considered hazardous waste.

Therefore they can be disposed of as commercial waste - safely via a skip or where we know the waste will be transferred to landfill (not domestic waste).

Also, spraying biocide no longer changes the classification and is only deemed a good COSHH practice to protect the worker from microorganisms. We recommend waste is double-bagged, eg. a rubble bag covered with a plastic bin bag.


What should I do when I get calls for bees?

Dee-ward-thompson-Staff-BubbleDEE REPLIES: Establish first the species of bee (bumble, honey, etc) and where they are located. This may need to involve a site survey. Discuss with the customer if there is really any need to disturb the bees. If a significant risk is present then the advice that Beewise (BPCA’s bee special interest group) gives is to ‘educate, remove and relocate’.

If you feel you don’t have the experience and knowledge to deal with this, then contact the BPCA. We have many specialist members who can carry out this preservation work.

Treatment with a pesticide should be needed rarely, such as if nests are located in difficult positions and there’s a high risk of serious injury, ie vulnerable people at risk of anaphylactic shock from a sting.

Beewise is also in the process of creating a ‘Why we didn’t treat your bees’ leaflet to give to your customers. Keep an eye out for updates at


Landlords sometimes insist on a precautionary insecticide treatment at the end of a tenancy - what should we do?

Natalie-Bungay-Staff-BubbleNATALIE REPLIES: Using any pesticide as a precautionary measure would not satisfy three elements of UK legislation, these are:

  • Label conditions (COPR/BPR) - all pesticide labels will state what pests the products can be used against, and so this means the pest species has to be identified before you choose a product
  • It is a legal requirement under the Protection of Animals Act 1911 (as amended) that the presence of pests is identified before a pesticide treatment can take place
  • The CoSHH hierarchy would not support this ‘precautionary’ use of a chemical. 

Instead of using a chemical, offer the landlord/tenant a monitoring service of at least two visits and a report sheet stating what was found, if anything.

If pest activity is found, then a treatment can go ahead with a correctly selected pesticide. In the event of no activity, you should provide details of the monitoring activity to satisfy the landlord that no biting insects were present.


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Source: PPC92

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