30 April 2020

Ask the technical team May 2020

Technical | PPC99 May 2020

In this Covid-19 special, our technical team answer questions about postponed events, essential work, can pests be Covid-19 carriers and PPE in this issue.

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...


  • If work is essential, client sites can be visited
  • All BPCA events, training and exams are postponed
  • Decide on a case-by-case basis if a job is essential
  • Pets and pests are not deemed to be virus carriers
  • Take steps to boost your PPE use
  • Consider lockdown rules when asking clients to leave premises during treatment
  • The BPCA Staff team is still working and in good health.


SUBJECT: Can I go into people’s houses?

Yes, you can – although you should try to avoid this wherever possible.

Government has banned public gatherings of more than two people, but an exception is made where the gathering is essential for work purposes.

Try to keep 2m apart from clients and make sure you’re wearing your PPE.

SUBJECT: Can we carry on with routine work or only cover call-outs/emergencies?

Our advice is for you to make that decision on a case-by-case basis.

However as it is vital that you minimise potential contact with other people while carrying out your work, it may be prudent to limit the types of calls you carry out to essential work only, and only when you feel like you’re safe to do so and can properly mitigate the risks.

If in doubt, say no and stay home.

SUBJECT: What should be the minimum PPE that we wear to call outs during the pandemic?

Extend your use of PPE wherever reasonably possible.

There are certain items such as safety glasses, gloves and face masks, which are frequently a part of a pest controllers toolkit.

Let your customers know that you will be extending your use of these to include your arrival on-site. If at all possible, use disposable items so you can wear a new set on the next job.

Let your clients know of any additional costs because of precautionary measures taken at this time, making it clear that you are taking these steps for your own safety and that of your clients.

SUBJECT: Is the BPCA team okay?

Yes. Most of the Staff team is now working from home, with the exception of those who have been put on furlough, and everyone is healthy at the moment.

You can still contact BPCA as usual.

SUBJECT: What’s happening with BPCA events, training courses and exams?

The UK Government has advised against all unnecessary gatherings to help minimise the spread of Covid-19.

BPCA has taken the decision to postpone all events, training and exams until at least the end of June 2020.

However, we are beginning to use virtual platforms for some events and technical content so keep an eye out for those!

SUBJECT: Can pests be carriers of the virus? Or even pets?

Several animals, such as domestic cats, dogs and a tiger, have tested positive for Covid-19 following close contact with infected humans.

Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that animals infected by humans are playing a role in the spread of the virus.

Human outbreaks are driven by person-to-person contact.

Source: oie.int/en/scientific-expertise/specific-information-and-recommendations/questions-and-answers-on-2019novel-coronavirus/

SUBJECT: What would you suggest in cases where we would normally recommend that people leave their properties during the treatment? For example, spraying for bed bugs.

Firstly, follow the hierachy of risk control: you may find a non-toxic alternative, such as heat treatment, negating the need for clients to leave the premises.

If you decide toxic methods are required, then the client will still need to leave until the insecticide is dry, and we usually recommend two hours is the minimum.

Currently lockdown rules state that people can leave their house once a day to exercise, as a family unit, and so this time should be used to allow the treatment to dry.

Otherwise you may have to recommend remaining in the garden for the duration, if the client has this space available.


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Source: PPC99