Feature articles

04 August 2020

Ask the technical team August 2020

TECHNICAL | PPC100 August 2020

Nuisance neighbours, pest risk assessments, gull control licences and rodent carcasses are all covered in this issue of Ask the BPCA technical team.

 Ask the technical team anything if you are a BPCA member pest control questions answered

SPEED READ

  • LAs have to keep their district free of rats and mice under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949
  • Pest risk assessments aim to reduce the likelihood of commercially detrimental pest incidents
  • There are several options for rodent carcass disposal depending on whether they were collected from a commercial or domestic site
  • You need to apply for an A08 licence from Natural England to control gulls of any species in England.

Subject: Nuisance neighbours

What can I do if I have a rat problem in a domestic property which is being amplified by neighbouring properties?

Encourage your customer to speak to their neighbours to try to solve the wider rat issue. However, sometimes this is not possible and you may need to find recourse through the local authority (LA).

The Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 (PDPA) states that LAs have to keep their district free of rats and mice (so far as is reasonably practicable). This is a statutory duty of any LA and they will have enforcement officers assigned to deal with this when complaints occur. These officers have the power to investigate and serve notices on landowners or occupiers to control the rodent infestation, whether it be domestic or commercial.

Subject: Paperwork

What is a pest risk assessment?

The purpose of a Site-Specific Pest Risk Assessment (SSPRA) is to assess the risk of a pest activity occurring and to implement appropriate monitoring and control measures.

They aim to reduce the likelihood of commercially detrimental pest incidents and to mitigate the effects if they do occur. In the food industry, a proactive, risk-based approach to pest management is essential for protecting your clients’ products and brands. All too often food companies, pet food manufacturers and food industry-related companies only implement basic pest management systems that might look good on paper but fail to provide a full level of protection, due to weaknesses in the pest management programme.

One of the reasons this can occur is because of an inadequate pest risk assessment of the site.

Subject: Bird licences

I need to control gulls, why can’t I get a licence in England?

I won’t go into the full history of this but you now need to apply for an A08 licence from Natural England/Defra to control gulls of any species, for any reason and for all types of lethal control ie egg or nest removal, and chick (the bird) dispatch in England.

This is not an easy process, rightly so, as Natural England has to consider if the control is absolutely necessary and won’t have an impact on the conservation status of the gull. If Natural England does not consider your particular licence request to be essential for safety, then you will not be granted one. If you have a genuine need for an A08 licence then you will need to supply evidence of the problems and what you have tried to do in non-lethal terms.

This is a large subject, Natural England has created a Q&A document for more detailed answers publications.naturalengland.org.uk/publication/4872103923023872
BPCA has also written an open letter to Natural England to encourage working together to improve gull licence applications in the future. This can be read on the BPCA website.

Subject: Rodent waste

What options are available for disposal of rodent carcasses?

Disposal of dead rodents was straightforward at one time: most LA waste sites with incinerators accepted the carcasses for burning or burying. These options are fast disappearing for varied reasons. For professional pest controllers, it has become necessary to have clearer disposal routes which look to preclude any potential conflict with current waste guidelines. The guidance is:
Domestic sites: small infestations (no more than six rodent bodies) may be managed by double bagging and disposal via the domestic system.

Commercial sites: carcasses from commercial sites have to be disposed of by traceable means. Rodent carcasses, if required, can be frozen to prevent decomposition. The options for available disposal routes are limited:

  • Local authority waste sites: becoming increasingly difficult
  • Pet crematoria: in discussion with the governing body for these sites, they can take small amounts, assessed by weight. They cannot take large quantities as they are controlled by planning regulations and are approved primarily for the disposal of companion pets
  • Other commercial waste contractors willing to dispose of carcasses.

Are you a BPCA member with a technical question?

Get in touch...

technical@bpca.org.uk
01332 294 288
twitter.com/britpestcontrol

Source: PPC100

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