Professional Pest Controller issue 93

07 December 2018

Ask the technical team December 2018

Technical | PPC93 December 2018

Break back traps, the law on pest control and proactive pest advice tips all features in this issues ask the technical team.

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...

SPEED READ:
  • No law covers how often you should check break back traps, so you need to make a decision based on the site
  • Food businesses are legally required to control pests – but that doesn’t mean they have to use you
  • Be proactive and advise your customers about squirrels this winter.

Ask the technical team anything

SUBJECT: BREAK BACK TRAPS

How often should break back traps be checked?

NATALIE REPLIES: As no current legislation governs the use of break back traps, this question does not have a straightforward answer! The answer will depend upon site environmental conditions, the level of activity, the available access and site staff.

Let’s look at a common scenario: an inner-city mid-sized restaurant serving evening meals has an established house mouse infestation within various locations around the kitchen, stores and miscellaneous area. Break back traps have been found to be most effective. How often should you check the traps? Daily might be the initial approach, because if the activity is high then catches may well be high. Visiting daily will allow you to remove dead mice and reset the trap ready for its next visitor, equating to a quick and effective reduction in mice.

You could also ask your client if they are happy to look at the traps. There is no reason why they cannot report back to you when catches are found. See the BPCA new CoBP “The Use of Break Back Traps/Snap Traps” at bpca.org.uk/codes


SUBJECT: LAW

Do food businesses need pest control by law?

DEE REPLIES: It’s not a legal requirement to have pest control but you are required to manage pests. Section 21 of the Food Safety Act 1990 provides the defence of ‘due diligence’ in the event of prosecutions. For example, if an EHO finds significant pest issues to the detriment of the hygiene and safety of a food site then prosecutions may take place. The person charged can use due diligence as a defence if, for example, they used a commercial company to protect their site.

Also, regulations talk about proofing against pests, keeping refuse areas pest free, applying insect screens and deterrents, and regular surveys by competent individuals. For a food business to do in-house monitoring etc, it must prove competence: something a court will make a judgment on if it were to come to that. It’s your job to help a client understand that using a professional not only protects their site, but also themselves if courts are used.

When talking to end-users, we always state that BPCA member companies meet or exceed all pest management legal and due diligence requirements, and comply with the most current legislation. See bpca.org.uk/beprotected


SUBJECT: PROACTIVE PEST ADVICE

Which pest species can I proactively advise on?

NATALIE REPLIES: With the inevitable colder temperatures, some pests which are not already hibernating or overwintering will seek to find a better alternative to the harsh reality of UK winters!
One common home invader is the grey squirrel which enters homes via faults in the soffits and fascias of buildings, allowing the squirrel to access. Even without clear holes, if there is enough space for the squirrel to get some leverage on with their strong rodent incisors, they’ll access a roof space very quickly.

Make sure you let your customers know if there is a risk of this occurring by pointing out damage to these areas, overhanging branches (allowing squirrels to jump from onto the roof), shrubs growing up the side of buildings and any other area that may allow easy access.

Remember, if you have to treat a problem with squirrels, poisons are no longer available (Warfarin) for either inside or outside use. Live capture traps or kill traps will help you remove those unwanted squirrels. Remember to see the BPCA guidance and codes for using such traps. We did an in-depth PestWatch about squirrels a couple of issues ago. Have a look at bpca.org.uk/ppc91 if you need a squirrel refresher.

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Source: PPC93

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