The big news in the pest control industry is the restrictions imposed on the use of Ficam D – the core product used by pest controllers to treat wasps’ nests.
So, what’s the change?
In January, Bayer the chemical manufacturer announced that Ficam D, whilst re-approved for use, can now only be used indoors. And, product with the old label is no longer available to purchase; any stock held must be used up by 25 July 2019.
A wide range of insects falling into the definition of crawling insect (with the exception of ants) have been removed from the label and, for wasps’ nests, there are a number of restrictions on how the product can be used.
The key change everyone is talking about is the restriction on the use of the product outdoors. According to the label, ‘For control of wasps and hornets (nests) including Asian hornets’ nests, as an indoor treatment.’
This means that pest controllers will need to think carefully about how and when to use the product. For example, whilst it’s clear that loft spaces are indoors, it is not always clear whether outside structures will qualify.
And what about application of the product to the inside from the outside?
According to Bayer, the indoor definition includes nests inside the eaves of a house even where the treatment is applied from the outside. Sheds and garages are okay as well but more temporary structures like greenhouses and open-fronted structures are less likely to sufficiently meet the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) expectation of ‘indoors’. So pest controllers are going to have to exercise more judgment than ever when treating pest problems with Ficam D.
And, although Asian hornets’ nests are covered by the product label their nests are usually outside. There are also changes to the label which suggest that the current approach of carrying out one treatment may also have to change.
When treating wasp nests, Pest controllers can usually carry out one treatment, leaving the site in the knowledge that the problem has been resolved. And, this practice is generally factored into the price of wasps’ nests treatments. Pest controllers can keep the cost of wasps’ nests treatment down because a follow up visit isn’t normally necessary.
However, the new product label states “After treatment the nests should be removed, if possible, and disposed of in a controlled manner…’.
It also says that ‘an impervious surface covering’ should be applied to surfaces that could be contaminated during the treatment. The purpose being to prevent contamination outside the nest. However, immediate removal of sheeting might not be appropriate as the dust may not have settled sufficiently.
And, pest controllers will be reluctant to remove sheeting immediately following treatment as there is an increased risk of being stung. With the news that former soldier turned pest controller, Lee Darker, 48, died after suffering anaphylaxis following a wasp sting having treated a wasp nest, pest controllers are acutely aware of the dangers of pest control.
These two new requirements suggest that follow up visits may now be necessary to remove the covering / sheeting and the nest itself. And, that may start to push up the price for treating wasps’ nests.
Pest controllers will also need to think about how best to treat wasps’ nests outdoors. Many wasps’ nests are spotted in hedges and bushes and are spotted quite quickly. Pest controllers will need to look for other solutions to the problem, including biocide-free and other insecticides.
Ultimately, a good pest controller will always consider whether there is any need to treat the nest in the first place; if the nest poses no risk then there should be no reason to treat / remove it.
All pest controllers should think carefully before using any chemicals – make sure your chosen pest controller thinks before s/he acts!
If you’ve a problem with wasps, hornets, ants or any other pest control issues across Herefordshire and Worcestershire, give PGM Pest Control a call.
We’re here to help with all your pest problems.
Give your local pest control business a call today for a free no-obligation quote. Call us today on 01981 241334 / 07964 370480 for a free no-obligation quote. Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.