3rd February 2012
Pests have never had it so good
A combination of red tape and government spending cuts are to blame for pests thriving accord to an Environmental Health news release.
Delegates at a Chartered Institute of Environmental Health conference next week are expected to detail how austerity cuts, low housing standards and a lack of co-ordination between government departments are exacerbating a national pest upsurge.
Bob Mayho, principal policy officer for CIEH said "there is evidence that the indices of pest-borne diseases are on the increase and there are risks that pests could pose a serious public health threat if not properly controlled."
The current system of pest management involves several departments including health, housing and environmental services which makes it unclear as to which department has outright responsibility and increases the amount of red tape when pest management services are required.
Bob Mayho went on to say "A single government department with responsibility for pest management measures would definitely help achieve the step change in our public health performance that we need. Time is running out - and it's true that pests have never had it so good."
Since 2009 some council's stop offering pest control services dues to public spending cuts and it being regarded as low priority. Cutting pest service is a short sighted approach and will severely diminish a council's capacity for public health improvement. Pest control services need to be seen as a potential health threat and not a treatment response.
There has been a shift towards private sector pest control services and products to compensate for the government's cuts. Increasing numbers of people are seeking private pest removal services or preventative measure such as window fly screens and door fly screens.
People living in pest-infested homes are at a greater risk of suffering from migraines, headaches and depression. The presence of pests can also cause the spread of pathogens, allergies, bites, psycho/social stress, damage to the property and contamination of work surfaces and food.
These are all good reasons for the government to increase spending in these areas but continued cuts mean pest management will further be neglected and matters will have to be taken into the public's hands.
Pest removal through the use of trapping and chemicals is not always the answer but there is less severe, preventative measure that you can put in place. The installation of fly screens for windows and doors can stop pests entering your home and accessing areas in which they can spread harmful pathogens. It's often said that prevention is better than cure and insect screens can provide this prevention.