HS Hot Topic Infestations

16 Nov 2017 12:00 pm - 2:30 pm

This session has now taken place and our speaker was Zuzanna from ACS who is a fully qualified Environmental Health Officer.  She talked about the presence of pests in dwellings which has a considerable impact on the lives of residents, predominantly the more vulnerable members of the community such as the elderly, the young, the disabled and those with pre-existing health problems.

Further to this, pest activity can have a wider public health impact.  The risks posed by pests include:

• The spread of disease or pathogens  
• Allergies
• Bites                       
• Psycho/social stresses
• Damage to property               
• Contamination of work surfaces and foodstuffs
• Loss of income from tenants       
• Prosecution and closure.

To mitigate these problems a pest management programme should be implemented to prevent, as far as  reasonably practicable, the access of pests into the premises and to reduce the conditions that may encourage and support their presence.

The Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 is still in force and landlords could be served with statutory notices to eradicate the pests if an infestation at their property is causing a problem for tenants or neighbours.  If the property is infested and deemed to be in a ‘verminous condition’, the landlord could also be obliged to take action to remove the risk under Public Health laws.  Failure to do this can lead to wider public health problems.