What does pest control legislation mean for me?

close up of a fly to demonstrate what fly screen doors stop from entering homes

What does the legislation state?

With summer coming, so comes the descent of flies, bugs and insects. Pest control becomes something that we all have to think about – but government legislation doesn’t make it easy. There are lots of do’s and don’ts in what you are legally allowed to use to remove or prevent pests – it can be incredibly complicated to navigate.

Who is responsible for pest control?

Commercial and private premises

If you’re a landlord then government legislation means that you have the responsibility of keeping insects out of your tenants property – and if you own your own home, unfortunately this is also your responsibility.

The only exception is with commercial premises, then it is the responsibility of the tenant to keep pests off the property.

Food preparation facilities

If you have a food preparation facility, there is specific legislation that must be adhered to. The food safety (general food hygiene) regulations need to be followed by any business that prepares, processes, manufactures, stores, transports, distributes, handles, supplies or sells food.

The legislation states (schedule 1, chapter 2, paragraph D), that if there is an opening such as a window or a door, it must be fitted with an insect proof screen that can be easily removed and refitted for cleaning. These measures are in place to protect food from contamination and if a pest control screen cannot be fitted then windows and doors must remain closed while food is being produced.


Chemical pest killers

Chemical pest killers have been the go-to for pest controllers for many years. They are however, heavily regulated.

Pesticide Products

Pesticide products are under strict controls before they are sold. At the point of production, it must be authorised for use by the Health and Safety Executive – Chemicals Regulation Division. If it is authorised, it can be used within Britain and Northern Ireland.

The rules for the use of these products are written clearly on each bottle. Some will not be suitable for use in certain areas of land. If a rule is written on a bottle, it is not to be ignored, for example, if the label states ‘must be used by a trained professional’, you must have a professional pest controller apply the product.

Pesticide products can be expensive, are not guaranteed to be effective, and are highly regulated. It is also worth noting that they can be incredibly harmful to the environment – there’s no telling if a bird may be killed by accidentally consuming the product, therefore much is out of the hands of the user.

Glue traps

Glue traps were an alternative to pesticides that were used to trap and stop the spread of flying insects, bugs and even mice. However, from the 31st July 2024 it will be prohibited in the UK to purchase or own a glue trap without a licence.

This is due to the inhumane nature of the traps. Animals were being killed due to starvation, thirst, injuries obtained from contact with glue, and even self mutilation. Pest controllers were given 2 years to get rid of old stock, but from August 2024 alternative methods of pest control must be found.

Pest prevention

Rather than focus on the killing of pests, it is perhaps easier to prevent pests in the first place. There are many pest control mesh panel solutions that can stop flies and other insects from entering your home initially, and remove the need for inhumane solutions.

Fly screen doors

A fly screen door is perhaps something that you have seen in an American film, however, they are a great solution for pest control here in the UK too.

In the summer months it’s natural to want to open your patio doors and let in some fresh air, and with a sliding door roller fly screen it’s possible to do just that without letting in the less desirable elements of the outside world. There are also more simple options, such as a single door opening that has been fitted with door fly screens.

Window insect screen

There are also several options for if you simply want to open your windows for some fresh air. Imagine a trip to the Scottish highlands and being protected by midge mesh.

Window screens come in a variety of styles, from a simple made to measure hinged fly screen to roller blind style fly screens that can be opened or closed whenever you wish. These screens mean that you can still provide ventilation without sacrificing your sanity to the persistent buzzing of a bluebottle for the foreseeable.

Fly on the opposite side of fly screen doors

How do I approach pest control?

The simple answer is that it is up to you if you choose to prevent pests or kill them. Chemically handling pests is not a permanent solution, and you will have to repeat the process if they come back. Chemical pest control also comes with health hazards, for both you and the environment, and the risks of this are something that you will have to analyse.

Pest prevention by way of fly screens is non-hazardous, and offers a long lasting solution – and if you operate a food preparation facility, it is essential. Mesh can be applied to a multitude of doors and windows, including french doors, sliding patio doors, larger doors, sash windows and outward opening windows. This means that you don’t have to compromise on style, and once you have your mesh chosen it can be replaced if damage occurs over time, again making it a longer lasting solution to your pest problems.