Dubai: Authorities have held a training session to re-educate pest control contractors following recent deaths from pesticide poisoning.
“As we are aware, pests can cause a real threat to residential and commercial premises which may affect the health of people and damage property. A training [session] was designed with a view to provide companies with essential knowledge and information on pest management,” said Hesham Abdul Rahman Yahya, Head of the Pest Control Section at Dubai Municipality.
Gulf News earlier reported that in the past three weeks, a three-year-old girl and her eight-month-old sister died in Ajman, as well as a 35-year-old Filipina in Fujairah, after pesticide poisoning.
According to the forensic laboratory report of Ajman Police, the department of public health and environment at Ajman Municipality was able to confirm that the deaths occurred after the family’s neighbour bought pesticide from an unlicensed street vendor, and sprayed it in his home without the aid of a specialised technician.
Pest control experts explained that each emirate has its own set of rules about how pest control companies should carry out their services, but the chemicals available in the market have to first pass through the Ministry of Environment and Water.
The most commonly found pests in the emirate include mosquitoes, flies, cockroaches, bedbugs, ants, non-biting midges, fleas, ticks, redback spiders and rodents.
“Waste produced by households and commercial outlets like hotels, shopping malls, hospitals and restaurants, which contain wet materials that are also liable to decay are potential food sources and harbourages for insects and rodents,” said Yahya.
The training course, which had 104 participants from Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the northern emirates, focused on pests found both indoors and in rural environments.
Pest control strategy experts who carried out the training session emphasised that the objective was to provide an effective and economically efficient approach to pest control, without jeopardising public safety.
“Knowing how to properly handle the chemicals is very important and education is a key factor in order to avoid any [pesticide-related] accidents from happening. A number of techniques were discussed on how to use pesticide, as well as the biological information of chemicals,” added AKM Motahar Hussain, pest management specialist at Dubai Municipality.