Dubai Pesticides need to be applied by properly trained licensed professionals and incorrect application could pose numerous hazards, pest control experts have said.

"It is important that pesticides are applied by trained professional applicators who have exposure to the best education and knowledge which they share with their consumers because these pesticides are sprayed around in homes and other areas," said Rob Lederer, Executive Vice-President, National Pest Management Association, USA, who is here to attend PestWorld East, a conference to address issues concerning pest control which started Monday.

Industry professionals shared the latest developments in the field of pest management and other issues concerning pest control at the conference.

Lethal effects

Improper application of pesticides has been an issue of concern and those in the industry said that this could pose severe dangers to the extent of being lethal. Improper usage has been attributed, along with a lack of awareness, to the availability of illegal pesticides.

The professionals said that unified licensing regulation in the UAE would help put a check on unlicensed operators who also increase the risk of wrong usage of pesticides.

"We need standardised regulation for all the emirates in order to check illegal operators from getting into the business. Unlicensed operators could be engaging in pest control practices that are unsafe and could be a major threat to consumer safety," Hani Shehadeh, President of Ecovar, told Gulf News.

Regarding the availability of illegal pesticides, he said that users may not be aware of the hazards they could be exposed to and the sale of such pesticides needs to be checked.

While some emirates have already put regulations into place, standardised regulation would ensure safe practices are followed and those who are unlicensed do not operate.

A licensed operator, depending on the regulations, is required to fulfil a host of criterion which could also include proper training of their staff.

"Hands-on training is required at various levels, right from inspections to knowing the biology and behaviour of bugs, health and safety and also medical issues," said Dinesh Ramachandran at National Pest Control.

Among the key challenges the industry in the UAE faces are a lack of research and development in the field, he said.

Uninvited guests

Bedbugs: Parasitic bugs that feed on human blood. Commonly found in cracks and crevices. Areas to look for them are around the bed, headboard and cracks in furniture. Cause skin rash.

Filth Flies: Nuisance pests can spread various diseases like dysentery and food poisoning. Often feed on garbage and manure and contaminate food

Garden Ants: Most common form of pests, can be found almost anywhere around the house, in gardens, cracks in pavements etc.

Rodents: They can contaminate food, damage property and transmit diseases. Carriers of viral, rickettsial and bacterial diseases like plague, rat-bite fever and spotted fever.

Cockroaches: Can spread 33 different kinds of bacteria and 6 parasitic worms, prefer warm conditions in buildings