Abu Dhabi: Residents in Abu Dhabi say they are feeling cheated by ineffective pest control methods offered by local companies that are taking money but delivering substandard services.
Generally pest control companies charge between Dh200 to Dh400 for a two-bed apartment to rid the flat of bedbugs, cockroaches and ants, but the bugs come back and residents are having to chase companies to remedy the situation.
Residents are complaining that these firms say they are using less powerful pesticides due to health risks to children and neighbours, but customers, who are losing money, are questioning whether that’s just an excuse.
Abu Dhabi resident Dilip Kumar, said: “Each year I get pest control companies in for treatment and pay them Dh350, but after six months pests invade the house again.
“It seems they are using low-grade chemicals or the way they mix it is substandard in fear of dangerous chemicals spreading to neighbouring apartments. Truly it’s a big problem for most residents in the emirate,” he added.
When Gulf News approached Tadweer, the Centre of Waste Management in Abu Dhabi, about the problem, they said: “Pest control depends on the cooperation from the owners of homes and apartments by following all recommendations given to them by pest control teams, especially that of basic hygiene and sanitation as well as proofing. Some pests gain access due to poor proofing of the home structure around doors and windows or any other any entry points.”
Tadweer added that a follow-up from the pest control company was essential to resolve the problem due to the life-cycle of pests, but they added that in most cases this follow-up was not carried out.
Of the use of substandard pesticides, Tadweer said: “All chemicals used in public health control are approved by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCA) and are recommended by Tadweer.”
They added that the “misconception in the public’s mind is that pest control is only applying pesticides to eradicate and exterminate or kill pests immediately, which in most cases is not true because moderate pesticides are designed to safely control pests over a long period of time.”
Sanjay Kumar, another Abu Dhabi resident, said: “If they use low-quality chemicals we have to call them again after 20 days but if they use good quality methods to treat pests, it may last up to a year. But generally they don’t do that and we as customers have to shell out money for inefficient services.”
Sanjay added that it was a nuisance to pack and unpack things in the house around pest control visits, especially when the results were so unsatisfactory. He said it was almost as stressful as moving house completely when having to pack things ahead of a visit by pest control staff.
When Gulf News asked Tadweer about complaints regarding pest control companies listed on their website, they said: “All cases reported to Tadweer are being investigated and due actions will be taken against companies that violate standards. Public reporting is always welcome and it will be helpful to resolve such issues,” they added.
WHAT RESIDENTS SHOULD DO
If you experience inefficient treatment at the hands of a pest control company, Tadweer said: “We will do a standard inspection to evaluate such cases by contacting the customer and evaluating the pest control company’s procedures and results to ensure the customer’s rights are protected. In case of complaints customers can contact the 24/7 Abu Dhabi Government call centre on 800555.