ABU DHABI: A top waste management official in Abu Dhabi has called on residents to report immediately to police if they come across anybody in their buildings using unauthorised chemicals or substances for treating pesticides.

Mohammad Al Marzouqi

Mohammad Al Marzouqi, director of Pest Control Project at Tadweer, the Centre of Waste Management in Abu Dhabi emirate, made the call during a roundtable meeting at its head office on Tuesday.

The deadly chemical which is generally available in the market is locally known as ‘Bomb’, and some residents resort to using it for treating bedbugs, cockroaches and other pests.

“It’s lethal to use it in residential buildings and apartments. It can not only kill residents of neighbouring flats but it may also poison the entire building through the central air-conditioning vents,” said Al Marzouqi.

‘Bomb’ or aluminium phosphide has been banned for sale since 2009 and only licensed operators are permitted to use it. It is available in the market but it’s strictly prohibited to be used in residential accommodation, but can be used for agricultural use in farms and treating deadly red palm weevils, which destroy palm trees, he said.

He urged people to avoid using it in apartments, and asked them to directly report to the police if they come across anyone using it because it’s a very serious matter to use such deadly substance in residential apartments.

“It’s a good development that in the last few years, we have not seen any fatalities due to the use of poisonous pesticides in the emirate. However, we have to take more measures to stay protected from pesticides,” he added.

Unlicensed services

Several individuals roam in the city and offer pest-control services without possessing the required licence from the authorities concerned. They drop handbills and leaflets at doors of flats, “but they are not authorised to carry out such a serious job, so cross check about them”, Al Marzouqi said.

He urged residents to check their licence numbers and IDs to see whether they are registered for the same job and get their contact details.

“Most such uauthorised service providers do not mention their landline numbers [02 Abu Dhabi code] on the handbills and so be aware of such illegal service providers.”

People can check whether they are licensed on Tadweer’s website.

More than 90 authorised pest control companies are listed with Tadweer, he said.

He narrated an incident in a northern emirate of a father who used lethal chemicals for treating his apartment and locked it but he forgot to alert his son. When his son came home, he entered the house and slept INSIDE, but did not wake up after inhaling the posionous gas.

Pest presence below international threshold

According to Tadweer data, during the January-August period in both 2016 and 2017, the reported presence of pests in Abu Dhabi emirate was quite below the international acceptable threshold.

The reported cases of the presence of American cockroaches, rodents and mosquitos this year were below the international acceptable threshold of 5 per cent.

Tadweer has a total of 1,125 people who look after the public pest control projects in the emirate. They have 270 vehicles at their disposal and 2,595 fumigation tools.

Tadweer also offers pest-control management services in villas, on highways and streets, and at government facilities, schools, hospitals, public clinics, mosques, public parks, markets as well as central sewage and waste collection points in all residential, commercial and industrial areas.

Residents can lodge complaints and order for the service at 80055.