Adequate control of pests is essential to the maintenance of a safe and decent environment for people to live in.
Pests pose a range of health hazards. They spread pest-borne illnesses, which reduce people’s quality of life and increase the demand on scarce medical resources.
Pests cause damage to structures and contaminate products. Rodent activity is a nuisance and, at worst, can lead to fires and floods. Bird fouling can make pavements unsafe, resulting in significant claims for damages. Food and medical supplies are rendered unsaleable or unusable when contaminated by either insect or rodent pests.
Pest infestations make urban areas undesirable and inhibit inward investment. They tend to be part of a vicious circle: poor housing, health and education together with social exclusion, low business investment and high unemployment are common in areas where chronic pest infestations persist.
The CIEH has set up the National Pest Advisory Panel (NPAP) to take the lead in setting high professional standards for EHPs and to offer advice and guidance to those in charge of local authority pest control departments.
NPAP comprises pest management professionals from right across the environmental health community and runs an annual programme of projects, seminars and events. Its prime objectives are:
- To raise the profile of pest management in the UK, leading to better understanding of the need for good pest management;
- To establish channels of communication throughout industry, government, local authorities and academia, leading to a greater awareness of problems and the need to set priorities;
- To improve the standards of pest management throughout the UK by promoting good practice, leading to reduced pest levels and pesticide use;
- To provide expert advice to government departments and agencies via the CIEH;
- To identify and promote research needs in the area of pest management.