Pest Control Legislation

Pest Control Legislation

In the UK there is considerable legislation concerning the responsibility of property and business owners with regard to pest control. The regulatory bodies are legally obliged to check for all kinds of pest infestation. However a contract with a specialist pest control company, such as Young’s Pest Control, will not only keep your property and premises safe, but it will also help prove that you have shown the appropriate ‘due diligence’. Being able to show due diligence can help avoid the fines, humiliation, forced closure, or even disqualification from trading, that can happen if you are unable to show the authorities that you did everything you could to avoid pest infestation.

The main legislation relating to pest control are:

– The Destructive Imported Animals Act 1932 (Amendment) Regulations 1992 (SI 1992/3302). This Act controls the importing and keeping of destructive animals that are not native to the UK. And for the trapping and killing of these animals. A good example would be mink.

– Public Health Act 1936 – Gives local authorities the ability to demand that detected vermin and pests be killed and/or removed.

-Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949. Issues relating to pest control are divided into two parts, the first relates to rats and mice, their control, and eradication. The second part deals with pest infestations of food. This lays out the right for anyone appointed by the local or national authority to inspect premises to check for vermin and pests at any reasonable time, obstructing these inspections makes the owner liable for a fine.

– The Pests Act 1954. This Act orders that rabbits now be considered a pest and that they be removed and cleared from all land. The person occupying the land bears the responsibility to clear these pests.

– Health Services and Public Health Act 1968 and The Public Health (Infectious Diseases) Regulations 1988. This Act is to control infectious diseases and an important part of that is the control of rats. The local authorities and the port authorities are duty bound to destroy all rats when necessary or when instructed to.

-Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1972 (Under Section 19). If an area has no native red squirrels then poison is permitted to be used against the grey squirrel population in an effort to halt tree destruction.

-Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. With this Act employers are made responsible for the protection of their employees from pests while in the workplace. Diseases caused by pests such as pigeons, slippery floors caused by bird droppings, food contamination by pests, all these are now the concern of the employer.

– Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.This Act makes it an offence to kill or injure any wild animal, insect, or bird listed on Schedule 5. The list is exhaustive, and includes adders, polecats, voles, and many amphibians and insects. Their habitat must not be disturbed, and methods of killing or removing such animals are strictly controlled. A full list of wild animals on Schedule 5 is available on the Joint Nature Conservation Committee website at We at Young’s Pest Control are experts in the identifying of those species that must not be injured or killed.

– The Food Safety Act 1990. The Act requires that premises engaged in the manufacture, processing, distribution, preparation, packaging, or delivery of food, have to have premises specifically designed to prevent all pest access, and where necessary to provide screening. Failure to comply with measures to prevent infestation and/or contamination can result in prosecution with fines up to £20,000, and up to two years imprisonment. However Section 21 of the Act provides the defence of ‘due diligence’ and if the person charged is able to prove that they had a contract with a pest control company, then they would be seen to have taken all reasonable precautions.

– The Protection of Badgers Act 1992. This Act relates to the ban on killing or disturbing badgers or their setts, and in particular allowing dogs to enter the setts is prohibited.

-The Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations 1995. Chapter 1 section 2 c of the above regulations (Legal requirements) states that ‘Food businesses must take all reasonable precautions to prevent food pests, namely rats, mice, cockroaches, and flying insects gaining entry into food storage and preparation areas’. This establishes that all premises that handle food in any form must have in place appropriate, and suitable, controls to protect against pests, and to prevent the access of pests to the food and the food preparation areas.

Pest control legislation encourages the use of both proactive and preventative pest control.

At Young’s Pest Control, we offer a full and varied range of pest control methods. 

Both commercial and domestic customers can have problems with pests, and we always understand that discretion is highly important to you. We will discreetly investigate and advise. Our technicians are trained to identify the source of the problem, and we can install any necessary screening in order to eradicate your pest problem. 

We are able to advise on, and control: rats and mice, wasps, bed bugs and fleas, cockroaches, and squirrels. And our professional and fully trained staff can pigeon proof your premises quickly and with no fuss.

We also offer an emergency call-out service, and will give full and detailed advice on how to avoid future infestation.

Always come to the experts, we understand the pest control legislation and we can quickly identify the pest and provide the correct solution. The big issue around DIY pest control is the pitfalls of untrained people not recognising the pest they need to eliminate, and then applying pesticides that could potentially cause harm to themselves, neighbours, or, more likely, domestic pets. And you will always need advice as to the cause of the infestation so as not to repeat the problem.

We at Young’s Pest Control have hundreds of satisfied customers, we can protect your home or business effectively and to your specific needs.