Last year the Regulations protecting bats were changed to remove the defence that any disturbance was an “incidental result of an otherwise lawful operation”.
This has some significant implications for pest controllers, especially when undertaking work in places where bats could be roosting, such as roof spaces.
This means that you are expected to check for the presence of bats before you conduct any work in an area that might be being used as a bat roost.
If you then suspect that bats may be present, you may still be able to do your work – but only after following the appropriate procedures.
Are you looking for bat activity every time you do a wasp nest, or a cluster fly treatment in a roof space?
When setting a trap for a squirrel, would you know what to look for?
Do you know when can you carry out a wood treatment and with what?
Who would you ask for advice?
Do you have ‘bats’ on your Risk Assessment forms?
If you cannot answer ‘yes’ to each of the above questions, perhaps you should attend one of the NPTA’s “Bat Awareness Training for Pest Technicians” courses run by an independent bat expert. These are just half a day of your time and will get you a Certificate of Attendance (and 4 CPD points) and possibly save you from a large fine.
Courses are now planned for Cheshire and Gloucestershire in April, following a very successful one in Solihull earlier this year. More are planned around the country.
Contact Julie or Margaret at the NPTA for further details:
Telephone – 01949 81133
Fax – 01949 823905
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org