Tower Hamlets Council in London has launched a campaign to warn residents about the dangers of pest control products after two fatal and life-changing incidents have taken place in the borough.
Of these incidents, one resulted in the death of an 11-year-old girl, and another left a woman with ongoing serious health issues and no savings after trying to clean up her home.
The council has reported that these incidents were caused by the use of professional pest control products by untrained residents.
The campaign, Kill Pests Not People, aims to make sure residents avoid buying pest control products from online marketplaces with multiple sellers, where they can’t be sure if the product is suitable for amateur use, and only purchase from reputable UK sellers.
Lutfur Rahman, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “We are shocked by these incidents that have taken place and our thoughts are with the impacted families.
“The products in question are primarily used by professionals to treat house pests, such as bed bugs. It is highly likely that, in the recorded cases, the insecticide was shipped in from outside of the UK and bought from unreputable sellers.
“Pest control products sold in the UK go through rigorous testing to make sure they’re safe for amateur use. When people use pest control chemicals that are only meant for professional use or have been shipped in from outside of the UK, they can harm more than just pests.”
The council is urging all residents who may have a pest problem to speak to a professional pest control business first.