Pest Control Companies Approved by Dubai Municipality

Pest control

The minute we see creepy-crawlies around our Dubai home, we’re looking for ways to get rid of them. Dealing with these unwelcome guests – cockroaches, bedbugs and termites, and even occasionally (shudder!) rats, requires strong measures. Of course, each of us has a different take on dealing with these creatures. Some of us earth-mother types prefer home remedies, considering them to be more organic. The rest of us rush to call in pest control companies, as soon as we see a tail or an antenna whisking out of sight, believing that pesticides are the only way to deal with these little devils effectively. It certainly makes sense to call a pest control company in Dubai, especially if more pests start popping up all over your home as the days go by.

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You’ve decided to call in a pest control company. Now what?

Shopping around for a pest control company is no easy task. There are hundreds of pest control companies operating in Dubai alone. On any given day, business cards and flyers for at least three or four pest control companies are slipped under our doors. How do we decide which one to pick? Do we judge by how professional the flyer looks – the fonts used, the quality of the graphics or how well the word β€˜cockroach’ is spelt?

Well, luckily for us, there are extremely strict rules and regulations around pest control in Dubai, which makes it easier to shortlist a trustworthy company. So before you pick up the phone and make that call, here are some things you should know:

First of all, who regulates pest control in Dubai?

Individual Emirate municipalities are responsible for vetting and approving pesticide companies in their Emirate. When it comes to Dubai, the Dubai Municipality’s pest control section publishes a list of approved pest control companies every year. Around a hundred companies carry licenses from the Municipality. It also handles all pest control queries, even providing expert care in emergency cases involving snakes and scorpions.

How can you check if a company is accredited by the Dubai Municipality?

Every year, the Dubai Municipality publishes a list of pest control companies that have been approvedΒ to offer pest control services. Make sure you go over the list carefully. Also pay attention to what particular pest each agency on the list is licensed to exterminate. For instance, not all approved companies have fumigation or termite control permits.

The list is updated regularly. Members of the public can also call the Dubai Municipality on their helpline, 800900 for more information.

I’ve been reading about harmful pesticides. Are pesticides monitored?

There have been incidents of pesticide misuse in the UAE. The UAE’s Ministry of Environment and Water is responsible for investigating pesticides, and it puts together a list of the pesticides that are safe. All told, 167 pesticides have been reviewed and banned, and a further 32 are allowed to be used only in a limited manner, by licensed operators. Aluminium and zinc pesticides, for instance, are banned in the UAE. Another culprit in poisoning cases is EC, or emulsion concentrates. These are permitted for outdoor use, but only by a few pest control companies registered especially for their use.

What does the Ministry do to control pesticide use?

The Ministry has directed companies to label their pesticides with ministry approved stickers that provide details of the drug and the pest it is targeting. Registered companies are required to provide lists of the pesticides they use. This helps to the authorities to keep an eye on these companies and prevent abuse. In fact, the government has cracked down on several that have not complied with its regulations and revoked their licenses.

However, many disreputable operators get these banned substances on the grey market and use them on unsuspecting residents. Customers should bear in mind that illegal use of pesticides is a punishable offence in Dubai.

How about technicians? How do we know they can be trusted?

Dubai Municipality has regulations and checks for the personnel of each pest control company in Dubai. A company must have supervisors to train its staff – operators – in pest control procedures. The supervisor is usually an engineer. Both supervisors and operators have to pass exams before they are given permits. The Municipality is strict in stating that only a supervisor may train an operator. In fact, without the supervisor, the company is not allowed to function. If there is no supervisor, the company has to suspend operations till it hires a replacement. The Municipality will go so far as to strike the company from its list till it hires a new, approved supervisor.

What other measures have been taken?

The Dubai Municipality has conducted numerous drives to educate the public about harmful pesticides. It has spoken about phosphine, the byproduct of aluminium phosphide, which has caused numerous deaths. On a corporate level, the Municipality has conducted workshops for the companies themselves, providing knowledge and discussion on new technologies and safe methods.

What can you do to be sure that the company you have hired, is in fact, accredited?

Before you hire a pest control company, ensure it is on the Dubai Municipality’s list. Furthermore, when a technician comes by, ask to see their official ID card. This card is issued by the Public Health Pest Control Section of the Dubai Municipality. It is white in colour, with a blue line at the bottom, and carries the technician’s name and photograph. It also specifies whether he is a supervisor or an operator.

Be wary of any company that offers you unmarked grey tablets as treatment, (these are likely to be aluminium phosphide) or talks about spraying. Above all, avoid DIY using pest control remedies bought from random stores.

Do you really need to be so careful?

Sadly, yes. Deaths due to pest control abuses continue even though there have been several media campaigns to address these issues. The toll of pest control related deaths is high – Β four deaths occurred in the space of one month in 2013. Death is of course the worst possible scenario, but improper use of pesticides can result in many other terrible consequences, such as organ failure, lung problems, skin issues and so on. With just a little awareness, and some research, we can say goodbye to these nasty creatures – in a safe and controlled manner.

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Call the Dubai Municipality helpline on 800900 for any pest-control related queries you may have.

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