Be Wary Of Unregistered Pest Control Products
One of the great things about internet shopping is that you can find almost anything you want for sale. Buyers be wary, however, when it comes to pesticides. It is very easy to type in "pest control" for a certain pest and see what is offered to you. Unfortunately some of these products may not be legal for use in the UK.
Any insecticide for sale in the UK must go through a registration process, especially if the product claims control of an insect pest. This process is very expensive and time consuming for the companies producing these products. The system is not perfect and it sometimes prevents safe and effective products from reaching the market due to the costs involved, however the registration process is there for a reason. It aims to prevent untested, ineffective or dangerous products being sold in the U.K.
An example of how pest control products are registered in the U.K. Source: Pesticide Action Network UK.
Bacillus thuringiensis Is Not Legally Permitted For Use In The U.K. By Amateur Gardeners
For insecticides there are also two types of registration, those permitted for sale to professional growers and qualified insecticide applicators, and those permitted for use in the Home & Garden market where any member of the public can use them. Even biological insecticides, which are normally totally safe to the user, and the environment, must complete this registration process if they claim control of insect pests.
A good example of such a biological insecticide is the natural bacteria; Bacillus thuringiensis, which is used for Caterpillar control. In the U.K. there are two professional products registered for use by professionals. There is no current Home & Garden registration, so it should not be available to gardeners. The recent invasion by Box Tree Moth has made gardeners search for a natural solution and Bacillius thuringiensis provides an option for professionals, but is not permitted for use in the U.K. by amateur gardeners. Despite this, professional and non-professional Bacillus thuringiensis products can be found on Amazon, ebay and other online outlets. These are often listed by suppliers outside of the U.K. and then sent directly to the customer.
An example of a product permitted for professional use only that is illegally being made available to the U.K. Home & Garden market.
Further Unregistered Pest Control Products Found Online Can Include 'Bug Control Sprays', 'Snake Oils' & More
The system is also being abused online with sales of insecticide products that claim control of pests without having completed the registration process. The distributors of these products may brand their products with claims that have not been verified or tested. Examples include "Bug Control Sprays" or "Snake Oils" that claim multiple benefits and miracle cures. These sprays would never appear on a garden centre shelf but do appear online. Little is known of their ingredients or side effects. They can cover a wide range of ingredients from Neem Oil to Worm casts! Besides the obvious risks of relying on these products, they can offer false hope and discourage customers from choosing safer, legal and more effective pest control products such as beneficial insects and natural enemies.
For pest control products you can trust, stick to Dragonfli's range of wonderful natural predators.