Knowledge Hub


The latest advice and scientific information on practicing pest management during COVID-19

Disinfection & pest management

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) have guidance on how best to practice disinfection (find out more here).

A large number of pest managers have the tools, equipment and training to carry out thorough disinfection. Please keep in mind that we are not medical professionals and as such there will be no guarantees regarding COVID-19. Disinfection has traditionally been practiced by pest controllers following infestations to minimise the chance of recurrence.

COVID-19 has been proven to persist on contaminated surfaces for up to 3 days, depending on the material. Proper disinfection of contaminated environments can reduce the chance of infection.

Alcohol-based disinfectants (ethanol, propan-2-ol, propan1-ol) have been shown to significantly reduce infectivity of enveloped viruses like COVID-19, in concentrations of 70-80% with one minute exposure time. Certain products such as ethanol-based disinfectants have restrictive legislation and are not available in a number of EU countries. For the latest list of authorised disinfectants and further information visit the ECHA COVID-19 page.

All staff should be wearing personal protective equipment. The BPCA have clear advice and precautions for companies wishing to offer disinfection services during this time (find out more here).

COVID-19 transmission

There is currently no evidence to suggest that the virus can be transmitted through pests and other animals.

More general information can also be found on the useful new website on COVID-19 and pest management, set up by the National Pest Management Association in the United States.

Pest management: an "essential" service

The pest management industry has been defined as 'essential' in some European countries, thanks to pest management's support role for other crucial services (notably food supply, hospitals and schools). This is a national matter and as such is regulated individually by national governments. The EU refers to 'essential' services in the European Commission's Guidelines for Border Management Measures to Protect Health and Ensure the Availability of Goods and Essential Services, but does not dictate how the guidelines should be implemented.  

The document also states that control measures should not undermine the EU economy and stresses that the unobstructed transport of goods is crucial to maintaining availability, which could affect regulations around pest management due to connections between pest management and food storage. The document notably mentions the need to maintain the supply of "essential goods such as food supplies", in which certain pest managers play a role. 

Regulation varies widely by country. Check out the status of each EU country on our tracker.


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