Dorset

Pest control 'smoke bombs' prompt 'false alarms' warning

Cluster fly Image copyright British Pest Control Association
Image caption Smoke bombs are used to control pests including cluster flies

A number of emergency call outs to properties being fumigated with pest control "smoke bombs" has prompted a warning from Dorset Fire Service.

It has recently attended nine properties in areas including Poole.

The service said neighbours were not warned before the devices were set off.

It is asking people who wish to use them to contact residents in advance to avoid "false alarms". British Pest Control Association (BPCA) described them as "aggressive" products.

Firefighters have also been called to homes in Bournemouth, Weymouth, Wool, and Woolland, near Hazelbury Bryan.

'Like a firework'

Richard Moseley, technical manager for BPCA, said such devices were used by the association in confined areas such as loft spaces and greenhouses to control pests, including cluster flies.

"Imagine a firework with insecticides going off - that's what you're dealing with," he said.

"Sometimes smoke can be seen externally and in cases such as these we would inform the local fire service, but it's not something an amateur would always think of."

They are not advised for use in living areas, such as kitchens or sitting rooms, where there is a greater risk of contamination, he said.

He added there was a "lack of knowledge" with over-the-counter products.

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