• JIS News

    The Pesticides Control Authority (PCA) will be hosting a workshop on mosquito and rodent control at the Medallion Hall Hotel in Kingston from February 20 to 21.
    This will be the second workshop of its kind to take place this month, with the first held in Montego Bay on February 13, with some 35 pest control operators in attendance.
    Registrar of the PCA, Michael Ramsey, told JIS News that some 50 persons are expected to attend the Kingston workshop, which will be more advanced than the one held in Montego Bay. “The topics to be covered include the control of mosquitoes, rats and bats commonly called ‘rat bats’ in Jamaica and at this leg of the workshop, there is an additional section which handles the garden pests and sucking insects in particular, and also the introduction of fumigation,” he informed.
    Explaining the inclusion of bat management in the workshop, Mr. Ramsay said that they are a problem in some areas and they tend to inhabit homes where there is space between the ceiling and the roof. “They can be a nuisance even though they stay as far away from humans as possible. Unfortunately, there are some persons who would want to kill them, however, they are protected animals and the best thing is to drive them out of the house and seal the spaces where they are likely to enter, so that they do not come back,” he noted.
    All bats in Jamaica are protected by the Wildlife Protection Act, which is being implemented by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), formerly Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA).
    Mr. Ramsay said that the objective of the workshops, which are held annually, is to enhance the knowledge of pest control operators in containing various pests.
    “There is a need for pest control operators to constantly upgrade their skills as new technology becomes available and also they have to adapt methods of prevention in a changing environment,” Mr. Ramsay informed.
    The presenters will be drawn from several agencies including the Food Storage and Prevention of Infestation Division (FSPID) and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).
    The Registrar also disclosed that another workshop is being planned for March, which will focus on the registration of pest control operators.
    “Pest control operators have to undergo a written exam and if they pass, they are then required to undergo a practical examination. If they are successful, then they will be able to get registered,” he outlined.
    In the meantime, the PCA is encouraging the public to only conduct business with registered pest control operators. “Pest control involves using dangerous chemicals and registered pest control operators are the only ones who have been trained properly in how to use these pesticides,” he stated.
    The PCA is the governing body mandated through the Pesticides Act of 1975 to carry out the regulation and control of pesticide use in Jamaica.

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