POOR housekeeping and poor property maintenance is the major contributing factor to the existence of rodents and other pests in supermarkets, shops and other public areas.
These are the words of the president of the Pest Control Association of Fiji (PCAF), Mohammed Tazim.
A workshop conducted by the Ministry of Health and the Nasinu Town Council last week revealed pesticide control used by supermarkets were not effective, causing the population of rodents and other pests to increase.
Mr Tazim, who is also the director of Amalgamated Pest Control, said the treatment of rodents and other pests could only be 100 per cent successful if owners of shops and supermarkets maintained their buildings properly, had proper sanitation and included rodent proofing in their buildings and proper housekeeping.
"The external environment also plays a large part in pest management," Mr Tazim said.
He said the 15 companies and individuals that made up PCAF conducted regular meetings to ensure all pest control industry professionals were appropriately trained and certified.
"Recently our association highlighted the issue of backyard operators," Mr Tazim said.
"They have poor knowledge of the products, usage, rodent and pest biology and treatment techniques. So usually it's not the pesticide but the knowledge of the application of the pesticide which is a factor in poor control."
Mr Tazim said the three common types of rodents that were of great concern in Fiji supermarkets and shops were the Norway rat, also referred to as the common, sewer, brown and water rat; the roof rat, also referred to as the black or ship rat and the house mouse, also referred to as the field mouse.