Lithium battery fires

Lithium batteries have caused fires in the rubbish lorries. Please do not put batteries in your waste or recycling bin. All batteries (including lithium batteries from e-bikes and e-scooters and other re-chargeable devices) can be taken to the Reuse and Recycling Centre at Northumberland Wharf.

Pest control products: important buying advice

We are sharing this advice after two separate fatal and life-changing incidents have taken place in Tower Hamlets.

Of these incidents, one resulted in the death of an 11-year-old girl, and another left a woman with serious health issues and no savings.

Professional pest control products are belived to have caused these incidents.

When used by untrained residents, the gas from these products can be hazardous and cause explosions and fires.

The products in question are intended for professional use, to treat house pests such as bedbugs and cockroaches. It is highly likely that, in these cases, the insecticide was shipped in from outside of the UK and bought from unreputable sellers.

If you are experiencing a pest problem, please read the following guidance.

Always speak to a professional pest control service

We know it can be difficult to tackle pest infestations but failed DIY treatments can lead to a worse infestation.

Pest control professionals can tell you how to tackle a pest infestation and how to stop pests from coming back. Our Pest Control Service has trained officers that can deliver effective treatments.

If you are experiencing a pest problem, you can speak to our pest control team.

Visit a store, rather than shop online

You should buy pest control products from a physical store, rather than online. A reputable store will have products that are safe for you to use, not just professionals.

Speak to the shop’s store assistants, they can tell you which products are the best to treat your problem.

Advice for buying pest control products online

If you are unable to visit a store, there are legitimate businesses that are selling safe pesticides online, but you must follow the advice below.

Choose reputable sellers

Choose products from brands you recognise and order directly from those websites. Avoid buying from online marketplaces that have many sellers.

Well-known online marketplaces may be reputable but the sellers that are on their platform may not be.

If you do need to buy pest control products from an online marketplace you need to make sure that you research the individual seller. 

When researching the individual seller, you need to check that they are a UK based company and that the products are not industrial-grade strength. 

Buy products from UK sellers

Always choose a seller that is based in the UK. Pest control products sold in the UK go through rigorous testing to make sure they’re safe for amateur use.

Follow the instructions on the label

Make sure you read and understand the instructions on the label before you use the products.

Use the treatment for seven working days

If you do purchase products and the treatment you have tried is not working after seven days, always seek professional help.

Advice from the British Pest Control Association

The British Pest Control Association (BPCA) is a not-for-profit organisation representing, supporting and assuring 700+ member companies and the pest management sector.

The Association also has a helpful A-Z of common pests in the UK and how to tackle them, along with pest advice sheets.

In the case that you’re unsure of whether the products you have bought or plan to buy are safe, please use the British Pest Control Association Guide

How to remove hazardous chemicals safely

If you think you have bought chemicals that are not suitable for amateur use and are hazardous, please arrange for the product to be collected immediately.

You can do so by contacting the City of London’s Hazardous Waste Service, which is a free service that can safely remove the chemical.