Members of the National Pest Technicians Association (NPTA) in the Midlands who came along to the Association’s road show at Eastwood Hall on Wednesday 25 May got great value for their membership money. Pest associate editor Helen Riby was in the audience and wondered why there weren’t more at the event.
Not that the NPTA Midlands road show was badly attended, far from it, but given that it’s free to members, it’s hard to understand why anyone in the area would miss this event which was ably chaired by NPTA's Iain Turner.
OK, to fund these NPTA does rely on some sponsorship from industry suppliers who, for their support, get chance to make a presentation to those attending. However most make a real effort to provide relevant, interesting and useful information as well as naturally mentioning a few of their new or, for that matter, old products. Of course, there’s always one presentation that’s just a product pitch – no names, no pack drill – but those who attended will know which presentation I mean!
For the rest however it was all good stuff.
Amongst the interesting items that stuck in my mind were:
Matt England from PestFix who spoke about the Agrilaser Autonomic system highlighting some great case studies to demonstrate its effectiveness and really bringing the usefulness of this novel product to the fore.
One that examples that stuck in my mind was the massive floating solar farm on the QU II storage reservoir in Surrey. Here there are 26,000 floating solar panels which according to Matt, seemed to be attracting all the seagulls in London as a night roost. He said that thousands of birds were coming in every evening and the guano they left behind was causing real problems. Cleaning the panels off was a£10,000 a time exercise. Three Agrilaser Autonomic lasers have successfully solved the problem.
Colin Harrison from Pelsis/Edialux took us all back in time with his entertaining presentation entitled Flower Power. This was a look back way beyond the 1960s examining why the pyrethrin insecticides, derived from the chrysanthemum, are still such useful insecticides today.
Before coffee speakers, from left: Colin Harrison, Lucy Cunningham, Matt England and Laurence Barnard
After coffee speakers, from left: Helen Ainsworth, Iain Turner and Charles Philips
Charles Philips from Barrettine outlined the role of insecticide free insect control using products like Oa2ki which, he explained, is now available in a liquid formulation. He also highlighted the addition of Argentine ants to the BASF’s Formidor label and showed how the Formidor pack is changing.
Richard Moseley from Bayer explained how interest in first-generation anticoagulants is increasing as pest professionals adapt to the UK Rodenticide Stewardship Regime.
The new coumatetryl-based Racumin Paste, launched by Bayer at PestEx, is a case in point. First-generation products pose a lower risk to non-target species so should be considered before second-generation rodenticides. He said that, with ‘open areas’ on the Racumin paste label it is a good choice where pest controllers are working in situations where it is difficult to define precisely what the label text ‘in and around buildings’ actually means.
Bayer's Richard Moseley
Richard Moseley also announced a new monitoring product coming to the market this summer. Harmonix is a hypoallergenic monitoring pasta bait making is particularly suited to use in the food sector.
Bed bug focus
After lunch delegates took part in an excellent Bed Bug management workshop led by The Pest Management Consultancy’sClive Boase. He covered the history and biology of bed bugs before moving onto various techniques of monitoring, identification and control.
To paraphrase Clive’s comments on bed bug behaviour: Bed bugs are one of life’s plodders. They don’t live their lives in the fast lane, much preferring to hang around in the places where they previously found a blood meal rather than rushing off to find new sources of food.
Clive Boase spoke about bed bug control
He explained how controlling bed bugs is no longer a simple matter of one visit with the sprayer. A programme of at least two treatments will be needed and each treatment must be very through. “Aim to contact bed bugs with the wet spray and use a sequence of different active ingredients. For example spray with a carbamate and a pyrethroid, include an insect growth regulator and dust voids with a dessicant,” he concluded.
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