Wednesday 6 June was the second World Pest Day; a day when pest management professionals from around the globe look to raise awareness of the vital role pest management plays in protecting public health, property and food security.
Happy World Pest Day
With this year’s World Pest Day coinciding with the the Global Summit of Pest Management Services for Public Health and Food Security in Cascais, Portugal there was a special session when the 300 or so delegates celebrated the day. As delegates gather they were first entertained with some fabulous Portuguese Fado.
This was followed by statements in support of the initiative, which is raising awareness of what we do and what we stand for all over the world by demonstrating the value professional pest management brings to society as a whole:
The speakers were:
- The UK’s Henry Mott in his role as president of the Confederation of European Pest Management Associations (CEPA);
- Mrs Xiao Yun Huang, president of the Federation of Asian & Oceania Pest Managements Association (FAOPMA) and director of the Chinese Pest Control Association (CPCA);
- Dennis Jenkins the incoming president of the American National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and Dominique Stumpf chief executive of NPMA;
- Tom Luczynski from Orkin, proud sponsors of the event..
There was also a special video address from the World Health Organisation (WHO) which focussed on the role of pest management in combating disease vectors such as mosquitoes.
Dr Qiong Liu gave a presentation on the importance of pest management. Dr Liu is a member of the WHO Collaborating Center for Vector Surveillance and Management, the National Institue for Communicable Disease Control and Prevention and the Chinese Centre for Disease Control. Amongst other things he pointed out that betwen 10 and 16% of annual world food production is lost to pests and that 80% of the world's population is at risk from vector-borne diseases.
He said: "It is commonsense that we all agree to work together globally to use Sustainable Pest Management to minimise the risks caused by pests whilst protecting our environmnet, animals and plants."
Delegates were entertained with some traditional Protuguese Fado music
Tom Luczynski from Orkin explained why Orkin was sponsoring the event
The concept for a World Pest Day originated with the Chinese Pest Control Association, as Mrs Xiao Yun Huang explained. For the first World Pest day on 6 June 2017 the CPCA held a special event in Beijing. More than 30 national and international associations/organisations signed up to support the initiative. CPCA also produced a cartoon video, Fatal Pest, designed to educate young children about pests and professional pest management.This year there was agian a major ceremony in China.
Whilst World Pest Day attracts widespread news coverage in China, it’s fair to say there is little, if any, media interest in North America or Europe. Of course, the idea is in its infancy and it takes time to build interest in this type of project.
In the USA the Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA) has already spent 20 years and plenty of dollars running pro-active campaigns promoting the benefits of pest management to the US public so whilst adding their support to the World Pest Day concept there are no large-scale events organised to promote it.
In Europe whilst all the various trade associations have expressed their support for the day, the concept really hasn’t caught on to any great degree and that’s a real shame.
Getting customers to understand the real value of professional pest control is an activity that will massively benefit our industry. What we need now is a concerted effort to use the third World Pest Day on 6 June 2019 to demonstrate the importance of pest management to policymakers, the media and the public.