Bread & butter pests get a good airing at Pest-Ventures

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There was a definite air of friendliness and good humour when nearly 70 leading lights from the pest control industry gathered at this year”s Pest-Ventures one-day seminar at Kegworth, Notts on 26 April.

Now held every other year, so as not to clash with PestEx, this was the first year that the event had limited itself to only one day. Mindful of the current financial situation, Adrian Meyer as one of the event organisers, commented: “The venue for Pest-Ventures is centrally located, so it is easy for delegates from all over the country to get here. So by limiting ourselves to one day only delegates did not need to stay overnight. We also concentrated the programme on key target pests which make-up a significant proportion of a pest controller’s income – hence the title ‘Bread & butter pests’.

The relevance of these leading pests to pest controllers was underlined by Helen Riby, associate editor ofPestpublications, and David Marris, head of marketing for BASF in Europe, who presented the results, hot off the presses, of the second annual National Pest Management Survey. Undertaken earlier this year, the survey sample, consisting of pest control companies, self-employed pest controllers and local authority units, once again confirmed the pre-eminence of rodents. Of all those who replied, treatments for rats made up 27% of their activities and 21% for mice – a total of nearly half of all activities accounted for by rodents. Wasps were the next largest sector at 17% with bed bugs, about which so much is currently heard, only accounting for 5%.

A more detailed resumá« of results will be presented in the forthcoming May & June edition ofPestmagazine.

These findings followed the opening paper presented by Jonathan Peck on behalf of the National Pest Advisory Panel (NPAP) who reiterated the public health significance of rodent pests. He went on to detail the regulatory requirements the industry is going to have to contend with just around the corner. Those within the industry may wonder when this apparently endless series of new rules and regulations will end – not yet being the definitive answer! One key subject which has been debated for well over 20 years is, once again, taking-on increased relevance – how to define a ‘professional’ user? Other definitions currently exciting the minds of the regulators are also ‘in and around buildings’ and what constitutes ‘permanent baiting’?

Not an academic exercise
These definitions may seem something of an academic exercise, but as Adrian Meyer of Acheta revealed in his presentation, permanent baiting, as we know it at present, may soon be a thing of the past. Those bodies representing the UK industry are currently on stand-by to review the long-awaited consultation document from Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD) concerning environmental issues and their affect on permenant baiting procedures.

On stand-by the industry might be, but Adrian led a lively debate amongst the audience on this far from clear-cut topic. Delegates were also given free-rein to express their views following the presentation from Clive Boase of the Pest Management Consultancy on block treatments. Delegates broke into small groups to debate what constituted a ‘block’, how to gain resident’s co-operation and the extent to which treatments should be given.

Also for the future, Dave Oldbury, representing NPAP, outlined the likely content of the soon to be published revised National Protocol for Co-operation on Rodent Control within Sewers.

Rat AND mice resistance
A presentation by Dr Rob Smith, Universities of Huddersfield & Leeds, updated delegates on the status of resistance in rats. On the other hand, John Charlton of the John Charlton Consultancy covered an often overlooked topic – rodenticide resistance in mice. He was able to reveal the content of the latest Rodenticide Resistance Action Group (RRAG) guidelines for house mouse resistance which are currently at the printers. As soon as these are available, Pest will be bringing them to the attention of readers.

Adrian Meyer and Dave Oldbury
Co-event organiser, speaker and chairman!
Adrian Meyer (left) speaking to Dave Oldbury,
one of the other presenters

The delegates sat and listened but were
also required to participate!

Jonathan Peck
Representing NPAP, Jonathan Peck
highlighted the legal changes
still to come

Rob Smith etc
Gill Hartley (left) from SASA in conversation with
Prof Robert Smith and John Charlton

To ensure delegates were fully occupied throughout the coffee & lunch breaks, 12 organisations had exhibition stands promoting their latest products or services. Both Killgerm and Barrettine had copies of their 2012 catalogues on display – so it was an opportunity for those who might not have one already, to pick one up. The SX catalogue, which has required some amendment following the P+L acquisition, is to be available in the next month or so.

The date of 10 April has already been booked for Pest-Ventures in 2014 – and at the same venue.

Below, a selection of the exhibitors in conversation with delegates

PelGar and BASF Bayer
PV12 Sx- P+L


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