French pest controllers keen to stay up-to-date

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The enthusiasm amongst French pest controllers to keep up-to-date with new issues and technical changes was clear to see at Parasitec 2010. The three sessions held on day one – Wednesday 17 November – when Pest attended this month’s French flagship event, were certainly full. Indeed, we hear that all the workshops attracted good audiences, as did the practical demonstrations, which were a new innovation at this year’s show.

The six workshops, three on each of the first two days of this three-day event, covered a range of topics which were relevant to PCOs wherever they work in Europe and indeed further afield. In particular it was no surprise to find bedbugs on the agenda with a session from Gilles Prisses, from distributors Edialux, which covered the need for pest controllers to raise their game against this resurgent pest. The session outlined the products and protocols available, the changing attitudes of customers, the use of monitoring traps and the rise in the number of specific contracts to deal with this difficult pest. It was very topical given the press coverage the day before click here to find out more.

The impact of the Biocides Directive 98/8 was one of the busy sessions held on Wednesday morning. Linked to this was the late afternoon session on the same day which examined the way the pest management profession is changing and in particular the need for training and new qualifications. Marc Aubrey, Marc Esculier and Bertrand Montmoreau from the French trade association CS3D (Chambre Syndicale Dá©sinfection, Dá©sinsectisation, Dá©ratisation) brought the industry up-to-date with the changes that are on the way including the progress being made towards a European standard.

The establishment of a common standard for pest management service throughout Europe is a key objective for CEPA the European Pest Management Industry Association. The idea, started, as many readers will recall, with the Rome Protocol in 2008. It now involves CEPA working alongside the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN). The objective is to produce a European standard to specify the basic competences that pest management services companies must reach to ensure a professional level of operation. The introduction of the standard will have the added benefit of preparing the industry to meet the anticipated requirements of the Sustainable Use Directive.

It was particularly interesting to find out about the Certiphyto qualification.

In France, from 2014 onwards, anyone who advises, distributes, buys or applies pesticides as part of their job must hold the Certiphyto qualification. This requirement covers all professional users of pesticides whether in public health, agriculture, horticulture, amenity or garden sectors. It is being brought in under the French government’s Ecophyto Plan, which was introduced in 2009 and seeks to reduce by a half the use of pesticides by 2018 and where their use is still necessary to limit the impact of pesticides on the environment.


 Parasitec seminar peakers
Speakers at the Biocides seminar: Left to right: Marc Aubrey, Bertrand Montmoreau and Marc Esculier 

Pest controllers were eager to learn 

Parasitec demonstration 
Although in-doors, the demonstrations
tried to represent reality

Four ways of achieving the Certiphyto have been outlined. These are:

  • To have your existing academic qualifications validated as suitable;
  • To pass a multi-choice exam;
  • To complete the half day training course followed by an exam;
  • To complete the two-day training course.

On the technical front there were presentations on anticoagulant rodenticides, the pine processionary moth and cockroach control. Of particular note in the cockroach session was news of a new active ingredient for cockroach control from DuPont, namely Indoxacarb. Indoxacarb was the first new active ingredient insecticide to be included under Product type 18 of Annex 1 of the Biocidal Products Directive. Indoxacarb is the active ingredient in the product Advion Cockroach Gel, which has been on the UK market for over a year and has just been launched in Ireland. Unfortunately pest controllers in other EU member states will have to wait for this new product to receive local product authorisations before they too can benefit.

The demonstrations were a new idea for 2010. These were held on Thursday afternoon and all day Friday and covered a wide range of activities including bird control, bedbug monitoring, fumigation using heat and cold treatments, flying insect control, specialised protective clothing and application equipment.

“Setting up the demonstrations was quite a challenge,” said Pierre Kabouche from the event organisers, PC media. “We wanted them to be as authentic as possible but of course there are restrictions on what can be covered especially when it comes to demonstrating pesticide use.”

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