Was less, more, in the PestTech 2013 seminar programme?

LinkedIn +

PestTech organisers, NPTA, deliberately scaled-back the number of technical seminars at this year’s event, held on 6 November. The idea was to give those attending the chance to get round the exhibition and outdoor demonstrations as well as pick up some useful technical tips. Did this quality rather than quantity approach succeed?

Judging by the numbers at the seminars, we think it did. Most were very well attended and your editorial team certainly appreciated not having to run up and down the steps to the Crow’s Nest suite quite so often. The session by Jackie Duggan from Public Health England set the tone for the day with plenty of people listening to her outline of the UK study into the risk of hantavirus infection to pest controllers. Many pest controllers also called into the Ward Room to take part in the study by making a small blood donation. Read more about the hantavirus presentation.

Health and Safety at your fingertips
Session two also attracted plenty of folk. They clearly appreciated that whilst health and safety paperwork is judged by most as boring, it is also very important. James Murphy from HS Direct enthused his way through his company’s online system which seemed to have thought of just about everything you could possibly need to generate professional health and safety paperwork and all with your own logo to boot. These are kept up-to-date with any new requirements, for example James highlighted that the familiar warning symbols currently used on product labels, and the like, will be changing to a new system of red triangles come 2015.  

For many small and medium sized businesses, the peace of mind to have someone who is on top of all this is clearly of benefit.

Risk assessments and method statements can all be generated via the HS Direct online system. Standard paperwork for simple situations such as a general domestic job just needs printing off or emailing onward.

More impressive are the templates which can be tailored to produce site-specific method statements. Demonstrating this to the audience it took James just 12 minutes during which time he worked through the whole tailoring process explaining what he was doing as he progressed from screen to screen. This clearly showed just how quickly specific paperwork can be produced. for new products to add.

James Murphy Boring but important, James Murphy from HS Direct has the solution to your health & safety paperwork problems

“Whilst detailed method statements are not a legal requirement there is a legal obligation to follow a safe method of working and using the system to create specific method statements covers this for you,” he said. “Risk assessments must be completed annually as a minimum and the system can be set up to remind you when to complete this annual check and a full insurance policy comes with the system,” he added.

All documents can either be printed or emailed direct to customers and/or employees via a PC, laptop, ipad, iphone or android phone. A special annual fee of £449 +VAT has been negotiated for NPTA members.

Making more from wasps
According to the BASF/Pest National UK Pest Management Survey wasp control is a key activity for most pest controllers with around 20% of their time spent dealing with wasps. Imagine then if instead of around £45 per wasp nest treated you could make £300 by introducing an Integrated Wasp Management (IWM) programme. This was one of the take home messages from the introduction to Integrated Wasp Management session by Karol Pazik from WaspBane.

Karol is a pharmacist, not a pest controller, and whilst making more from wasps is an attractive proposition it is far from the entire story. In fact greater profitability is almost an unintended consequence of IWM. His premise is that the pest control industry is generally not focussing on the real problem. It’s not about eradicating wasp nests but about protecting the public from wasp stings. “Used properly IWM will deliver a 99% reduction in wasp stings. Taking-out a nest reduces the number of wasp stings by less than 1%,” he said.

Karol Pazik Make more money from wasps by 
focussing on preventing wasp stings, 
says Karol Pazik

Karol continued: “Pest controllers are also health professionals, but, you are in prevention whilst most hospitals, doctors and pharmacists are primarily concerned with cure.

“By keeping the number of nuisance wasps at a safe level you could save hundreds of thousands of people from the pain of a wasp sting and at the same time the primary health service thousands of £s. This is because, depending on the season, between 200,000 and 400,000 people require some form of primary health care for wasp stings every year. This is a massive number. If it was e-coli sufferers then it would be headline news.”

WaspBane runs full day courses on IWM so this 30 minute session could only provide a flavour of the topic. IWM includes nest eradication but only if the nest is a threat to people. Most often it is not. More important are interception and interruption strategies, active trapping and food pathway management. In summary IWM is the sum of all the remedial and preventative actions that can be taken to reduce the background population of nuisance wasps to safe negligible levels in an environmentally sensitive, sustainable and profitable way.Our team has over 30 years experience in designing quality insect killers and we have successfully launched into many countries, including the USA, where we have a warehouse in Atlanta GA. From here we build and despatch to the whole of the US.

Bed bug detection
Bed bug protection dogs is a more specialised activity and this was reflected in a smaller but none-the-less interested audience.

They heard Trust K9’s operations manager, Peter Rigby, explain the benefits of using dogs to detect bed bugs and how his company can work as an extension of its customers’ pest control teams. He also explained that once bed bugs have been detected Tust K9 also offers a heat treatment service with a six month guarantee to control the pest. Peter listed the benefits of using detection dogs. They are fast, up to 150 rooms per day, minimal disruption, requiring little room preparation other than removing breakable ornaments and the like. The dogs can detect just one or two adults and distinguish between dead and alive bugs – and all this for the reward of a ball to play with.

Peter Rigby Trust K9
Trust K9”s Peter Rigby extols the virtues 
of bed bug detection dog

bed bug dog Alfie
Detection dog, Alfie, steals the show 
with an impressive demonstrations

Share this story:

About Author