PestTech 2014 – another great show

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All those who attended PestTech 2014 on 5 November agreed it was another bumper event. Always a highlight in the autumn, this year – the event’s 22nd – was no exception.

Organised by the National Pest Technicians Association (NPTA) visitors to PestTech were up on the previous year, however they did arrive in a more evenly spread fashion over the course of the day – excellent news, as in previous years delegates were packed-in like sardines over the popular lunchtime period.

As event organiser Julie Haresign (ná©e Gillies) explained: “This year we had 1,268 delegates officially register, that’s just over 250 more than in 2013, plus you need to add those who sneaked-in via the back-door. Our thanks also goes to the exhibitors who seemed very pleased – especially with the packed lunches we distributed for the first time this year – instead of the restaurant vouchers. Another new feature this year was the bar code scanner which meant we could keep track of the number of delegates attending the various talks and some exhibitors took advantage of this too to record their stand visitors.”

NPTA has made a nice little film capturing the spirit of the day – this can be seen on the new NPTA website or on YouTube.

Plenty to see
With just over 50 exhibitor stands there was plenty to see – although somewhat similar to the recent PestWorld event in the USA, whilst there were some useful modification to certain products there were few really startling new ones – Racumin Foam from Bayer and the new Nano EFK range from Bower being two exceptions.

First time exhibitors
However, there were several companies exhibiting for the first time which is always an encouraging sight (see our review of new exhibitors). Without doubt the largest ‘splash’ was created by 1env with their large, purpose built stand.

The seminar programme once again proved popular, with standing room only at the Pest Control News workshop where second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) were discussed and also at the waste disposal seminar – see our report here.

Standing room only
Other topical subjects made up the balance of the programme with the new CEN standard, aluminium phosphide & RAMPS, bed bug detection dogs and the new urban deer control course being covered. Read our PestTech seminar report.

In an attempt to engage with NPTA members, the final session of the day consisted of a debate led by in-coming NPTA chairman, Adam Hawley, accompanied by Sabra Fearon discussing the future direction of NPTA. Read our report here.

Outdoor events
In addition there were a series of practical demonstrations outdoors – unlike last year these benefitted from a bright and sunny day! Simon Whitehead put his ferrets through their paces and visitors could try their hand with a range of air rifles on the gun range.

Unfortunately, due to his own ill health, Jan Prymeka of JRCS Falconry was unable to fly his range of spectacular birds of prey, although he did have a stand in the exhibition.

Joining the female ranks
Unlike previous years, there was no sight of a Professional Women in Pest Management (PWIPM) event, but encouraging at least two pest controllers were there accompanied by new, recently-recruited female technicians. Amongst the manufacturers, representatives of the fairer sex attending for the first time included Katie Marwick from Bayer, Deborah Chowdhury from Russell and Hayley Fellows from LODI-UK.

Maybe the soon to be screened BBC2 series – The Ladykillers – will encourage even more ladies to join the industry.

 The combined SX and P+L stand was busy all day

A last sighting! Tony O’Dowd is shortly to retire

A somewhat nervous helping-hand for Jan Prymeka
of JRCS Falconry

A welcome new female recruit. Holly Duggan has joined 
Michael Flatters of Fen Tiger Pest Control

The day was rounded-off by the ever popular Pest Control News dinner. Having recently celebrated the production of its 100th edition, the theme for the evening reflected this centenary. There was the usual raffle with star prizes in aid of Water for Kids but this year with a new twist, the sale of special Willy Wonka ‘prize’ chocolate bars. A total of over £2,000 was raised, which Killgerm themselves doubled.

The whole evening was concluded with three tribute acts – Michael Bublá©, Michael Jackson and for the aging rockers present, Rod Stewart.

 PCN dinner
Pest Control News celebrating their 100th edition
 Michael Jackson
Tribute act – Michael Jackson – got them rocking
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