Barrettine and Pest brewery pest day hits the spot

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Whether it was the attraction of the venue – the National Brewery Centre – or the strength of the programme, the pest training day organised by Barrettine Environmental Health on 6 October proved popular not only with delegates, but also sponsors and speakers.

Held in a marquee at the National Brewery Museum, the venue provided lots of space which enabled delegates to mingle and to chat to exhibitors, creating a very friendly and informal atmosphere. And it was an atmosphere everyone seemed to respond to – despite the antics of the high wind causing the marquee to flap noisily. Organised by Barrettine Environmental Health, in association with Pest publications, delegates were assembled and ready for off by 09.15.

Like it or loathe it? DIY pest control
First up was Pest associate editor, Helen Riby, accompanied by communications consultant George Chancellor, who once again ran through the results of the first UK Pest Management Survey. Click here to see the results. In the discussion which followed, consumer DIY pest control certainly seemed the topic uppermost in professional pest controllers’ minds. With the general economic cut-backs, it was reported that increasingly householders were having ‘a go’ themselves – often with pretty disastrous results, as the services of a professional were usually called upon once the householder had realised there was more to it than they thought. In effect a false economy as they were then paying twice.

Several delegates queried why their activities were so highly regulated, whilst consumers are let loose with a selection of products from the DIY sheds could, in effect, do what they liked. One suggestion was that every time poor practice was spotted by a professional, details should be recorded and photographs taken, so as to build up a log of bad practice for the industry associations to use when putting forward their case for professional use only, in negotiation with the regulators.

Give it a try
The meeting also welcomed another face new to the professional pest control market – Ian Smith from JJ Bio (UK) who enlightened, but also entertained, the group with his talk on Birdfree – the new bird deterrent optical gel. The product has now been used on several sites in the UK, but there remained some scepticism regarding its effectiveness. However, almost to a man (or woman!) everyone was prepared to give it a try – what more could you ask?

Maybe a life saver one day
Also entertaining, yet very informative, was the talk given by Helen Ainsworth, who has recently joined the Barrettine team as their new technical sales manager. For those who don’t know, Helen is a fully trained first aider and works voluntarily with British Red Cross at local events. “The purpose of first aid is to save life,” said Helen. She explained how it is a legal requirement for employers to provide first aid kits, for example in your car or van. You might know where the kit is, but do you know what’s in it and are the items still ‘in date’? Taking boss, Chris Parmiter’s kit as an example, Helen illustrated her points – some items out of date, others pretty useless! After this Helen went on to demonstrate with her dummy – Annie – how to provide CPR (CardioPulmonary Resuscitation – what used to be called mouth to mouth resuscitation). Certainly a different talk without a bug in sight, yet a topic which affects us all.

Nearly time to sign-up for RAMPS
It’s now nearly a year since the Register of Accredited Metallic Phosphide Schemes UK (RAMPS UK) was introduced – see Pest report here – so quite a few questions emerged following the presentation by RAMPS chairman, David Cross. Membership categories will fall into three – stockists, trainers and users. David explained there were to be two types of membership – full membership (designed for those who are fully commercially engaged in selling, supplying, training or using metallic phosphides) and supporter membership (available on a personal basis to individuals who undertake pest control either full or part-time in a commercial capacity). The majority of pest controllers will fall into this slot, as will gamekeepers, farmers and contractors.

Having established their place, the burning questions were: “Where can I undertake my training and assessment,” followed by, “how much is it going to cost?”

There has already been considerable activity in training the trainers and a list of available courses is about to be added to the RAMPS website (which has an update target of 2 November). Regarding cost, to get the scheme up and running, RAMPS is offering a special supporter membership rate of £10 for the first year (ending in September 2012). After this it will be £30 joining fee and £30 annual subscription. Full membership at the special rate is £100, after which it will be a £150 joining fee and a £150 annual subscription. So – the moral of the story is – get signed-up before September 2012.

For both categories training and assessment is required first. Courses here will be around the £250 mark, depending on trainer costs.

Other talks covered bed bugs and the threat they pose by Oliver Madge of the Bed Bug Foundation, tracing mouse infestations using Detex Biomarker from Brady Hudson of Bell and unravelling rodentcide resistance and new rodenticide, Rodilon, from Alan Morris of Bayer. The day was rounded-off my either an Avishock workshop presented by Nigel Batten from P+L or a tour of the brewery museum

A good day had by all
Summing up the day, Barrettine divisional director, Chris Parmiter said: “Having spoken to many of the delegates, the general feeling was that everyone seemed to really get involved.

“The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and I think a large part of the success of the day lay with the opportunity to interact with exhibitors and fellow delegates over coffee and lunch. Our thanks goes to all those who attended or were involved.”


Delegates Attentive delegates

Helen and George George Chancellor and Helen Riby
debate DIY pest control

Ian Smith Birdfree – give it a go says Ian Smith

Helen and Annie Can you hear me? Helen Ainsworth seeks
a reply from dummy – Annie

Dave Cross RAMPS chairman, David Cross,
encourages early application

Alan Morris Alan Morris explains the finer
points of Rodilon

Lunch Tuck in! Lunch was hog roast rolls 

Amongst the exhibitors. Brady Hudson
from Bell…

…with NPTA represented by
Julie Gillies (right)…

Rentokiland Kevin Brown (right) from Rentokil

The Barrettine team. Left to right: David Selton (general manager), Chris Parmiter (divisional director), 
Helen Ainsworth and David Haskins (technical sales managers)

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