Opportunities highlighted at Barrettine/Pest seminar

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It was wet and windy for the Barrettine MINT day run in conjunction with Pest magazine at the Hellaby Hall Hotel in Rotherham on Tuesday 14 October. The poor weather may have put off a few of those who had signed-up to attend but, nonetheless, a decent group of pest professionals gathered to hear what the speakers and exhibitors had to say.

First up was associate editor at Pest, Helen Riby who reviewed the trends measured over the past four years of the BASF/Pest National UK Pest Management survey

Before taking delegates through the findings, they were each asked to write down whether they were self-employed, working for a private sector company or in a local authority. Then each was asked to say whether they viewed the next few years as good/very good or poor/very poor or neither good nor poor. The audience proved to be broadly in line with the survey findings although the local authority and private company employees present were a little less optimistic whilst the self-employed group proved to be rather more optimistic

Kevin Brown from Rentokil Products but representing RAMPS UK (the Register of Accredited Metallic Phosphide Standards), enthused about the opportunities that will be opening up for pest professionals who are properly qualified to use aluminium phosphide products like Phostoxin. This is because come November 2015 only those who hold a recognised certificate of competence will be able to use these gassing compounds and Kevin predicted that there will be a surge in demand from farmers and landowners for professionals to undertake this work for them.

Kevin wasn’t the only one to see opportunities in pest control on the farm. Brady Hudson from Bell Laboratories outlined what she saw as some good opportunities for pest controllers on farms linked to Second-Generation Anticoagulant Rodenticides (SGARs) stewardship.

Farm Assurance schemes specify that farmers must control vermin but under stewardship proposals farmers are likely to have to obtain a qualification before they can use rodenticides. She questioned how many will have the time or inclination to do so. Pointing out that there are some 220,000 farmers she suggested that there must be business opportunities for pest professionals.

Talking of rodenticides Paul Butt from Natural England brought the audience up-to-date with the current position on second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) stewardship and, in particular, the outdoor use of SGARs.

He outlined the background and the process that is still on-going highlighting some of the key issues and stumbling blocks along the way – definitions of ‘in and around buildings’, ‘use in open areas’, ‘permanent baiting’ and so on. The key take home message was that the way rodent control is conducted is going to change. Indeed comments from the floor indicated that it is already changing with representatives from both Ecolab and Cannon pointing out that they no longer recommend permanent baiting.

Paul included a plea to remember that burrow baiting is still legal and a very useful technique which minimises the exposure of non-target species to rodenticide. Yes, it needs more frequent checking, but a short sharp treatment is, in his view, much better than a line of bait boxes where it could be three or four weeks before the rats begin to go in, if at all!

Bayer’s Alan Morris provided an introduction to the company’s new product Racumin Foam, which is to be officially launched at PestTech in November. 


Paul Butt
Paul Butt from Natural England

Brady Hudson
Brady Hudson from Bell Laboratories

Kevin Higgins
Kevin Higgins from BPCA

It is an indoor product which has been used successfully in Germany for a number of years. The introduction has been made possible through the Biocides Regulations mutual recognition system. Based on coumatetrayl, which Alan described as a 1.5 generation rodenticide, it is a water-based foam approved for rats and mice. Rodents brush past the foam which sticks to their fur and is then ingested as they groom. Alan commented that it will provide “an extra tool in the pest controllers’ toolbox.” 

Moving away from practical pest control there was an entertaining session from Paul Durgan, series producer for KEO Films for their new BBC2 series The Ladykillers pest detectives .

Paul recounted some of the amusing situations the film crews found themselves in as well as some of the ‘interesting’ meetings he has had with the BBC editorial policy team. The series will be broadcast at 8 pm, before the watershed. Paul was concerned about some of the footage involving killing cuddly things like rabbits and pigeons, which always have a favourable following, but, no the policy team were quite comfortable with the killing but could he edit out the bit where the lady pest controller says ‘frigging!

The final presentation of the day was an important session on the new Code of Best Practice for Waste from BPCA‘s Kevin Higgins. David Haskins from Barrettine brought the day to a close by highlighting the company’s new bird gel product, Ornaway and presenting prizes to the winners of the prize draw for delegates.

Barretine winners
Barrettine’s David Haskins presents the prize draw prizes to left, Adrian Harp, middle, Joseph Cooper and Winston Daley and right, Kevin Gardiner

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