It was standing room only, when over 70 delegates gathered at Shuttleworth College on 14 May to attend the third annual one-day training day organised by NPTA and sponsored by Barrettine Environmental Health.
The title for the day’s event wasReduce your environmental impact and gain a competitive advantage, so it was only to be expected that some of the greener approaches to pest control would feature.
|However, first onto the platform was NPTA‘s past chairman Barrie Sheard who presented the results of the latest NPTA National Rodent Survey – for results see previous Pest news story. With the increase in recorded rat and mouse treatments by local authorities, Barrie expressed his obvious frustration that several councils were now closing their pest control units due to the current financial pressures – see Boom or Bust Pest report.
Regrettably Peterborough City Council being a recent casualty, with all those requesting treatments being referred to Yellow Pages. Barrie felt councils were losing their way and said: “All councils should refer back to their original remit of taking care of the public’s health. What is happening now is leading to a worrying future.”
Following Barrie was Natural England’s chief wildlife advisor, Paul Butt. In his talk Paul illustrated some of the pesticide misuse and abuse cases he encounters. He called for a clearer definition between the professional and amateur use of products – a view which was strongly echoed by the delegates. With the current rise in amateur DIY treatments, any inappropriate use and resulting adverse publicity will affect the whole industry.
Presentations followed from manufacturers demonstrating their green credentials. Alan Morris from Bayer Environmental Science presented the company’s new ant control product, Maxforce Quantum, whilst Bob Nicholls outlined use of the animal repellent containing aluminium ammonium sulphate. This is available as Rezist for professional use and Scoot for amateur use.
Perhaps the most natural product of them all – certainly the oldest having been laid down several millions of years ago – is diatomaceous earth as presented by Mike Rogers from Kiotechagil. This naturally occurring primarily silica-based, off-white powder is active against a range of insects, causing their death by dehydration.
Ronald van Lierop from Alcochem Hygiene based in Holland outlined the environmental benefits associated with their range of the latest generation of UV-A lamps. Ronald explained that the long-life UV-A lamps, developed by Philips, offer more than 150% more light over conventional lamps, meaning tubes need only be changed once every two years. In addition, the amount of mercury used within each lamp is reduced by 60% as well as the glass being 100% lead free – good news for the environment.
In addition to the main sponsor – Barrrettine Environmental Health, there were displays from manufacturers assisting in the day (Alcochem, AgriSense, Bayer, Bell, Rentokil & Sorex/BASF) which led to lively discussions over the tea and coffee breaks