Editor’s note: PestTech 2011, held on Nov. 2 in Birmingham, UK, featured exhibits and workshops as well as practical outdoor events featuring wild mammal control (e.g., rabbits). Frances McKim of UK-based Pest magazine www.pestmagazine.co.uk filed the following report.
BIRMINGHAM, UK — PestTech 2011, the annual one-day event held each year in early November, is always very popular. As soon as the doors opened on Nov. 2, visitors flocked in. All morning the exhibition was full to bursting. At times the aisles were so busy it was hard to move around. Chris Parmiter, divisional director for leading UK distributor Barrettine Environmental Health, aptly described the first half of the day as “a manic morning.”
As organizers, the National Association of Pest Technicians (NPTA) makes sure there is more to PestTech than just the exhibition, and as ever the practical outdoor events which featured wild mammal control, such as rabbits, were very popular. Making his debut outdoors was Simon Whitehead of Pakefield Ferrets, based in East Anglia, who gave a very entertaining, yet instructive, display.
The technical workshops were also well attended. Adam Juson of Merlin Environmental was first to speak. He was talking about the use of bed bug detection dogs and was keen to dispel some of the myths which seem to surround their effectiveness. “Myth number one: dogs are dishonest – no they are not, they are completely honest,” said Adam, who has been working with dogs for 20 years. “If there’s any dishonesty in a bed bug detection service, it will come from the person on the other end of the lead.”
In a workshop the new European standard for pest control servicing which is being actively developed was debated. To do this the industry is working with CEN – the European Committee for Standardisation, which is a co-ordinating body for the 31 individual national standards institutes in Europe (such as the British Standards Institute or BSI). The workshop wasn’t about whether or not there should be a standard but more about what form the standard should take. And, judging by the numbers that turned up, that’s an issue of interest to many in the industry.
Amongst the other event, the UK branch of the Professional Women in Pest Management (PWIPM) meeting found out about the British Women’s Handball from three members of the British Olympic team. Not only did they explain all about their sport, but also the benefit of working as a team – this was followed at first-hand with a team building exercise for the delegates.
During the exhibition, Pest publications was delighted to present its second annual Best Product Award for 2011. Voted for by Pest readers, quite incredibly there was a draw for the winning product with two aerosol products taking equal first spot. These were SX Pro Wasp Nest Destroyer from SX Environmental and Barrettine Environmental Health, who won this award last year, with Oa2Ki aerosol.
The day was rounded-off with the popular Pest Control News dinner. Immediately before the meal, the 2011 Hall of Fame inductees were announced. Present to receive their accolades were Andy Adams of Bayer, David Cross of Rentokil, Julie Gillies of NPTA and Raymond Harrop from Killgerm. The remaining two inductees, who unfortunately were unable to attend, were Roger Quy from FERA and Graham White from US Armed Forces Pest Management Board based at the University of Florida, USA. Further reports from the event can be found on the Pest website.