Pest Solutions Logo
0141 280 7323
0131 526 3220
01224 392 304
National Pest Awards
0141 280 7323
0131 526 3220
01224 392 304

The Battle To Defend Our Toolkit

PPC Live Seminar – Pest Control Field Research

PPC Live Seminar on Pest Control Field Research. Pest Solutions team members, Adam Wilson & Gemma Sutherland, were recently invited to give a seminar at Professional Pest Controller Live (PPC Live) on the important topic of “Getting Strategic With Field Research As A Pest Controller”.

PPC Live Seminar on Pest Control Field Research - Pest Solutions - BPCA

The question that they aimed to address in their PPC Live Seminar was as follows:

“With behavioural resistance more common and an increase of attacks on the toolbox of the professional pest controller, how can we get strategic about incorporating essential field research into our everyday role so we can become data-rich in the battle to protect the future of our industry?”

Professional Pest Controller Live (PPC Live) is a UK exhibition and trade show designed for pest management professionals to keep up with the latest and greatest things happening in the sector. You’ll spend the day meeting the people designing and distributing the latest pest control technology. You’ll hear expert talks and get hands-on experience with loads of new pest kit.

This isn’t your standard trade show. We’re committed to making sure you leave with new knowledge and experiences you can apply to the day job. PPC Live is all about giving frontline staff hands-on experiences, and showing off the latest and greatest innovations in the sector.

The show is organised by the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) and named after our industry magazine. PPC Live is a chance to get hands-on with the latest and greatest pest management innovations, and to pick up some new skills along the way.

  • Practical outdoor product demos
  • Seminars delivered by industry experts
  • The latest news, products and industry changes
  • Network with like-minded pest management professionals.

PPC Live Seminar – Introduction To The Speakers

Gemma Sutherland & Adam Wilson delivered their seminar presentation on the important topic of “Getting Strategic With Field Research As A Pest Controller”, to a packed indoor seminar theatre at the industry event held at the Yorkshire Event Centre in Harrogate on the 22nd of March 2023.

Gemma Sutherland - Adam Wilson - PPC Live Seminar on Pest Control Field Research - Pest Solutions

Here is a brief summary of the experience of the speakers:

Gemma Sutherland BSc hons – Certified Advanced Technician

Gemma Sutherland studied Zoology at Glasgow University and is passionate about understanding pest biology and behaviour. Covering Glasgow City West, where behavioural resistance is rife she co-leads her Graduate scheme project investigating the “Role of Bait Delivery Methods in Behavioural Resistance in House Mice” with colleague Chloe Smith. Gemma won the 2022 National Pest Awards “Young Pest Controller of The Year” and the 2022 Pest Solutions “Technician of the Year” award.

Adam Wilson – Certified Advanced Technician

Adam Wilson is a Certified Advanced Technician (Advanced Technician in Pest Management) and has been in the industry for 7 years working as a high-Care Technician and Technical Inspector. He has a wealth of experience in baiting methods, techniques and overcoming stubborn infestations in sensitive environments.

Adam & Gemma were also joined on the PPC Live Seminar stage for part of the presentation by our friends and industry experts in the form of BPCA consultant members Alex Wade of Wade Environmental and Paul Westgate of Veritas Pest Consultancy in order to champion the work of the BPCA Academic Relations Working Group.

This working group of the BPCA Executive Board that Gemma Sutherland and some of her fellow Graduate Service Technicians at Pest Solutions serve on has the vital task of building and strengthening working relationships with UK Universities, developing and placing research projects, promoting the professional pest control industry as a great career choice for young professionals and driving towards becoming Data rich as an industry.

PPC Live Seminar – The Vital Role Of Becoming Data Rich

As professional pest controllers we all know that our industry toolkit it under assault from all sides.

There are number of areas where out professional toolkit is at risk from including but not limited to tightening regulation, reduction in the use of biocides, legislation, cost of product registration due to brexit, challenges by animal welfare activists and more.

PPC Live Seminar - Pest Solutions - BPCA - Professional Pest Controller Live

Professional pest controllers care deeply about the environment, animal welfare and reducing the impacts of our industry but we also have a duty and a passion to protect public health. This is where there is a fine balance and as and the professional pest control industry in the UK needs to stand up with a unified loud voice to ensure we have the means to protect the public health of our nation.

Having a loud voice is only one part of the equation, we need to make sure we have the Data in order to prove and clearly demonstrate the facts related to the challenges and risks that we see every day in the work we do. Historically, the pest control industry have been very Data light. Many of us know confidently the pest behaviors and risks that we see everyday. But we fail to document this information in a way that we are able to prove it to a third party.

Meanwhile the better funded and well intentioned environmental and animal welfare groups that challenge our practices have both extensive Data and are well funded. The result is that many of the decisions that are made regarding how our industry functions are being taken out of our hands. We are being expected to deliver the same effective protections of public health with one hand tied behind out back. Soon it will be both arms and we will start to see pest related issues in the UK spiral out of control with no effective solution.

This PPC Live Seminar discussed the really practical example of the recent dangerous statement made by ECHA that snap traps are a suitable alternative to Rodenticides in the control of House Mice. This statement was made as a result of one study and with no input of any professional pest controllers in the UK.

ECHA House Mouse Control Trap Statement - Pest Solutions - BPCA

If you were to ask any UK Pest Professional they would wholly disagree. Once they had stopped laughing in the expectation of a punchline they would give you example after example of observation that this is utter nonsense. However, this is not a joke and we find ourselves in the position that our professional opinion is not enough to prove our position. We must gather the Data to show the absurdity of these dangerous and disingenuous claims.

Yes, I said disingenuous and I meant it. Many of the so called scientific research projects that are being used to push traps as a suitable alternative to rodenticides are funded by companies that manufacture traps. The conflict of interest is staggering and it is the public health of our nation that is being played with for corporate gain.

Another example of where our toolkit is at risk is the potential pending ban on Glue Boards for Professional Pest Control in the UK.

Now, when it comes to Glue Boards the BPCA and UK professional pest control industry completely supports and encourages a ban on public use. According to SSPCA at the recent consultation on the pending legislation in Scotland all examples of cruelty by misuse of Glue Boards were as a result of use by untrained members of the public. No examples were noted of misuse by professional pest controllers. The pest control industry finds cruelty to animals in any way abhorrent and would support prosecution of any individual causing cruel harm to animals.

However, a fact that the professional pest control industry is well aware of is that the removal of this vital tool, which has no alternative, for the rapid control of immediate risks to public health posed by rodents will result in longer treatment times and a slower route to control of infestations. The net result will be larger rodent populations and the requirement to cull more rodents in reality. This means that an attempt to reduce the impact on rodent welfare will have a net negative effect on rodent welfare.

Should this be the outcome of pending legislation it is in part due to the failure of the professional pest control industry to be able to document the Data that proves that when Glue Boards are used by a pest profesional in accordance with training and the relevant code of conduct that they can be used in a humane manner in balance with the risk to public health.

Here at Pest Solutions, we encourage all of our field service team to get involved in a personal or group project in order to gather actionable Data that can be used to help develop treatments, best practices and to protect our toolkit.

This PPC Live Seminar delivered by Gemma, Adam, Alex & Paul encouraged all pest professionals working in the industry to get active in their responsibility to gather the Data that will allow us to become Data Rich as an industry allowing us to fight the fight to protect public health in a more effective way.

BPCA Academic Relations Working Group

As the trade association of the Professional Pest Control Industry in the UK the BPCA has identified that the connections that we make with Universities and Colleges is vital in ensuring that we become Data Rich as an industry. In response the BPCA founded the Academic Relations Working Group led by BPCA executive board member and consultant Paul Westgate.

BPCA Academic Relations Working Group - Volunteers Wanted - Pest Solutions

Gemma Sutherland who serves on the BPCA Academic Relations Working Group shared in this PPC Live Seminar about the important work of the group and invited fellow working group members Paul Westgate and Alex Wade to join her on stage to call for more volunteers who would be willing to get involved. As a result of the talk, which was a great success, five people expressed a desire to get involved.

The work of the BPCA Academic Relations group is focussed equally on the following areas:

  • Building Relationships With Academic Institutions – Building these essential links with Universities and Colleges will raise the profile of the professional pest control industry in the academic world. Signposting the ability for academic institutions to make use of the wealth of knowledge of BPCA Members, ensuring the pest control industry a voice in ongoing academic research.
  • Placing Pest Control Research Projects With Students – The professional pest control industry has a real need to see some of our research ideas come to fruition, and many institutions have a need for real practical research topics for their students. This group aims to align these two parties giving students and institutions access to our BPCA Member Companies for field research, placements and a dynamic ongoing relationship between students and pest control companies and BPCA.
  • Showcasing Professional Careers For Graduates – The professional pest control industry is an incredibly rewarding and viable career for young professionals with ambition. With 40% of our UK industry due to retire in the next 10 years the career opportunities for young people and graduates entering the industry has never been greater.

We encourage more BPCA members to get involved in groups like the Academic Relations Working Group in order to drive forwards the collection of Data that will help us protect the future of our industry and the protection of public health.

PPC Live Seminar – The Benefits Of In The Field Research

Many in the industry will dismiss the idea of getting involved in field research and the collection of the Data that will protect the future of our businesses and our industry. They will say that it is better to only focus on paid work whilst they do nothing and see their toolkit further eroded and their options limited.

If you don’t get involved in defining the future of your industry then you deserve exactly what is handed down to you. It is incredibly short sighted.

However, there is good news. This PPC Live Seminar, Adam & Gemma discussed many of the benefits to investing in getting your entire team and business involved in field research.

PPC Live Seminar - The Battle To Be Data Rich - Pest Solutions - BPCA

Personal Benefits – What are the Personal benefits of engaging in field research:

  • Investing in your continued learning & career development.
  • Increasing your understanding of cause & effect of the treatment strategies you use everyday.
  • Demonstrate your skill, competency and professionalism to customers.
  • See your work contribute towards the future of your industry
  • Make your role more fun and more engaging.

Business Benefits – What are the Business benefits of engaging in field research:

  • Increase the engagement and professionalism of your team members.
  • Attract and retain better talent within your business.
  • Help your pest controllers to think more strategically and solve problems better, bringing efficiencies into your business.
  • Demonstrate the value difference between your business’s professionalism and the competition.
  • Get involved in protecting the toolkit your business relies upon to operate.
  • We have found that team members engaged in field research are more financially productive and have better service quality.

Industry Benefits – What are the Industry benefits of engaging in field research:

  • Currently, as an Industry, we are extremely DATA poor.
  • Other groups with little to no practical UK pest control experience are forming the leading voice defining the future of our industry in the UK. (Welfare Activists, Environmental Activists, Academic Researchers, UK & Devolved Government & groups such as NoCheRo & ECHA etc.)
  • We have our professional opinions but very little DATA and hard fact to fight our corner and protect our industry toolkit and practices.
  • The very way we strive to Protect Public Health is on the line…!

As professional Pest Controllers we:

  • Take animal welfare seriously…
  • Take environmental issues seriously…
  • Take protecting public health seriously…
  • Take our training for skills & professionalism seriously…
  • Take the need for a robust toolkit seriously…

But have not been taking control of the DATA & research required to prove it in the face of the mounting challenges we face from all sides…

We need to take control of the research, the DATA and the conversations about the future of our industry.

That can start with our people in the field…

Get Involved In The Battle To Save Your Toolkit

The aim of the PPC Live Seminar was to demonstrate that it is easy to include in the field research and the gathering of Data into your daily role as a professional pest controller.

Getting involved in field research will have personal benefits for Service Technicians & Field Biologists. It will have direct and tangible business benefits. Last but certainly not least this PPC Live seminar clearly demonstrated that the future of our toolkit and our industry is at stake. There are real and immediate benefits for the future of the professional pest control industry for getting more and more people engaged in data gathering and field research.

Your industry needs you. Get involved in the fight today. Contact BPCA, Chris Cagienard, Gemma Sutherland, Paul Westgate or Alex Wade to get involved today.

Co-written by Chris Cagienard & Gemma Sutherland.

Thanks to contributions from Adam Wilson, Alex Wade & Paul Westgate.

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Book a free survey
Name
Phone
Email
Postcode
Message
SEND
Pest Solutions litter picking
Pest Solutions Launch ‘Enough is Enough’ Litter Campaign
Brown Rats
(Rattus norvegicus)
Family – Muridae
AKA – Brown Rat, Common Rat, Norway Rat
Brown-Rats-Rattus-norvegicus-Pest-Solutions-Pest-Control
Seasons Active
     
WINTER
     
SPRING
     
SUMMER
     
AUTUMN
Infestation Risk
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Public Health Risk
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Property Damage List
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Escalation Risk (if left untreated)
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Book a free survey
Name
Phone
Email
Postcode
Message
SEND
Get in touch

0800 027 2555

We are open 24 hours 7 days a week to help with all pest related enquiries.

info@pestsolutions.co.uk

We are open 24 hours 7 days a week to help with all pest related enquiries.

Live chat

We are open 24/hours 7 days a week to help with all pest related enqurirs.