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Today’s Technician Quarterly Journal of The National Pest Technician’s Association

In this Issue..... ● Association information days ● Spotlight on Accreditation ● News & Information

Issue 66 - July 2010 Official supporters of


this issue...

ed itorial... Page 7

Scotland Training Report

Page 8

Barrettine/NPTA Training Day

Page 9

NPTA Participation in Events

Page 10

Chairman’s Desk

Page 11

Northern Ireland Training

Welcome to issue number sixty six of this fine publication “Today’s Technician”. The front cover carries an image of an unbelievably large wasp nest sent in by Ryan Rickard of County Mole and Pest Control, let’s hope this year will be a good wasp one, meanwhile £50 is on its way.

Page 14-15 Starting Out-Part 16- Bob Newey I remember putting together the very first issue of “Today’s Technician” many years ago and that was a Page 16

Spotlight on PestBusters

Page 18

Scottish Persecution of Red Kite

Page 19

Update on European proposals

Page 22

NPTA Visit Yorkshire Water

Page 26-27 Countryman’s Corner Page 28-29 Handling Bumblebees Page 30

Last Word

“Today's Technician” Deadlines in 2010/11 Please note that the dates set for 2010/11 deadlines for advertisements, product news, editorials and their photographs, articles (both long and short), letters for last word, competitions, hot gossip, front page photographs, job advertisements and anything else to do with "Today's Technician" are as follows:

October 2010 issue

Friday 30th Aug 2010

January 2011 issue

Friday 29th Nov 2010

April 2011 issue

Friday 30th Feb 2011

July 2011 issue

Friday 25th May 2011

NOTE: The October issue will come out 4 weeks before PEST-TECH 2010 so why not include details of your new products or services available on your Exhibition Stand?


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single page that we photocopied, now we are on issue Sixty Six and I still feel a sense of achievement seeing a finished issue. I would like to think you the members have always found articles of interest within its pages. As a working Pest Control Technician myself I have always tried to make this journal interesting to people like myself and not fill its pages with over technical articles. At times I have been criticised for what the other Directors and Barrie Sheard my assistant-editor call my little rants, but what the hell! it’s good to get some things off your chest. This issue covers several of our training days that we have ran starting with our annual Scottish Day, our annual Southern Training day and our First Irish Training Day. Barrie thinks we should blow our own trumpet a bit more on some of our many successes, so read on and as usual enjoy. Ed. Today’s Technician is published quarterly. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the NPTA or of the Editor. Advertising is accepted at the discretion of the NPTA Management Board and in no way implies endorsement of the goods or services by the NPTA or it’s officials. The function of Today’s Technician is to improve communications within the public health pest control industry to the benefit of aIl involved. The NPTA has taken all reasonable care in the preparation of Today’s Technician, but does not accept any liability for the consequences of any errors or omissions. Use of the NPTA logo by members merely indicates membership of the Association and does not allude to endorsement of the member by the Association.

Editor John Davison. Assistant Editor J Barrie Sheard Design John Davison, 01949 81133 Printing, Scotia Print, 0116 233 4266 Cover picture, a rather large wasp nest by, Ryan Rickard, County Mole & Pest Control, £50 is on its way.

• • • •

Practical Demonstrations PCN Workshop New Products Networking

• • • •

Meet suppliers Presentations Advice - first hand and much more...

The National Motorcycle Museum, Junction 6, M42, Birmingham For full details visit or

NPTA Ltd . NPTA House . Hall Lane . Kinoulton . Nottingham . NG12 3EF . t 01949 81133 . e Registered office address as above. NPTA Limited registered in England. Registration Number 4189375

Today’s Technician July


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A big + for Accreditation Have you ever wanted that really big contract just down the road but could not cost effectively service the other company premises some hundred or more miles away? Well now it is possible as being an NPTA Accredited member entitles you to take on multinational contracts and for those premises that you find are just too far, all you have to do is come to an arrangement with another Accredited member to take the work in their area at an agreed price.

yes it’s that easy. Being a fully Accredited member of the NPTA verifies by way of audit that your working practices, paperwork, insurance, vehicles, store and training all comply with current legislation and is recognised by the major supermarket chains and their auditors. Being an Accredited member of the National Pest Technicians Association at last gives you the same benefit as a large national pest control company. All you have to do to be Accredited is contact the NPTA office and our office staff will talk you through the application process, once you feel your company can comply with the requirements an auditor will visit your premises, so why not phone today and join the growing number of Accredited members. Contact NPTA House on 01949 81133 for fur ther details.

Only e bl availa IP from

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Yell working with the NPTA Yell, (Yellow Pages, and 118 24 7) continue to ensure only NPTA members are allowed to advertise bearing any reference to the NPTA within their products. As a result of close working relationship between Yell and the NPTA for a number of years, both parties undertake the checking of the Yellow Pages directory to ensure that misuse of the NPTA logo is prevented. Yell also, when notified, instantly update any incorrect advertising that is on or 118 247. This continues to be a major initiative in protecting Yell product users and is welcomed by trading standards officials and consumer organisations across the country. Guy Hayne, Trade Association Relationship Manager at Yell said: “We do take this issue very seriously and we are committed to working with the NPTA on this initiative, which helps protect both consumers and NPTA members” Julie Gillies, Head of Membership, said “The continuing alliance with Yell is a further demonstration of our commitment to ensuring all advertisers using the NPTA logo are entitled to do so”. In addition to stamping out logo abuse, Yell were also delighted to have supported NPTA as one of their sponsors at PestTech 2009 in November.

ARE YOU INSURED? W F Fountain, Insurance Agent is Authorised & Regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). Call me today to discuss your requirements!

Public, Product & Employers Liability Insurance, for Pest Control Risk Bill Fountain, of W.F.Fountain, Insurance Agent will be happy to provide you with a quotation, and has been providing this Insurance Service facility to the

NPTA membership since 1994. *Although I specialise in providing the above ‘niche’ insurance facilities, I can now offer a facility to cater for all of your other insurance needs, personal and commercial, by way of specialist referral based on your particular requirements with competitive rates quoted.

Bill Fountain Tel: 01604 588823 or Mobile 0845 6589054 Fax: 0845 122 8018

e-mail W.F.Fountain, Insurance Agent, 3 Poyntz Gardens, Dallington, Northampton NN5 7RY

Today’s Technician July


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Diar yDates July 2010 RSPH Level 2 Advaned Pest Control Workshop 1 - Bedbugs Wildlife Aware Auto Confusion - Seminar for Moth Control Auto Confusion - Seminar for Moth Control Rodent Workshop Auto Confusion - Seminar for Moth Control Auto Confusion - Seminar for Moth Control Safe Use of Aluminium Phosphide & Mole Control Insect Control Rodent Control Safe Use of Pesticides Working Safely in Pest Control (IOSH) Working Safely at Heights Air Weapons Pest Awareness for Non PCOs

July 5-7 July 6 July 7 July 8 July 8 July 8 July 13 July 13 July 13 July 13 & 14 July 15 July 20 July 21 July 22 July 27 July 29

DATAS Killgerm Killgerm Barrettine Barrettine Killgerm Barrettine Barrettine Barrettine Killgerm Killgerm Killgerm Killgerm Killgerm Killgerm Killgerm

Cambridgeshire Reigate Ossett Hull Stoke on Trent Lingfield Chelmsford Swindon Paisley Bristol Bristol Bristol Bristol Bristol Biggin Hill Norwich

Aug 31



Sept 1 Sept 1 Sept 2 Sept 2 Sept 3 Sept 7 Sept 7 Sept 9 Sept 14 Sept 15 & 16 Sept 16 Sept 21 Sept 21 Sept 21 & 22 Sept 23 Sept 23 Sept 27 & 28 Sept 28 Sept 28 Sept 29 Sept 30 Sept 30 Nov 3

Killgerm Barrettine Barrettine Killgerm Barrettine Killgerm Killgerm Killgerm Killgerm Killgerm Killgerm Killgerm SX Env. Killgerm Killgerm Killgerm Killgerm SX Env. Killgerm SX Env. Killgerm Killgerm NPTA

Masham Shuttleworth Shuttleworth Biggin Hill Shuttleworth Reigate Ossett Bristol Lingfield Reigate Ossett Salisbury Basingstoke Ossett Ossett Bristol Uxbridge Warrington Ossett Bromsgrove Reigate Ossett Birmingham

August 2010 Ant Control

September 2010 Air Weapons Bed Bugs Safe Use of Aluminium Phosphide & Rabbit & Mole Control Air Weapons Practical Rodent Control Safe Use of Pesticides Flying Insect Rodent Control Insect Control Air Weapons Pest Awareness for Non PCOs Flying Insect Rodent Control Insect Control Rodent Control Equipment Course RSPH Level II Bird Management Safe Use of Pesticides Wildlife Management Working Safely at Heights Insect Identification

PestTech 2010


&N u m b e r s NPTA House, Kinoulton, Nottingham

01949 81133

Julie Gillies

DATAS Associates, March SX Environmental Supplies Ltd John Lill, Wildlife Management Specialist Killgerm Chemicals Limited Royal Society for the Promotion of Health Barrettine Environmental Health

01354 659 061 01702 524040 01507 603 759 01924 268 400 0203 1771600 0117 9672222

Derek Cullen Richard Lunn John Lill Lisa Wales Chris Suter Chris Parmiter

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15th Annual Scottish Training Day March 23rd saw me making the long drive once again up to Scotland for our 15th annual training day back at the old venue of the Grange Manor Hotel, Grangemouth. Upon arrival the Killgerm staff were already unloading and setting out their stands for the following day, Wednesday 24th. I soon unloaded the NPTA stands and equipment after dumping my case in my room. Killgerm, who kindly sponsored this event once again really went to town with the amount of stands and equipment they brought. I on the other hand was restricted this year as I had almost a car load to drop off in the Borders on my way up, but we still had all the usual information, mags and things. Most of the sixty seven delegates who attended are members and as many told me, they look forward to this day every year. Anyway, I soon had everything set up and decided to check round the premises for some suitable manhole lids that we could lift the following day on the drainage breakout, weather permitting, this done my next mission was to find something to eat as all I had eaten all day was half a packet of fruit pastilles, now being 8.30pm my little belly (no comments please) was making some unusual noises. The next morning Peter our Chairman and Julie our office everything (below) turned up one hour before kickoff (typical) having flown up on one of those cheap flights (Peter loves flying and particulaly on small planes, he

loves the way the wings wobble) you know the ones? they pay you, but you pay taxes. Anyway they did man the stand for the day and answered several members questions, so I suppose they did make themselves useful in some ways, perhaps we may let them go next year. I soon welcomed delegates and went through all the usual H&S stuff (you see I am not just Editor or CEO) before introducing the first speaker of the day John Charlton (top middle) who updated those present on rodenticide resistance, this was followed by man of mystery Graham Bingham (bottom left) who was assisted by Killgerms very own Peter Fielding (top left) on new products. After a short break for refreshments Dave Avery (top right) gave an interesting presentation on pheromones before one of our Scottish members Craig Sieath (bottom right) held the floor for the final slot before lunch with an interesting presentation on the legal traps when treating bees. A hearty lunch was soon eaten and we dragged them all back in (some kicking and blowing out smoke from the fags they did not get to finish) for the next speaker of the day Rodney Bell (middle right) who kept everyone awake for his cockroach control presentation. The day was concluded by three breakout sessions, these were myself (yes I know, yet another job I have to do!) on drain faults and fault finding, Peter Fielding (top left) on bed bugs and Matt Davies on the difficult topic of delusionary parasitosis. Many thanks to Killgerm for their support and Killgerm staff Louise Coldwell and Nicola Shires (bottom middle) for sorting registration as well as helping on the Killgerm stands. A most enjoyable and interesting day. Report by John Davison CEO

Today’s Technician July


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NPTA & Barrettine Training down in the

SOUTH or the fouth year running our Association joined forces with Barrettine Environmental Health for the Southern training day which was supported by Bayer UK, Bell Laboratories, Rentokil, Agrisense and P&L Systems who all had product stands on show and all provided speakers throughout the event, our thanks go to Barrettine and all those involved throughout the event for making the day a very worthwhile event.


Iain Turner did the honours during the day for the 68 delegates that attended and also gave new product presentations and with the help of Tony Baker gave an excellent presentation on Feral Bee Awareness, Iain is of course regional sales manager for Barrettine and a Director of NPTA.

Technology for Lone Workers”. Oliver reflected on a recent case involving Corporate Manslaughter and the implications this could have on managers of Lone Workers. Following this Alan Morris of Bayer UK gave a market update which took us nicely up to the welcome lunch break which consisted of a lovely hot buffet lunch and refreshments.

The Speakers

Peter Crowden (NPTA Chairman) was first up on the day with the results and implications of our latest Rodent Survey Report, this was followed by our old friend Paul Butt from Natural England with a presentation on “Pest Control & the Law - an Update” Paul also supplied a stand and information on Wildlife Crime throughout the day. Andrew Adams (Head of Regulatory Affairs) Bayer, gave an excellent update on the current EU political arguments regarding the possible abolution of anticoagulant rodenticides and what we can do about it. Andrew was followed by a welcome break for refreshments, some said after hearing Andrew we should have served Whisky.

Dave Avery of Agrisence quickly followed lunch with a marketplace update which led nicely to Iain and Tony to complete the presentations, these were followed by Breakout Workshops presented by Vermend Ratblocker and CamScan Camera Systems.

After a short break for refreshments and a final chance to speak to exhibitors and speakers those not enroled on the NPTA Risk Assessment Course left, those who stayed found the presentation by Graham Sharman of great interest. Altogether a fantastic day, it’s easy to see why this day each year is fully booked long before the day. Thankyou Barrettine, all those who brought stands or did presentations and all those delegates that attended. Please note that the DVD of the Farnham Training Day is now available, with all the presentations for those that could not make the trip. They are £15.00 + VAT each (or £7.50 each with carriage-paid order). Available from Barrettine Environmental Health. 0117 9672222.

After the break Nigel Batten or as he is better known Network Nigel (from P&L Systems) gave an interesting Marketplace Update. The next speaker was Richard Comont from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology who explained “the Harlequin Ladybird - an Emerging Pest” where it came from and how far will it spread and how we should deal with this growing problem. After a short Bell marketplace update we welcomed back Oliver Madge who presented “New Legislation & New

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Report by John Davison CEO

NPTA Participation at Industry Events As well as running his own business, Peter Crowden also acts as the main spokesman for the NPTA, in his capacity as Chairman. Unfortunately, he can only be in one place at a time, so every now and again, someone has to ‘sub’ for him. However, all the Directors have busy lives and not all are willing to stand up in front of audiences and speak on behalf of the Association. So far this year, Promotions Director, Iain Turner has stepped in for Peter on two occasions, which as a full time employee of Barrettine Environmental Health, has meant giving up some holidays. “As volunteers, we all have to be prepared to give up some evenings, weekends and even holidays in order to keep the Association going”, notes Iain – but even he had to admit that a few days in Southern Italy, courtesy of the Italian Association A.N.I.D. (Associazione Nazionale delle Imprese di Disinfestazione), was a sacrifice worth making. The NPTA had been invited to explain why the UK had more than one Trade Association in the Pest Control Industry. In fact, most countries in Europe have more than one Association. Some are based on geographical Regions within a country, others, like the UK, have other reasons. “I was very conscious of two things” explains Turner, “firstly that most of the 200 + people in the audience did not speak English, so were relying on simultaneous translation – and secondly that three of the four Brits present were past Presidents of the BPCA!” He made the point that the BPCA was essentially an exclusive club for those that wanted to separate themselves from the rest of the industry, in order to appeal to key customers of pest control services. This left the rest, who either could not become members, like Local Authorities, or did not wish to join this club, without a voice in the industry. “The NPTA’s main function is to be as inclusive as possible – with certain minimum standards of course,” he concludes. Whether the difference between ‘exclusive’ compared to ‘inclusive’ were picked up by the translator, remains to be seen.

“The other key point I wanted to make to the President of CEPA, the other Brit in the audience, was that not all pest controllers use pesticides in their work, so a ‘one size fits all’ as far as training and examination is concerned may not always be appropriate” he noted, “Many of our Members only use traps, snares and guns, or only install bird proofing systems, so the RSPH-type training in ‘pest control’ should not always be the minimum requirement to be a pest controller”. Talking of the RSPH, Iain’s second presentation was at their recent Conference in the more mundane surroundings of Central London, where he presented the NPTA’s “National Rodent Report 2008/2009”. Still, May in London is a lot warmer than Report by Iain Turner Naples in March.

‘Safe Use of Aluminium Phosphide’ Barrettine Environmental Health are going to be running a ‘Safe Use of Aluminium Phosphide’ training course in Paisley on Tuesday 13th July and we thought you might like Scottish Members to be made aware. The tutor is Adrian Meyer of Acheta, one of the UK’s foremost experts on vertebrate control. Aluminium phosphide can be used in the control of rats, moles and rabbits and is one of the few methods left that can still be used for these purposes. It is, however, a potentially dangerous material if not used properly and there are Government plans for a much more strict ‘certification’ process for users to be introduced in the not too distant future. The venue is The Watermill Hotel, Lonend, Bladda Lane, Paisley, Renfrewshire PA1 1SR Telephone: +44 (141) 889 3201 Further information is available at: The price for the first delegate from an organisation is £105 + VAT. This will cover the training, all refreshments and lunch, together with a Certificate of Attendance. CPD points will also be available for students. If any one organisation wishes to send more than one student, we can talk about discounted rates. As places are limited, however, we will give priority to the first person nominated from each organisation. If there are places available, we will then invite others from those organisations requesting further places on a ‘first come first serve’ basis. A 10% discount is available for NPTA Members booking through the NPTA Office on 01949 81133.

Kevan Higgins and NPTA representative Iain Turner. Naples.

Today’s Technician July


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Chair man’s

Desk Welcome to my desk - before I get down to updating you on developments this quarter I believe it is important that you all realise how our new memberships have this time reached a record level one only has to glance down the list of new memberships on page 25 to appreciate the numbers. May I express a personal sincere welcome and hope your decision to join us proves a great decision both business wise and profesionally? This last quarter has been one of the busiest times experienced by the Association that anyone can rememeber. Not only did we recently attend and contribute to NPTA training days in Grangemouth in Scotland on March 23, but also at Frensham Pond in Southern England on May 12 while also attending Lisburn in Northern Ireland on May 20th. In addition we also accepted invitations to present papers to a RSPH seminar in central London and also to the Greater London Pest Liaison Group (GLPLG) spring meeting again in central London. Subjects covered included the February 2010 released NPTA Rodent Report 2008/09. Proving once again the important link between promotion of the Association and also making PCT’s better professionals. I believe readers will be interested to learn that as a result of the Cambridgeshire misuse of bendiocarb prosecution (see page 19 April 2010 TT) for “failure to take all reasonable precautions to protect humans, creatures and plants” has been taken a step forward. Namely by the Management Board creating a draft document, in association with the HSE, for early submission to the Pest Management Alliance consideration. Hopefully for the final document to be made available across the whole of the United Kingdom. “Prevention always being far better and cheaper than a court appearance”!

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Building upon the success of last year’s event PestTech 2010 is being planned to be another successful event. As Chairman I am being told by our office staff and Chief Executive, John Davison, that early booking of exhibition space is a “must” for both existing businesses as well as hopefully some new companies. Can I invite members to let both myself and Julie Gillies know how you believe we can improve PestTech? Remembering as I always do that the Association is the total membership and not solely those who volunteer to be on the Management Board. As Chairman I am delighted at the fact that so much correspondence was sent from our membership and the Management Board to our Euro MP’s, this has made these decision makers rethink the proposals that were originally put before the European Committee, the proposals could still however lead to the withdrawel of anticoagulant rodenticides; but now it seems it’s more a case of interpretation of the origanal wording, unfortunately this could still create the same problem. Let’s hope common sense

prevails. Before closing this column may I make a particular reference to the special article (on page 10) written by the RSPH on the new level 2 courses (very importantly now developed into two styles). May I also take this opportunity to invite all our members to visit the NPTA stand at PestTech 2010 to say hello to the Management Board and the first hundred can obtain a voucher for a free cup of tea/coffee.

Peter Crowden

NPTA/Killgerm Emerald Isle

Success “Working Together; EHO’s and PCO’s”, after which there was a welcome break for refreshments. After the break Paul Butt ( top row, second left) of Natural England presented “Wildlife Management & Legislation Update” always interesting.

All the usual suspects Gary Moore (third from left bottom) of Lisburn Council kindly organised the venue, NPTA and Killgerm organised the speakers and Julie (NPTA) & Louise and Amanda (Killgerm) did the rest. Julie, Neil and myself (JD) attended on behalf of the Association and some forty six delegates attended to represent the Irish pest control industry, (dissapointingly 25% of delegates who pre-booked, did not then attend). After my welcome and introduction the day was kicked off by non-other than Jonathan Peck, the man at the top of Killgerm (bottom right). Jonathan gave those present the latest developments regarding the proposed changes to European Legislation regarding the use of anticoagulant rodenticides. This was quickly followed by Duncan Bosomworth (top right) also from Killgerm who presented “It aint what you do it’s the way that you do it!”; Duncan was then followed by Richard Bevan (top second from right) of Bristol City Council who presented

Following Paul was Dave Avery (top row, middle) from Agrisense with a very interesting presentation on “Attractants and Pheromones”. We were then treated to a smashing buffet lunch was gratefully received by all the delegates present, a big thank you to Killgerm. After lunch Peter Connolley (top left) took the first shift after an hours break with a presentation on “Risk Assessments”. Then the Breakouts, “Identifying the enemy in the kitchen & practical side of form filling” which was taken by Duncan Bosomworth and myself on “Drain faults & fault finding”. Altogether our Irish colleagues found the whole day very interesting and assured both Killgerm and NPTA that they would be most grateful if this could be made an annual event? Even though the round trip was over six hundred miles and meant driving there in order to take all the relevant equipment and information, the Association found the whole venture well worth while. Tony O’Dowd (bottom second left) the Killgerm sales manager for Ireland and myself (bottom left) would like to thank all those delegates, both members and nonmembers of the association, for attending. Report by John Davison, CEO

Today’s Technician July


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JOIN T ODAY, make your voice heard!!! Representing all fields of pest control from individual pest technicians to private pest control companies, manufacturing companies, local authorities and suppliers to the industry. If you work in the pest control industry, or you are interested in pest control and hygiene issues, you would be most welcome in the NPTA. For an application form or additional information, please contact our office today: Telephone 01949 81133 Facsimile 01949 823905 or E-mail visit and Or write to NPTA House, Hall Lane, Kinoulton, Nottingham, NG12 3EF

Subscribing Members The NPTA is a non-profit making body and can only exist with the continued support of companies in the industry. We therefore place on record our gratitude to the following twelve subscribing members.

• AgriSense BCS Ltd • Barrettine Environmental Health • BASF Pest Control Solutions • Bayer Environmental Science • SX Environmental Supplies Ltd • Industrial Pesticides (N.W.) • Killgerm Chemicals Ltd • Lodi UK Ltd • Certis Europe BV • Rentokil • Rodent Service (East Anglia) Ltd • Russell IPM Ltd

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Accredited Members Discreet Pest Control, Manchester Central Pest Control, Herefordshire Clarkes 4 Pest Control, Essex CMA Nemesis, Dorset Culm Environmental, Devon S. M. Pest Control, Suffolk Eastpoint Pest Control, Suffolk D. K. A. Environmental, Scotland Oakwood Groundcare & Pest Control, Shropshire Alba Environmental Services, Scotland Wakefield & District Housing, West Yorkshire Night Night Pests, Hampshire Acorn Environmental Services, Cheshire Kleena-Kill, Lincolnshire Bye Bye Pests, Hampshire Enviropest Control Services, West Midlands Ravenstone Bird Control, Ireland MacLean Environmental, Leicestershire M. R. Pest Control (Kent) Ltd, Kent Orkney Pest Control Services, Scotland Countryside Pest Control Services, Lincolnshire Guardian Pest Control, Lincolnshire P&P Pest Control, Wales Mark Jolly Pest Control, Suffolk It Has 2 Be Done, Derbyshire Complete Pest Management, West Midlands A.K. Pest Control, Cornwall Pestbusters (Midlands) Ltd, West Midlands Adaptive Pest Control Ltd, Scotland 5 Star Pest Control, Isle of Wight Elite Pest Management Ltd, Lincolnshire Abate Ltd, Norfolk Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions Ltd, Suffolk

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Starting Out

“part 16”

It was a strange Spring for me in that I had less ant jobs than usual, but the wasps started earlier. As we go to press it’s too early to see how busy the summer is going to be, but the early indications are good and there were certainly plenty of queens about during April and May. Hopefully by the time you read this we will all be inundated. I’m steadily building up my contracts and other regular stuff, but I’m still too reliant on the wasp work I’m afraid. Last year was quite busy, but the strange happenings in August when the nests started to die off was disappointing. Talking to other pesties around the country I was surprised how it varied, with some really busy but others had a quiet summer. One issue that has really come to the fore is the issue of treating honeybees, following on from the court case the HSE brought against a pestie in Cambridgeshire. The subject has been well covered elsewhere in the mag so I won’t go into detail, suffice to say that I will treat them only if I can seal the entrance(s) as it’s too risky to rely upon anybody else doing it. Trying to persuade the customer to leave them alone sometimes works but you never know if they are going to phone someone else, so to try to combat this I tell people that I will be making the local Beekeepers Association aware of the bees presence, which should then make the occupier careful about how they go about dealing with their problem. I had an interesting call from a customer about a bat problem. They had one (a pipistrelle) in their bedroom and sure enough when I arrived there it was hanging from the wall. Having never been faced with this kind of situation before I phoned the Bat Conservation Trust for advice, and after having checked the loft and confirmed their presence in there, I carefully removed the bat and placed it on a joist close to the others. It was deep in hibernation and barely moved and hopefully it was none the worse from my interference.

Page 14. Today’s Technician July



Bob Newey

Like me, many of you come across some filthy homes when treating various pests. I don’t think mine are as bad as some of the ones you Council boys have to deal with, but I occasionally get some ‘bad uns’ nevertheless. Some of the worst I come across are students and particularly (and surprisingly) the females. I was called out to one recently where a group of girls were sharing a large house. One of the girl’s parents had complained to the agent about the mice, and was disgusted that their daughter had to live in such conditions. Unless something was done about it they would remove their daughter, and such was their disgust that they even threatened to take some kind of legal action against the agent for putting their daughter’s health at risk. So along I went, and I was surprised that the state of the place wasn’t too bad. The kitchen (where they were having most of the problems) was fairly clean, and the student’s rooms were a little untidy but free of the usual kind of mice attracting debris that we usually find. Then, as I was placing bait in the kitchen I noticed a note attached to the fridge that read, “ Pest controller is coming on Thursday so we must make sure we clean everywhere, tidy up, and put everything away”. So when the time came for my follow up visit I decided to turn up without giving any advance notice, and this well and truly revealed why they were having mice problems. There were pots and pans lying around full of fat, plates with food left on them which had obviously been left there for days, and the cooker was covered in grease, fat, and bits of food. The open waste bin had discarded food dripping from it as well as some on the floor that hadn’t reached it. The bin outside had no lid and some food around its base. One of the students had even placed one of those humane mousetraps by it!

Starting Out

“part 16”

Remarkably, there had been good ‘takes’ of bait, and the infestation successfully dealt with. I took lots of photos and emailed them to the landlord who had great delight in sending them, together with my disparaging report, to the girl’s irate parents. Talking of landlords, I had a recent job where I treated a mice infestation at a property, but when it came to submitting the invoice I found out that the previous week the landlord had been imprisoned for 5 years for fraud. I’m either going to have to be very patient in getting my money or write it off as unlucky timing. I don’t suffer too badly with ‘bad debts’ as most of the work I carry out requires payment at the time of doing the job, and with contract customers I insist on payment quarterly in advance. From my days in the haulage game I am well aware of the importance of keeping on top of the cash flow, and although it’s a pain in the proverbials having to do it, I find that chasing money is time well spent if it means the dosh comes in quicker, and of course the sooner you receive it the less the risk is of losing it completely if whoever owes it goes bust. I did though, take it a little too far recently, and it ended up costing me. I employed one of those money chasing solicitor companies to recover a debt that had become old. It was only for £50 but these people had really messed me about and I was fuming. The cost of the initial warning letter was only £2.50 and I hoped that would do the trick. Unfortunately it didn’t, so I instructed the solicitors to take it to the next stage. The reasons for what happened after that I’m not sure of, but I obviously took my focus off it, because a County Court Judgement followed, and when that was ignored it went to court. The ruling went in my favour but it ended up costing me £220. I did get £60 back, which I think was the original £50 plus interest, and the bailiffs are now trying to recover my costs. I doubt that I’ll get them but I have at least been assured that I won’t have to part with any more money. So it ended up being a very costly experience but at least the blighters had to pay up in the end!


Bob Newey

they sent me a very informative DVD about their wasp traps. They invited me and my pestie mate Gary from Pied Piper Pest and Wildlife Management along to their place in Cambridgeshire to learn more about their wasp traps and the best way to use them effectively. Not only did we learn a lot about the product, but also so much about wasps, their biology and behaviour. It was fascinating stuff and so interesting. I think that in the past we’d learnt all we had needed to know only for the purposes of actually treating nests, but there was so much more about them we found we didn’t know. Not only that, but some of the myths I’d read and heard about wasps were well and truly exposed as being wrong, the most common one being that a late frost kills off many of the queens. As part of their studies Waspbane had regularly deep frozen queens and then revived them so I wouldn’t have thought a few frosts are going to kill them. All that we’d learnt emphasised the importance of where and how to place these traps, and how really effective they can be when used properly, and they can certainly be a source of additional business during the summer months. In May I went along to help out at a couple of NPTA training days. The South day was held at the very pretty location of Frensham Pond in Surrey and sponsored by Barrettine Environmental Health, the Irish day was held at Lisburn near Belfast and sponsored by Killgerm Group. Both days were well attended and a tremendous success and you can read more about them elsewhere in the magazine. We are very fortunate to have the support of two such eminent companies, both of whom do so much to help us put on these events free of charge to our members. Till next time

I’ve been looking at some business opportunities where wasps are causing a nuisance, particularly public places where food and drink are consumed outside. There is rarely a wasp nest nearby so the only option is trying to attract them away from the area. With this in mind I contacted Waspbane, and

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Spotlight on new Accredited Member

Pestbusters of King’s Norton, Birmingham Introduction – Pestbusters (Midlands) Limited are one of a trio of companies based in the West Midlands working alongside Gardenbusters Ltd and Hygienebusters Ltd. David Nash who is the Managing Director is the man behind the formation of the original Pestbusters back in 2001. Findings by the Auditor – Without any doubt following undertaking dozens of Accreditation Audits throughout the United Kingdom, this particular pest control business comes out very near to, if not at the top of the ranking of businesses setting a great standard. Pestbusters currently undertake a variety of pest control work for factories, offices, food warehouses, Councils, hotels, schools, estate agents and also managing agents. Of particular interest are three shopping Centres, two in Birmingham and one in Dudley. They are an independent company with a combined experience amongst their technician workforce of over 90 years. The pests they cover include: Ants and Wasps; Fleas and biting insects; Flies; Rats and mice; Squirrels; Rabbits; Pigeon and other bird work; EFK’s; Fly screen windows and doors. An important part of any NPTA audit visit of inspection is to check that the requirements of Risk Assessment, COSHH, client information sheets are all in place and used on every job. An important part of this is to ensure the client business fully understands the “in and outs” of Risk Assessment. At King’s Norton they have created their own very precise “Method Statement” which covers their own workforce, particularly before entering onto any large construction and development sites. Too often we find some businesses talk about Risk Assessment and yet haven’t understood the practicalities of achieving this on site! Perhaps an area that needs inserting into the Level 2 RSPH examination syllabus?

Two other arms of their armoury A recent development in 2004 was what is called Gardenbusters where other trained specialists do tree surgery, garden and ground maintenance, including clearances and the removal of rubbish. In addition, pruning of hedges, conifers, shrubs and trees is covered as well as the more mundane mowing, strimming, fertilising, spraying, plus litter and leaf removal. This then developed into Hygienebusters for all washroom requirements, including feminine hygiene bins, nappy bins, soap dispensers, air fresheners, water management and sanitisers and hand driers. Then a special section dealing with clearance works of empty properties for landlords and the removal of ‘sharps’ if required. Results of Auditors visit - Pestbusters have now received their Accreditation Certificate with its unique reference number along with the special Gold Accreditation logo for their use and we wish to congratulate them on reaching such a high standard. This new business will be included in the NPTA's Accreditation database, in all future "Today's Technician" magazines and on our ever changing Website. References: Written by J. Barrie Sheard FCIEH and Paul Burton – Joint Accreditation Auditors

Whilst we conduct our own audits along NPTA determined lines it was interesting to see that the Company had already achieved a. the mark of “Investors in People”; b. plus what is termed ISO 9001 Quality; and c. are registered by National Britannia Supplyline as a SAFE contractor.

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The Pestbuster Team

Deadly in a day. The fastest, most effective multi-purpose rat and mouse bait.

BASF Pest Control Solutions Bringing together the well-respected technical resources, products and skills of BASF and Sorex. We provide the strongest portfolio of research-based pest control products, systems and support to help you solve your pest control problems as cost effectively as possible. Enabling the most effective solutions to your pest problems

BASF plc, Pest Control Solutions, PO Box 4, Earle Road, Cheadle Hulme, Cheadle, Cheshire, SK8 6QG Tel: 0161 485 6222 Neokil Gold contains difenacoum. Use rodenticides safely. Always read the label before use.

Scottish persecution of the Red Kite The low expansion rate of the red kite population in Scotland is due to the illegal killing of the species, according to research published recently. The study, carried out by RSPB Scotland and funded by Scottish Natural Heritage, compares the performance of two red kite populations where equal numbers of young birds were released over the same period in Scotland and England. The sites were in the Chiltern Hills in Buckinghamshire in southern England and the Black Isle in Ross-shire in north Scotland. According to the research, whilst the population in the Chilterns has 'thrived', reaching around 320 breeding pairs since the beginning of the reintroduction in 1989 up until 2006, the Black Isle population has struggled, reaching just 41 pairs over the same period. In 2009, the population has still only reached 49 breeding pairs. The study says that low survival rates of young birds in their first and second years of life is the main factor limiting Scotland's red kite population growth since 2006, and that illegal killing accounts almost entirely for these poor survival prospects.

"We now have a significant body of evidence to show what a major impact illegal poisoning is having on the populations of iconic birds such as the red kite. More widely, the reputation of Scotland as a country that values its wildlife is at stake. It is time to look again at the range of sanctions and penalties that can be deployed to tackle this damaging activity and bring the perpetrators to justice."

Professor Des Thomson, of Scottish Natural Heritage, said: "The red kite reintroduction programme has an excellent profile in Scotland. We must find better ways of ensuring these birds have a much safer and more secure future. Clearly, we have to do a lot more."

Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham said: "The Scottish Government welcomes any work which can add to our understanding of Scotland's populations of valuable species. The more evidence we have, the better placed we are to act to protect and manage our wildlife. In particular it is encouraging to see a reintroduction project that is the subject of such careful monitoring. "However, it is hugely disappointing whenever we hear that our bird populations are being threatened by illegal killing. Continued persecution of our precious birds of prey is simply unacceptable. "Poisoning is an arbitrary method of killing which poses serious risks to other wildlife, and potentially people, in our countryside. "The protection of Scotland's wildlife has never before occupied such a prominent position politically or in terms of the law. I hope that our continued joint action to tackle raptor persecution across Scotland will reduce this threat to red kites."

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Duncan Orr-Ewing, Head of Species and Land Management at RSPB Scotland, said:


Luke Borwick, Chairman of the Scottish Rural Property and Business Association, said: "The SRPBA is unequivocally opposed to all forms of wildlife crime and the findings of this report are of great concern. "We will continue to work with the Scottish Government, RSPB, Scotland's Police Forces and other organisations to ensure that there are robust legal measures in place to address the problem of illegal persecution and to bring wildlife criminals to justice. "Red kites are an undoubted asset to our rich biodiversity and our rural economy, and it is appalling that a mindless few continue to perpetrate crimes that are an absolute disgrace to our countryside." The research has been published in the scientific journal Biological Conservation.

Update on the European Commission proposal for a regulation on Biocidal Products. Members will be aware of the concerns that pest controllers had recently concerning the possibility of the withdrawal of anticoagulant rodenticides for use in certain situations, hence many lines of enquiry were pursued to establish the reasoning and facts behind the proposal.

We would expect that, for anticoagulant rodenticides, at least one of these criteria will be met, for the reasons set out very clearly in your letter. Authorisation for supply and use of anticoagulant rodenticides will continue to specify a range of precautionary measures to minimise as far as possible the risks in use.

In response to a letter sent regarding the impact on rodent control with regard to the European Commission proposal for a regulation on Biocidal Products, the Scotland representative for the NPTA has received a written reply dated 17th May 2010 from The Health and Safety Executive in London.

The proposed European Regulation on biocides is currently under discussion in the Council of Ministers and in the European Parliament. A copy of the latest text under consideration in the Council can be found at 564-re01.en10.pdf . The relevant part is Article 5, and points a) to c) above are taken from Article 5(2). As you will see, there is still discussion on the detailed wording. However, encouragingly, the latest text of Article 5(2) deletes the restriction on active substances for product types 4 and 14 to 19 that you identify as a particular concern. The UK was instrumental in securing this deletion in the latest version of the text under consideration in the Council, and will continue to work to maintain this position in the forthcoming discussions in the Council and in the European Parliament.

The reply we have received from HSE sheds some very positive light on the situation and the salient points of the letter are now detailed below for members’ information. Anti-coagulant rodenticides are inherently hazardous substances; they have to be to have their intended effects on rodents. As well as concerns arising from classification as Toxic for Reproduction, anti-coagulant rodenticides are persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT). Substances having this combination of properties would normally be expected to be phased out. In making its proposal the European Commission acknowledges that substances with such properties should not normally be allowed in biocides. However, recognising the wider harm that can result if these particularly hazardous biocides are not used, the proposal provides a mechanism for such biocides to be used where at least one of three risk and socioeconomic criteria are met. These criteria are that: a)

Exposure of humans or the environment is negligible;


The hazardous substance is necessary to control a serious danger to public health or the environment;


Not being able to use the active substance would cause disproportionate negative impacts compared with the risk to human health or the environment arising from use of the substance, and there are no suitable alternatives.

However the final wording, or it’s interpretation on the final draft document may still be detrimental, so let’s not take our eye off the ball. Dave Archer (NPTA Scottish Representative)

A Message from the NPTA official Photographer Ken Kay You may have recently seen me camera in hand, dashing through the halls at PestTech and for the last four years with my nice sweatshirt carrying the words NPTA Event Photographer. Many of you may not realise I am an ex environmental health officer, involved at the time in regular pest control work and I still keep a keen interest in all things to do with environmental health today. Should anyone be interested in using my reasonably priced photographic services, then please give me a call on 07875 213556. Alternatively you may wish to view examples of my non-copyrighted work at either or

Today’s Technician July


Page 19.

Thinking outside the box

Contr ol of rats in gardens - how to teach old dogs new tricks Most pest controllers are no different from any other people when it comes to resistance to change. Just as the rat exhibits behavioural resistance, thwarting our attempts to kill him with a rodenticide bait, then the operator likewise exhibits behavioural resistance when asked to change his or her methods and philosophy. So the tradition of placing anticoagulant baits in gardens, (often now in tamper proof lockable boxes) and then rebaiting on full or part takes till the take of the bait stops is accepted as the standard and the best practice by many in our industry. I would argue however, that it is not best practice, and this is not a philosophy which I have plucked out of the air, but one I have based on my 33 years as a public health pest controller. There are two issues which I think need urgently addressing in the task of efficient, low risk control of rats in the gardens of dwellings. The first is to combat the growing problem known as behavioural resistance, where rats show a reluctance to enter a bait box, or in the rarer case will go in a box but then won’t eat the bait within. The second issue is the unnecessary rebaiting of boxes and tubes following a full or part take. Looking at the issue of behavioural resistance, we need to revisit the events around the start of the mass use of tamper resistant bait boxes, which here in our North West of England Council area was in 1998. Previous to that we had been using grain based baits in primitive tubes as the standard option, but the industry seemed to go on a frantic safety drive, without in my opinion, proper thought or research being applied. We here were caught up in this approach and at first we encountered few problems with gaining control of rats in gardens using lockable boxes with blocks of bait inside. However after a couple of years, issues of behavioural resistance started to manifest themselves, and treatments would fail or be very protracted. Householders would typically report to us that they observed rats around the boxes placed in their gardens, but not venturing inside, or on rarer occasions, rats would be reported to be going in the boxes only for us to open it on revisiting and find no take on the rodenticide block.

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This situation could continue for weeks on end and would sometimes result in a successful outcome, but more often in abject failure. The solution was to literally think outside the (bait) box and look more closely at the actual toxicity of the grain based baits which had been so successful in the past when placed in primitive tubes, and to recognise that although very small quantities were required to be ingested to provide a lethal dose to a rat, very large quantities would be needed to harm a larger body mass creature like a human, or a dog. The development of the “Rateyre” tube or the identical “Romax” tube enabled us here to begin to develop a theory which would address both of the issues with which we were struggling. Firstly we researched and reviewed our methods and knowledge of our activities and wrote a thorough risk assessment based on the principle that it was pretty much impossible to seriously harm any reasonably sized body mass animal with the rodenticides we used. Secondly (and this was the second issue) we recognised that the true danger of secondary poisoning was the risk of one small body mass creature, such as a bird of prey, eating another small body mass creature, such as a wood mouse, which itself had eaten a rodenticide bait. A by-product of the above was to recognise that rebaiting full or part takes on bait stations was, in the majority of cases, only going to lead to the poisoning of non target species, as the first take on the bait was always likely to be by the rats we were targeting, who would then die leaving the rebaited tubes free for the other smaller creatures to feed from. So trials done by myself starting almost 10 years ago focussed around the use of 2 tubes per garden, baited with grain based bait as a standard treatment, followed up with a revisit 10 days later. Full or part takes would not be rebaited but the tubes withdrawn and the job closed. Close monitoring of call backs to jobs closed in this way showed no increase over call backs to jobs where rebaiting had happened historically. The skill was, is, and always will be the ability to recognise the small number of jobs which cannot be closed on one full or part take because of extraordinary ongoing activity.

This is crucial to the success of embracing this philosophy, and is the hardest part to master, though conversely some operators struggle to close jobs with one full or part take, even when it is likely that the infestation is cured, as it is contrary to their training and method. However, in the interests of efficiency of treatments and having the bait down for the shortest possible time and in the smallest quantities to do the job, it is a method which I have proved to my own satisfaction and has been adopted by my Council as “Best practice” The big advantage from non target species poisoning, is the reduction of smaller animals, such as the wood mouse, ingesting the anticoagulant, dying and/or being caught and eaten by predators who themselves then have the compounds in their systems. Now of course there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” method, and I talk in only general terms and about “average” jobs here – that’s where the skill comes in- and yes, in the highest risk circumstances there may be occasions where a tamper proof box with bait blocks will be used in a garden, but it is a long while since I have used one. The tube with grain based bait method has shown to be not conducive to birds entering it, shows no great habit of producing bait spillage and is suited to the preference of the rat. If as a general rule the bait is cleared on full or part take following treatment of your average garden infestation after 10 days or so in place then I believe we are edging towards the most efficient, low risk rodent control method we should all be striving for. Peter Newbrook. Peter Newbrook is a Local Authority Pest Control Manager

It sure is a big one!

New Level 2 Qualifications in Pest Control RSPH has previously informed the pest control industry of changes in the government regulations regarding accredited qualifications, which require changes to be made to the current RSPH / BPCA Level 2 Certificate in Pest Control. Following extensive consultation with the pest control industry, RSPH is pleased to announce that we will be submitting the following two qualifications for accreditation. The Level 2 Award in Pest Management The Level 2 Certificate in Pest Management The Level 2 Award is essentially the current Level 2 Certificate in Pest Control. Following advice from the industry we are using the term ‘pest management’ rather than ‘pest control’ as this is a better reflection of the role of today’s industry, and it also prevents confusion with previous qualifications. The Award will be offered by all of our existing centres, and will provide the theoretical underpinning knowledge required for people working in the industry and for those in related industries such as food manufacturing, catering and facilities management that have always had a legitimate interest in pest control. The qualification will consist of three units; vertebrate pests, invertebrate pests and H&S and legal aspects. Assessment will remain the same as for the existing qualification. The Level 2 Certificate in Pest Management will consist of the same three units as the Award, with an additional two ‘techniques’ units. These additional units enable the qualification to be of an appropriate size to qualify as a ‘Certificate’ under the new regulations, and will allow candidates holding the Level 2 Award to progress easily onto the Certificate. Please note that there is no requirement for candidates to obtain the Level 2 Award before they can register for the Level 2 Certificate, they are separate qualifications that share some common units. The two new techniques units are intended to be practically based and will provide the necessary practical skills for people to start to carry out pest management activities. These new units will be assessed by the centres. Centres will develop their own procedures for assessing candidates, but these procedures will be verified and approved by RSPH. Centres will only be allowed to offer the new Level 2 Certificate after their assessments have

been verified and approved. The Level 2 Certificate in Pest Management is intended for new entrants into the profession.

Please find attached a photo of a wee rat I shot in a local pet shop! It had evaded every attempt using bait and various traps! As you can see from it's size it had fed very well indeed! The body was 9 inches long and the tail another 11 inches.

The current RSPH/BPCA Level 2 Certificate in Pest Control is accredited until the end of June 2010. Candidates registered with RSPH before this date will have one year to complete the qualification, RSPH will not be able to award certificates for the current qualification after June 2011. RSPH will be submitting the new qualifications to the regulatory authorities in time for a start date of July 2010 to ensure that there is no gap in provision.

Best Wishes, Brett Lavin

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NPTA VISITS YORKSHIRE WATER COMPANY HEADQUARTERS IN BRADFORD At the invitation of Yorkshire Water plc (YW) Barrie Sheard (our Assistant Editor) and Julie Gillies (Office Administrator) were invited on the last day of March 2010 to be introduced to YW’s newly created system, known as “Rats on Maps” and have their system demonstrated and a full explanation provided. Since the autumn of 2009 all 23 local authorities within the area covered by this water company have received the specific maps for their respective district of YW Sewer records and “Rats on Maps“ initiative at their own desk computers in their own offices, created through an Intranet Browsing Web Page. It should be appreciated that each Council has a security controlled access into this system. Great Council feed-back The feedback has been excellent from the Councils on achieving this. Today Councils in the areas covered by Yorkshire Water are enabled to see at first hand where public sewers are in each highway and/or pavements or other land; are able to see when a ‘rats in sewer survey’ was last undertaken of a particular manhole; the result of this last survey and whether or not the problem found has been satisfactorily cleared up. In other words they are able to ascertain whether this manhole or adjacent manholes have become ‘hot spots’ showing a rat infestation. Knowing as all trained PCT’s do that sewers are used by rats as their motorways for getting from A to B it is so important that peripheral properties around ‘hot spots’ are dealt with expeditiously allied to the fact blocked sewers, broken covers, damaged pipework, perished brickwork, gratings and gullies can be repaired quickly using the powers contained in the Public Health Act.

My comment is that it is “an excellent workable and practical system” and most importantly goes along completely in accord with the Rats in Sewers Protocol envisaged by Parliament way back in the late 1990’s. So much so that in the NPTA's opinion could so easily be spread over the whole of the country to the enormous benefit of both the general public as well as each water company and each local authority who have a statutory duty under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act of 1949 to keep their district, borough, city or unitary authority clear of excessive rat numbers.

Tony Huddlestone YW (on right) and Simon Morrell Rentokil plc – March 2010

YW are perhaps unique in that in April 2007 a 3 year contract was drawn up and Rentokil, an NPTA member, won the contract. This means that Rentokil’s 6 man team of PCT’s supported by their contract manager and also clerical support cover each of the 23 local authorities. In addition to them having an ongoing lifting and treatment sewer rat programme of 100,000 lifts a year or 8,400 lifts a month, they also have the duty of responding to alerts received as and when from the Council’s own PCT’s. Interestingly Rentokil have recently been awarded the same contract for the next 2 years, starting on 1st April 2010.

How is this all done?

Manhole recently test baited and ‘no takes’ found - problem resolved

Manhole recently test baited and ‘takes’ found - problem now resolve

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Using a system of ‘overlays’ now possible with computer systems, one of which is designated “Rats on Maps”, users of the system are able with the click of the computer keys to immediately see an up to date record. For example, which manhole had recently been the subject of an alert, whether or not there had been any ‘complete takes’, ‘part takes’ or ‘no takes’ and also if the rats had been completely eradicated for now. All this being most useful for users to identify what the PC Industry know as ‘hot spots’ of rat infestations.

Sadly for the past decade, certainly brought to light through us conducting the annual Rodent Survey Report, Water Companies and many, many local authority officers have not been talking to each other and this has brought about serious public health issues. Knowing your respective counterpart means that serious situations in YW will no longer exist.

The future? My wish, bearing in mind what many Council PCT’s are currently saying about the neglect by many Water Companies of their sewers and their associated rats, that similar schemes based upon YW’s scheme of “Rats on Maps” can be taken up nationally. It is always important to appreciate that because we have here such a positive and well received system that truly works, that no-one needs to “reinvent the wheel again”. Our hope as the leading professional UK Pest Control Membership body which has as its first major aim “To promote a professional approach to pest control” that we see this being taken on board. Who will be the first to take up this challenge?

Communication both ways is so important What pleased me, more than anything else, was that YW have recreated a complete and full communication system that works both ways between themselves and the local authority officers. For example, Pest Control Officers particularly have the ability to send “alerts” to YW when there is any suspicion that a sewer may be involved in a property infestation matter. The computer screen maps show this at a glance pictorially. Computer screen showing “Rats on Maps”

Enlarged section of Screen

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North of the Border

Reflections of a long term pestie. In 1979 I started work as a professional pest controller for the Local Authority at the age of 18.

I used many, many other products that are all now in the graveyard of condemned poisons and have been long swept along my memory’s tide.

I was given Lindane (Gamma BHC or Gammexane) to treat wasps nests using a piece of plumber’s pipe taped on the end of a broom stale. For those really awkward jobs, or where there was a chance of pellet combustion it was Coopex Multispray. I used Alphacloralose (Alphakil) or Sorexa CR on mice and Alphacloralose on feral pigeons. The new rat poisons were Racumin 57 and Di-thoxin or Norbomide. For the really difficult rats with proven anticoagulant resistance, I used zinc phosphide. Concentrates were mixed in an antique butter churn and after it finished its time with Local Authority it went to the museum of country life; as a Council we were then given a brand new enamel bath and a spade to do our mixing. A carpenter made our wooden bait boxes. Risk assessments were for engineers, scientists, tight rope walkers and the like, and COSHH assessments were only done by thugs with iron bars after they had whacked their victims. Method statements were only given to the police by confessing criminals on how they had intended to carry out their crime. Even though we pesties were full time Local Authority employees, we had to use our own cars (or motorcycles with panniers) to do our work and were paid a mileage allowance. Estate cars were deemed more suitable for our work and we were encouraged to buy these. Car loans were only available for cars made in the UK. I have used Strychnine, Cymag (by the tonne for rats and rabbits), in both motorised and brass hand pumps, my only Cymag training was that I was given strict instructions not to use the knife that was used to cut the metal seal on the Cymag tin for anything else. In the mid-eighties chemists got very suspicious regarding the sale of the Amyl Nitrate antidote, as it was apparently being used by ravers at parties to get high. Where they got it from I didn’t know, but as a legal user who’s life may have depended on it, I had to sign the official secrets act and give name, star sign and grandfathers left shoe size before even being considered to whisper this antidotes name in public.

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Recently, I am now told the lead in my bullets and shotgun is harmful for those who may ingest minute particles of it, even though my school lead pencils were chewed to buggery, and I used lead in paint, and 2, 3 and 4 star petrol. Now there is a serious murmur that all of us pest controllers had better stop using anticoagulants soon as they may well not permitted in certain circumstances. My point? well those products listed above are now banned never to return, being proven harmful to health, I have a Working Operations Manual that makes The Holy Bible look like a flyer from the local convenience store, and amazingly old Grandfather Archer is still here a-pesting! What were the chances of that way back then! Oh! if only I had nipped down to Ladbrokes in the seventies and had a wager on my life expectancy, the payout now would make a lottery win look like a OAP’s winter fuel payment. If there is no news from North of the Border next time, look out for The Grim Reaper’s stocktaking reports 2010! Dave Archer (NPTA Scotland representative) Anyone who met Dave at his stand at PestTech 2008 will know he has a great sence of humour, his emails to the NPTA office have Julie and Margaret in stitches and as you can read his articles are good as well. Keep us all smiling Dave, in 2010 I think we will all need a laugh. Ed

Fancy working somewhere a wee bit more remote? A ranger is needed for the post on St. Kilda. But as the ranger's post on the archipelago of St Kilda is advertised for the 2010 season, a more quirky requirement of the contract has emerged; the successful candidate for the £16,457-a-year post must have excellent rat-trapping skills. There are currently no rats on the remote British outpost, 41 miles west of Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides, and the National Trust for Scotland (NTS), which owns the remote archipelago, intends to keep it that way. NTS Western Isles Area Manager Susan Bain said keeping rats at bay was as important a part of the ranger's job as monitoring seabirds and welcoming the thousands of visitors who flock to St Kilda on cruise ships and leisure craft. Laying rat traps every time the island supply boat docks is an essential part of the ranger's tasks. Ms Bain said: "We don't have any land-based predators at all. The ranger must see that we don't have any invasive species and the most obvious one is rats. "There are rat traps put down when they are loading the supply boat at South Uist, there is a pest control officer on board and when the boat comes in to St Kilda to unload, the ranger will put out the rat traps there." The supply boat, which, weather permitting, makes regular trips from South Uist to bring food and other essential supplies to St Kilda, is the only vessel allowed to berth there. Ms Bain said: "It cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to get the rats off Canna; it was a specialist New Zealand team that was brought in. It's far better to be safe than sorry. We have to ensure that people don't bring their pet rat, or cat, or ferret, on to St Kilda. That is one of the main threats to St Kilda's World Heritage status. The main fear is that they would eat the birds' eggs and they might also go out to eat the St Kilda mouse." Dave Archer, NPTA Scotland representative

New Members The Association would like to welcome the following Businesses, Local Authorities and individuals in the United Kingdom as NEW MEMBERS: M. B. Solutions Ltd, Middlesex Essex & Herts. Pest Control, Essex Away with Pests, Cornwall 5 Star Pest Control, Isle of Wight E.C.H. Pest Solutions, Essex Pest Remover, Herefordshire Absolute Pest Solutions (Wales) Ltd, Wales Wizard Pest Control, Wales Astra Pest Control, Hertfordshire Anglia Pest Management, Suffolk Direct Environmental Solutions, West Yorkshire Noahs Ark Environmental Services Ltd, Northamptonshire Advanced Pest Control Solutions, Gloucestershire Environ Pest Control, London Richard Hale Pest Control, Somerset PCS Property Services Ltd, Suffolk H2O Plants Environmental Services, Essex Chores Hygiene Management Ltd, Lincolnshire Cobwebs SW, Devon X-Pest, Worcestershire Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions Ltd, Suffolk Alan Lancashire – The Manchester Ratcatcher, Lancashire Safe & Sound Hygiene & Pest Control, Suffolk Blackwood Pest Control, Surrey Elite Pest Management Ltd, Lincolnshire A J J Professional Pest Prevention, North Yorkshire Inten Ltd, Kent Ltd, Lancashire A1 Pestmasters Ltd, Hertfordshire Universal Pest Control (South) Ltd, London Protect Pest Management, Worcestershire Swift Pest Control & Prevention Services, Wales Afterpest Services Ltd, Nottinghamshire Cardinal Pest Control Ltd, Surrey Yorkshire Wolds Pest Control, Yorkshire SNP Pest Control, Leicestershire On Target Pest Control, Lincolnshire Young’s Pest Control, Manchester Milgi, Mole & Pest Control, Pembrokeshire N.E.E.S. Ltd, South Yorkshire Arrowsmith Pest Control, Northamptonshire Castle Pest Control Services, Norfolk Midland Pest Control, Ireland Penkhull Pest Control, Staffordshire Pest Control Bucks, Buckinghamshire Antipest Solutions, Ireland Orkin Ireland, Ireland Individual Members:Mr. Childs, Shropshire Mr. Clarke, Northern Ireland

Today’s Technician July


Page 25.

Countr yman’s Corner Early spring 1998 I received a phone call from Tom, a good friend in the Scottish highlands, asking me if I would be interested in bringing a few chums up to deal with a huge rabbit problem he just could not come to grips with on his own on some common gazeing land on the north coast. After at least five seconds he managed to talk me into it, (silvertongued devil) so I put on my thinking cap and picked my team for the event. Strangely enough not one of the crew I asked declined the offer, I can’t think why ? Anyway the chosen team consisted of myself (obviously), Dave, who has accompanied me on many such forays and is now extremely handy on the ferreting to shotguns side, Paul, my lamping chum who is very efficient with his 22 rimfire Rugar, Graham, who is just a very good shot and of course Tom who was already on site. After many phone calls to arrange things with Tom, it was decided to line up several other places in case we ran out of targets, although Tom did insist there was plenty to go at even though the site was only one hundred and fifty acres. Being from the midlands however, we find it hard to imagine the size of the problems experienced in other parts of the country, due to the fact that every rabbit in our area seems to have at least three people after it! Over the summer the final preparations were made, including our accommodation, which, as you can imagine could be a nightmare considering we were armed to the teeth with both shotguns, firearms and enough ammunition to sink the Bismarck - not to mention the ferrets, which luckily Tom said we could keep in his garage during the stay. However just across the road from Tom’s house, would you believe, was a bed and breakfast which is lucky because there is nothing else for miles. Tom assured me that the proprietors Vernon and Pauline were a fabulous couple and at ten pounds a night with an evening meal for a fiver and a packed lunch for two quid a day who could complain? October soon arrived and we decided to start early on the Saturday morning to give us time to settle in after the journey. And what a journey! Even though we only stopped for short breaks of ten to fifteen minutes every hundred and fifty miles or so we still did not

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Mission Possible - re-lived arrive until gone seven in the evening. We were welcomed on arrival by the said couple, Vernon and Pauline, and were made to feel at home straight away - what a fabulous couple these people were, nothing was too much trouble. Vernon was not worried by the arsenal we arrived with and gave us free run to come and go as we pleased. He even prepared breakfast anything from 6am to 9.30am and evening meals between 5pm and 7.30pm depending on when we asked for it to be ready. The only thing we had to do when we got back in the small hours was to turn out the outside light. We soon unloaded the cars and walked across the busy road (at least that’s how Vernon described it, although you rarely saw a vehicle) to Tom’s who was itching to get stuck in and took us down for a look straight away. Boy was it an eye opener! Rabbits everywhere - were we in for some sport! (if you can call a clearance job sport?) The rimfires were out of the cases in seconds and many fell in the next couple of

hours, with two lamping and three shooting. Exhausted after walking over the ground and getting to know the lay of the land we decided to call it a day and headed back to Tom’s where his wife May had the kettle on and Tom soon had the hard stuff out. (Oooer missus!) Some hours later with eyes wedged open with match sticks we dragged ourselves back over the road to bed for the five hours kip before breakfast was due to be ready. By nine the next morning, ferrets were fed and loaded and by nine thirty battle had commenced. We split into two teams; one along the sand dunes, the second taking the other side of the narrow fields. The rabbits bolted almost as quickly as you could load and the score was soon over the hundred. On breaking for lunch the journey and night before combined with the battle fatigue of the morning was beginning to tell. Snap (That’s food to non-midlanders) devoured we were soon back into battle but only managed to cover some three hundred yards approximately before it was time to leave for tea and some heavy de-rusting work to be carried out on the fire sticks which could be seen to change colour in your hands (what a corrosive atmosphere it is, with the

Mission Possible - re-lived All Guns blazing sea spray forming almost a mist). After a couple of hours break we were back out with the rifles. To our amazement, when we returned the place was heaving and seemed to have more rabbits than it did before. Time flew, and although it only seemed like an hour tops, we spent the next four hours just walking and shooting, with Tom proving himself to be the best free hand rifle shot I‘ve ever seen as well as a very fast shotgun man (probably all that clay pigeon and pistol shooting he used to do). At the close of play we reckoned to have cleared over four hundred rabbits before we headed back to Tom’s for a night cap. The next morning Paul and I went out early to try and nail some hooded crows which we had also been asked to reduce. When we arrived, we could hardly see the fields for hooded crows and gulls feeding on the carcasses (sad in a way because I hate to leave good rabbits) but both back home and up there no one wants them. Anyway, the first hooded crow soon fell to my trusty Marlin rimfire - a nice eighty yard shot off the top of a post and just like the rabbits that ran in waves at the first shot, the birds did the same. The sky was full and only a small group of hooded crows remained to see why one of their group was not following. Soon, they were back in range where another three and a carrion (crow) bit the dust. The best two carcasses were collected to be mounted by Don Sharpe, one of the worlds leading Taxidermists, who many of you will know from the NPTA’s PestTech exhibitions. Then back for breakfast and after a short break, yes, you guessed it, we were back out with the ferrets. Another rapid day flew past with only a short break for some lunch after which two weasels were added to the already impressive score. Come Wednesday, Dave and Graham decided to take a day off and try a hand at fishing. Tom, Paul and I kept right on with the ferrets and decided to start at the far end for a change of scenery. What a day! The action was fast and furious and Dave was pig sick when he got the rundown at tea time as he and Graham did very little good on the fishing. By Thursday things seemed a little slower and we felt we had really begun to get on top of them. At the close of play with the ferrets we had worked most holes on the place and

were convinced that we had done a good job. Having returned for tea and packed most of the gear for an early start home (5am) Friday, we decided to give it one last look with the rimfires. Graham decided he would stop at the digs with some Caifreys, leaving two teams of two, one lamping and one shooting in each team; Dave and Tom headed in one direction and Paul and I headed in the other. I started on our team and dropped the first thirty-one before a miss. Paul took over and almost repeated my score bar one. That was the standard of shooting throughout the evening - we were hot baby! -and could have removed a gnat’s testicles at seventy paces. Paul and I finished the night with 208. Tom and Dave didn’t do quite as well, but in all over three hundred bit the dust in just over three hours to bring the final score in the region of fifteen hundred rabbits in five days! Even the gulls were beginning to get fed up with rabbit, in fact Paul swears he heard a black backed gull on Thursday morning shout, “Oh no, not them again! I’m stuffed. I couldn t eat another thing!”. Anyway, the lads would like to say a big thank you to Tom for helping make it happen, and to Vernon and Pauline for making the stay like home from home, apart from that is, the beautiful scenery and the most spectacular sunsets you have ever seen. Sadly nowdays this sort of job never comes up as the continued RHD followed by Myxcy followed by RHD followed by Myxcy followed by, has all but desimated the rabbit population in many parts of Scotland where once the place was alive. Now unfortunately we can only bring back memories unless you know where there is a realy big problem, please, please call me. (Ask nicely and you won’t be charged a penny!)

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Handling Bumblebees This information was put together for the use of the National Pest Technician Association (NPTA) and associated groups. It includes useful advice on the removal and re-location of Bumblebee nests, legislation protecting Bumblebees species within the UK and the ecological and economic importance of Bumblebees.

The Importance of Bumblebees Bumblebees are beautiful, hard working and incredibly important pollinators. The UK had 27 species, but sadly 3 are nationally extinct, and others are seriously threatened. Bumblebees are a keystone species which essentially means that a huge number of other species, both plants and animals rely on its continuing presence. Not only are bumblebees incredibly important from a conservation and biodiversity stand point, they are a vital part of the agricultural industry helping to pollinate a great variety of crops grown throughout the UK and in doing so contribute a huge amount of money to the country’s economy. Please check out our website or contact us for more information (details can be found at bottom of last page).

The main aims being to: to conserve species and habitats; to develop public awareness and understanding; and to contribute to biodiversity work in the European and global context.

The removal and re-location of Bumblebee nests Bumblebees are not at all aggressive, seldom sting, and are very easy to live with. We hope that by educating the general public few should actually require a nearby bumblebee nest moved. However, in the event that a client is insistent, bumblebee nests can be moved easily and efficiently with little to no harm caused.

In January 1994, the UK government launched the Biodiversity UK Action Plan which outlined future plans concerning biodiversity conservation.

To move a nest safely it's best to do it in the dark when all of the bees will be 'asleep'. They might buzz a bit... but they won’t fly in the dark, so you can do it reasonably safely. They don't see red light well, so if you need to see what you're doing, put some red plastic film/acetate over a torch. The ideal for the bees would be to find a shoe box or something similar - perhaps larger for a particularly big nest. Put dry grass or dry moss in the bottom of the box to rest the nest in. Make a 2cm hole in the side, and cover it with sellotape or some kind of bung. Then pick up the nest at night (either wearing long-sleeves and gardening gloves, or perhaps using a spade), pop it in the box, and shut the lid. Try to keep the nest upright, otherwise their honey pots will spill. Put the nest somewhere sheltered, and put a board or something waterproof over the top to keep the rain out. It's also best to avoid direct sunlight if you can. It's best to move the nest at least 2 miles away, otherwise foraging bees are likely to get confused and return to the original nest site. Once you've moved them, and the bees have settled down, just remove the sellotape/bung. The bees might take a little while to adjust, but they should take to their new home pretty well.

Although the BAP process is not a legal framework, the government has recognised the importance of these species and as a result does dictate national and local policy.

A word of warning – most nests are located in reasonably accessible areas e.g. a compost heap, near or on the soils surface or in an abandoned bird box.

Legislation surrounding the UK’S Bumblebee species There is unfortunately no legislation to protect bumblebees and their nests and destroying a nest and/or the inhabitants is not yet an offence. However there are currently 6 UK BAP priority bumblebee species inhabiting the UK: Great Yellow Shrill Carder Red-Shanked

Moss Carder Brown banded Carder Ruderal bumblebee

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However in some cases nests can be found in less accessible places e.g. deep underground or within stone paving which may prove very time consuming or impossible to reach the nest. If it is not viable or possible to remove the nest we ask that the client at least understand not only the importance of bumblebees but how harmless they are before any further decisions are made.

Dealing with other bee species Solitary Bees: There are over 200 solitary bee species within the UK all with various different nesting requirements and habitats. Solitary bee species are unlikely to cause any problems and similarly to bumblebees are very unlikely to sting. Some species such as the Red Mason bee can sometimes be found tunnelling into the mortar of a wall however no structural damage will occur as a result. Solitary bees only remain nesting for around a month and will then abandon the area. The resultant eggs will emerge as full grown adults some time later and leave the tunnel formation. Honey Bees: If you do come across a wild colony of honey bees, they can be removed quickly and safely by a member of a local beekeeping association. If you are unsure who to contact then the British Beekeeping Association (BBKA) will be more than happy to put you in touch with a local bee keeper who can help. Useful Links and Contacts: The Bumblebee Conservation Trust UK BAP website British Beekeeping Association

Bumblebee Conservation Trust School of Biological & Environmental Sciences, University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA Email: Charity No. 1115634

IT IS AN OFFENCE To operate a ‘one visit’ rodent control treatment You are legally-obliged to pick up your bait at the end of the treatment – that’s 2 visits for starters You are also legally obliged to ‘check frequently’ for rodent bodies – that’s got to be at least 3 visits, probably more, during a 4 – 6 week treatment programme

“But M’lud – the client wouldn’t pay for all this work!” “We didn’t have the time or resources to do this M’lud!” “My Manager wouldn’t let us do more visits” Sorry – not good enough – send him down!

GET YOUR FOLLOW UPS SORTED Today’s Technician July


Page 29.


Dear Editor

I would like to congratulate the NPTA for another excellent Rodent Report. As in previous years it is presented in such a professional manner, continuing to alert the authorities of a growing problem in the UK, a problem residents are very familiar with.

How refreshing it was to read the article in issue 65 from a fellow pest controller who feels like I do, that so called experts continue to tell us what to do, when in the real world we have learned the best method to use in each individual infestation.

When our Campaign for Weekly Waste Collection was launched nationally in August 2004 it was already our experience that a combination of factors were responsible for the evident increase in rodent numbers in our local area. The promotion of home composting combined with fortnightly collection of general waste had led to a sharp increase in numbers of rats. Requests for official figures confirmed that there was a 100% increase in the year following the change of waste policy. The Council ignored our concerns and simply introduced a £34 charge for pest control service. Residents subsequently were then simply buying rat poisons from stores or ignoring the problems as they could not afford the new charges or chose not to pay. The charge here in Eastleigh, Hampshire is now £72.50 - consequently our Borough will have no idea of the true scale of rodent problems here.

I agree whole heartedly that seven day revisits can lead to non target species being killed, upon replenishing baits on this seven day basis non target species will quickly feed on the remaining poison and so pose a greater risk to particulaly birds of prey ingesting these animals.

This is one example of the concerns I receive from residents across the UK: A Gloucestershire Council cutbacks saw the end of the pest control department and having 2 rivers and their tributaries we are now over run by rats. Fortnightly bin collections no side waste, lid closed, along with weekly food collections begin next week, but we are lucky that the council are keeping a 'bring to site' in the town for 6 months til residents get used to it - then what? This is typical - either raising fees to ridiculous levels or closing down pest control departments completely. Do the policy-makers genuinely believe it is right to simply ignore the problems we are experiencing? I hope the authorities act upon the NPTA findings and return to taking public health seriously in the future.

Using this system saves many small mammals from ingesting poison baits that would be replenished on a seven day visit basis. For over twenty years I have been a pestie and I revisit on the basis of what I find on my initial visit, this may range from 3 days to over forteen days. I always use natural bait points or tubes which rats find and use readily, the amount of bait points depends on what I find and rarely do I have to replenish. Well done that man for saying what many of us think, its time more pesties stood by what they know works, stop wasting resourses, time and experience. Use bait boxes if interference is possible, but remember rats don’t like them. Keep the good work up editor and thank all those involved in the association for the fantastic work they do on our behalf. Many of you are grass roots and understand what pest control is all about and know its not just killing rats but also protecting other species. Don Jackson

Doretta Cocks Campaign for Weekly Waste Collection

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As the writer states, each individual infestation should be assessed and sufficient bait laid to deal with the situation, this comes as we all know with experience but a good rule I find is to fill all holes and disturb all runs after your first revisit, (provided a reasonable amount of bait has been taken) and then if in your experienced opinion you feel the result has been achieved, revisit after a further week or so to check for any new disturbance, or ask the client to check and if at this point new evidence can be found baits can be replaced and further treatment can commence.


LASTWORDLASTWORD Dear Editor My shed roof was not her wisest choice to set up home. I will monitor it for a while to see how quickly it develops

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