Rats

PestEx 2019: keep one step ahead of the change

PestEx 2019 will be taking place from 20th to 21st of March, at the ExCeL Arena in London’s Docklands. The event is a ‘must’ for those with an involvement in public health pest management. Entry is free of charge and you can pre-book on their website to save queuing on arrival – a big turnout is expected.

Organised by the British Pest Control Association (BPCA), PestEx is a biannual, 2 day trade show and conference for the pest management industry. As well as bringing together the latest innovations in pest management products and equipment from around the world, there is a full programme of both technical and business orientated seminars. PestEx’s scope spans rodent, bird and other vertebrate management together with insect management. On the insect front the emphasis is on biting, stinging, public health and stored food contaminating insects and their management. This year’s event boasts more than 100 domestic and international exhibitors. CPD points for attending the exhibition and each of the seminars, are available.

Public health pest control has been going through major changes as a result of the implementation of European Directives, primarily the Biocidal Products Directive, but also, although to a lesser extent, the Plant Protection Products Directive. Approval transfers, as has been experienced in agriculture, are often accompanied by changes in the sale, storage, transport, monitoring and use products, changes that often require additional training, and sometimes the need for certification.

All of the rodenticides are now approved under the Biocidal Product Regulations 2013 (BPR). Although other environmental factors have been to the fore in driving changes to acceptable rodent management practice, the recent BPR approvals have played their part. Constraints on the use of rodenticides continue to be tightened and further developments can be anticipated.

More recently, the approvals of metallic phosphide products for the control of rats, rabbits and moles and also of insects in stored products, have been transferred to the new regulations. In the case of aluminium phosphide products, that transfer has involved the complexity of a dual registration – under BPR for the control of rats in burrows and under the Plant Protection Products Regulations 2012 (PPPR) for the control of rabbits and moles.

Following on from the recent introduction of the mandatory certification scheme for operators, these reapprovals have led to further major changes in how aluminium products can be used. Significant investment in additional monitoring and exclusion equipment may be necessary. Even if re-certificated as recently as late 2017, users should take a look at the RAMPS UK*, 2018 version of its Code of Good Practice and the 2018 label ‘tags’ for both Phostoxin and Talunex!

Attention is now turning to insect control products and, as approvals are being transferred from the Control of Pesticide Regulations 1986 (COPR) to the Biocidal Product Regulations 2013 (BPR), so label requirements for these are changing. A recent example has been bendiocarb dust, a ‘go to’ product for users, for wasps’ nest control. Bendiocarb dust has recently been reapproved – in itself good news! - but with some limitations that were not on the previous label. Anyone involved in tackling wasps’ nests will need to read the new product label very carefully and understand how use of this product will differ during the summer of 2019 to that in the summer of 2018.

This is just the beginning. In the months and years to come the approval of more and more insect control products will be transferred to BPR. It is hoped that not too many will be lost, but it is inevitable that how, when, where they will be able to be used and against which species, will change.

The UK has also seen the arrival of several new invasive species, each of which brings its own threats and problems. Be they harlequin ladybirds, tiger mosquitoes, Asian hornets or unfamiliar species of tropical ants and cockroaches, we will need to learn how to recognise problems caused by these invaders, how to deal with infestations and to limit their spread.

The manufacturers, the approval holders, the distributors and the regulators will be at PestEx 2019 to answer your questions. Why not come along and keep one step ahead of change?

*RAMPS UK – Register of Accredited Metallic Phosphide Standards in the UK