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Principles of Pest Identification - Online classroom

Pest identification is the first and most important step in any pest management situation. Accurate identification is critical since appropriate management methods may vary dramatically for each pest.

This course is designed to improve the knowledge and skills of those working in the pest control sector around identification, monitoring and referencing the key rodent and insect pests and the environments in which they live.

Principles of Pest Identification training programme by British pest Control Assocaition BPCA

This course is designed for those working within the pest control sector.



Upon completion of the one-day course, candidates will understand:

• Why accurate identification is important
• Basic pest anatomy and biology
• Identification techniques: What you will face in reality and the importance of context
• How to use identification keys
• Creating a reference collection for future use.

Level: Core
Delivery: Online/virtual classroom only
Duration: 1 day (9.00am to 5.00pm)
Additional Study: None
Assessment: None
BPCA Registered CPD Points: 7
Basis Prompt points: TBC

Modules include:

  • How to see what you need: use of a hand lens and torch and turn your phone into a microscope
  • Rodent and insect pests we find or are found for us
  • Rodents: Know their behaviour, know what to look for (droppings, tracks, damage, fur) and where 
  • Insects: Basic insect structure and biology, what makes it look like that
  • What you would normally face when a client presents you with a ‘sample’: the realities of identification!
  • The importance of context
  • The use of identification guides and binomial key
  • Differential identifications (eg T confusum vs T castaneum, or O. surinamensis v O. mercator) but does it matter?
  • How to generate and keep a reference collection.

While there isn't a pre-course entry requirement for this programme, you probably get the most out of this course if you already have your Level 2 Award in Pest Management. This BPCA course is open to all.

After completing the Understanding Principles of Pest Identification programme, you may wish to study:


Technical Programmes

Technical Programmes

• Advanced Technician in Pest Management
• Understanding Genetic Resistance in Pests


Plus+ Programmes

Plus+ Programmes

• Starting and Managing Your Own Business
• Level 2 Emergency First Aid at Work




Virtual classroom training by British Pest Control Association

This is a one-day virtual classroom course. 9.00am to 5.00pm.

The course will use a mix of presentations and interactive sessions.

There will be regular breaks, including one for lunch. 

Virtual classroom programmes have limited places, so you can ask questions and get involved in the training from the comfort of your home or work. The BPCA virtual classroom is accessible via Zoom.

To take part, you need:

  • A computer, laptop or tablet
  • An internet connection.

Smartphones will all so work, however the session is not optimised for very small screens.

This is a training course, not a webinar. Your tutor will be able to see you and you can ask questions face-to-face throughout the session. You tutor will ask you questions to check your understanding, so you’ll need to have your camera and microphone on during the teaching.




There is no assessment for this course.

Upon completion of this course, you will receive a BPCA Certificate of Completion in the Principles of Pest Identification.

If you are on BPCA Registered you will earn 7 CPD points for completing the course.

If you are on Basis Prompt, you will receive TBC CPD points for completing the course.



The online course fee includes access to the course and all handouts. 


  Including VAT Excluding VAT
Members £114 £95
Non-members £138 £115

Cancellation Terms:

Course cancellations will only be accepted on receipt of written instruction and are effective from the date received by the BPCA.

  • More than 15 working days prior to course: No charge
  • 15 working days or less: 100% of fee.



2017-06-27 Mike Ayres BPCA Board Member

Dr Mike Ayres is the Managing Director at Precision Pest Management Solutions. After many years of working as a technician within the industry, Mike jointly set up Precision Pest Management offering specialist pest control services to the food industry, including consultancy and training.

Mike is also a member of the BPCA Executive Board. Mike will be sharing the delivery of the training with his colleague George Houston.



    For more information contact BPCA: or 01332 225 113