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31 May 2022

Review: PestEx 2022 round-up

Events | PPC107 June 2022

After a longer than usual wait, pest professionals from all over the world came together for the first time in two years, as PestEx finally returned to ExCeL in London on 16 and 17 March.

PPC's roving reporter, Kat Shaw rounds up her first time at the pest management show.

PestEx roundup 2022 the Pest Management Show

From a BPCA Staff team perspective, the road to this event has been a long one – when it became clear that Covid restrictions would prevent PestEx 2021 taking place, it was all hands on deck to provide an alternative and then plan for the return of the live show. 

And while PestExtra was a great way to connect digitally (and we even won an award for it) the team were delighted to get the go-ahead for an in-person show this year.

Over two days, 1,460 visitors, some from as far away as the USA and Australia, poured into the ExCeL exhibition hall, ready to network, learn and make lasting connections.

Here’s how it went.

Exhibitors

More than 80 pest management manufacturers and distributors packed out the exhibition hall with incredible-looking stands, fantastic new products and creative games with giveaways for winners.

Lots of PestEx regulars were in attendance, like Bayer, Bell Labs, Killgerm and Lodi UK, all with impressive and busy stands.

It’s worth noting that 1env were added to Bayer’s list of pest control product distributors at the start of this year, making them the first new distributor for Bayer in over a decade.

The Lodi team’s superhero backdrop was a talking point, drawing the eye and the attendees in too.

Smaller exhibitors like Airgun Training and Education Organisation (ATEO), RSPH and International Pest Control (IPC) are a staple at these types of events, so it was nice to see those familiar faces back again.

“At no point was our stand empty of visitors, PestEx is one of the best industry events in which we strengthen and build connections, both national and international.

Anna Mollins, PestFix

We spoke to Anna Wilson-Barnes from British manufacturer PelGar, who insisted that PestEx is “firmly fixed in the PelGar calendar, as the UK’s largest pest control show and a must attend event.”

She said, “It’s where we can reconnect with our peers and customers, catch up on industry news, launch new products and maintain our exposure as the leading manufacturer in global pest control.”

Sussex-based PestFix team had a lot to bring to the event this year. They’re well known as specialists in the bird sector and general distributors, but they were able to show visitors all the other products and services that PestFix now has to offer.

Anna Mollins was at the event representing PestFix. She commented: “PestEx 2022 was delightful, we felt like we were dusting off the cobwebs after the pandemic had forced the industry onto electronic meets only.

“As always, BPCA pulled out all the stops to make the event run smoothly and provide visitors with two days packed with activities, learning and insights.

“At no point was our stand empty of visitors, PestEx is one of the best industry events in which we strengthen and build connections, both national and international.”

pestexroundupcollage

New and notable

It was interesting to see just how many new exhibitors there were at the show.

British manufacturers were aplenty: Metex showcasing their new Rat Tape, Hamelin with their range of Ratblockers, Defender Bird Spikes launching the new Thistle Bird Spikes and Rat Trap UK duo Adam and Aman making a splash on their PestEx debut.

We spoke to Metex about their Rat Tape, an adhesive tape with a tough stainless mesh at its core between two layers of butyl tape. This makes it sticky, chew-proof and waterproof. Metex tells us it’s perfect for gaps or cracks, like at the junctions where drains pass through walls.

Mark Porter, from Porters Pest Control, is a regular user of Rat Tape. He commented, “Some people use expanding foam in those kinds of gaps, which of course serves no purpose or defence. 

“Metal plates either side of the toilet would have been an alternative option to consider, but Rat Tape is a product that’s always in the proofing bag and is perfectly suited for this task.”

Metex says it’s simple to apply: the most important thing is to clean and dry the area before applying the tape, as any adhesive material will not stick well to greasy or dusty surfaces. 

Then all you need to do is cut it to size and shape – because of the steel mesh, you should cut the tape with tin snips and ensure gloves are worn as the cut edges can be sharp.

Mark also has further tips on applying Rat Tape: “Don’t use disposable gloves, as the Rat Tape sticks to it and just pulls them off. Wear a dedicated pair of thick gloves. We use scissors to press onto the tape to stick in position.”

Italian manufacturers Microwave Technology SRL were there for the first time with a range of non-toxic pest control solutions.

You would have found it hard to miss the huge metal box taking up a large part of the stand. Luca Bernabei, Technical Director at Microwave Technology SR, told us it was designed for the treatment of woodworms, their larvae and eggs.

“You place affected furniture inside and it sterilises the wood safely, stopping the whole lifecycle. We also have portable systems for wooden ceiling beams and even bigger machines than this for soil sterilisation!” he explained. 

We spoke to Luca about their first time exhibiting at PestEx. He said: “Exhibitions are always a good time, so we’re very happy to be here. 

“We’ve been producing microwave technologies for various industries for over 25 years and we’re glad to be showing them here in London.”

Another new and busy stand was the Fen Pest Control set up – their thermal imaging equipment drew quite the crowd. The team told PPC that they were even struggling to find time to go for their lunch!

Overall I am very pleased with how it went; nothing but positivity and good feedback from the customers, and an incredible amount of interest.

James Bright, BBwear

One very popular newcomer was the BBWear stand, manned by James Bright and Andy Roberts (and guest-starring the always cheery Robert Moon). The stand was hard to get to at times, with a crowd of visitors interested in the company’s Ultra Bee Suits.

In fact, the suit was so popular that a lot of people told us they wanted to win one in the PROtect at PestEx game instead of the PS5!

Luckily BBWear had already generously donated one as a runner-up prize, which is now winging its way to Steven Trim at VenomTech.

James is the Sales Director at BBWear, and he told PPC magazine how much the team enjoyed the show. He said: “The event was really well organised, and it was a great trade hall too. 

“It was great to get in front of a new market and show off our suits. I was told by a few people that our suit was the product of the show, so that’s quite something! 

“Overall I am very pleased with how it went; nothing but positivity and good feedback from the customers, and an incredible amount of interest.

It’s really good to be there in person so people can see and feel the product.”

And it’s fair to say they made quite an impression.

Competitions and giveaways

PestEx 2022 competitions and giveaways2

From the Barrettine F1 racing simulator to BASF’s ever-popular Whack-a-Rat, and with new exhibitors like BBWear holding competitions, there was plenty for attendees to try and win. 

And that’s not to mention the PROtect at PestEx reaction game on the BPCA stand, which saw those with the speediest reactions duke it out for the top prize – a PS5. 

In the end, a high score of 51 bagged technician Alister Ketley (St George’s Pest Control) the games console, with runner up prizes for the following:

  • Harry Miller, Destrodent Pest Control -10 Rotech Alert Rat trap tunnels and 20 Rotech rat snap traps (1env)
  • Scott Mckenzie, Acute Pest Control - Elleven TSA 17” computer backpacks with techtrap (BASF)
  • Karen Brett, John O’Conner Pest Control - A family of plush gulls (Jones & Son)
  • Harry Tucker, Prokill Shropshire - Installer pack of Ratwall (Metex)
  • Matt Edwards, Predator Pest Solutions - Pestfix product bundle
  • Steven Trim, Venomtech - Ultra Bee Suit (BBWear)
  • Daniel Stanley, Wynsdale Waste Management - Killgerm vouchers
  • Nick Webb, John O’Conner Pest Control - Amazon Echo dot
  • Martin Watret, Covkil Pest Control - Ferret Pro inspection bundle (Barrettine).

PestEx seminars

PestEx 2022 seminars

In the roster for giving seminars as well as exhibiting were representatives from Syngenta, PestFix, Planet Mark, Deadline Products, CRRU, Bayer, Killgerm, BASF and Edialux.

Alongside these speakers were industry experts like Alex Wade, Grahame Turner and Kunal Puri. Some of the seminar highlights included:

  • A talk from Dr Alex Kew, an expert from the Hospital for Tropical Diseases London, who gave a great talk on the medical implications of contact with pest species
  • An overview of the recent paper on the assessment of common rat management methods and related welfare impacts, from
    the author herself, Dr Sandra Baker
  • A licensing panel discussion from members of the BPCA Team; Chief Executive Ian Andrew, Training Manager Karen Dawes and Head of Membership and Technical Dee Ward-Thompson.

Some of the most popular talks were the case studies in our new Spotlight Theatre, which saw topics on mental health, pest control in Afghanistan, rodents in horse stables, moths in food businesses and much more, from a variety of knowledgeable speakers.

Ian Andrew, BPCA Chief Executive, commented: “There’s nothing better than seeing the whole spectrum of the pest control sector coming together in real life once more.

“Our exhibitors were fantastic. Their stands looked amazing and kept the visitors well engaged.

“However, PestEx isn’t just about technicians and business owners finding new products. Important connections were made at every level. 

“The BPCA team has learned a lot about connecting with the pest community digitally over the last couple of years, but that will never replace the physical human connection that our sector’s built on.

“From the team talks in the coffee area, to the collaborations between exhibitors, and the ideas shared between companies from across the world – nothing beats PestEx for making long-lasting relationships.”

He continued, “Exhibitor and visitor feedback so far has been extremely positive. For us, the main celebration was that PestEx finally went ahead.

“Beyond that, there is no point in comparing it to previous years as the world and how we live our lives daily has changed. The whole events sector is still very much in recovery, and while I’m sure attendance figures will grow again in the future, we were extremely pleased with the 1,460 visitors we welcomed to ExCeL. 

From the team talks in the coffee area, to the collaborations between exhibitors, and the ideas shared between companies from across the world – nothing beats PestEx for making long-lasting relationships.

Ian Andrew, BPCA Chief Exec

“Our range of seminars was exceptional, with many filled to the point where it was standing room only. We’d especially like to thank those amazing speakers from outside the sector that came to share their insights.

“I was very encouraged by the number of international exhibitors and visitors. I welcomed guests from sister associations, including the USA, Australia, Europe and Pakistan. I was delighted that Dominique Stumph could join us at our 80th-anniversary celebration at the Palace of Westminster, home of the UK parliament.

“Thanks again to everyone who made PestEx 2022 so special, and we look forward to seeing you at PPC Live in Harrogate, Yorkshire next March.”

Lauren Day, Events Manager at BPCA, added: “We were thrilled to be back at ExCeL for PestEx again and it was amazing to see all the effort our exhibitors put into making their stands exciting and engaging.

“As always, we couldn’t do it without their support and the support of our seminar speakers, so a huge thank you to them.

“And of course, the BPCA Staff team had a wonderful time meeting attendees and putting faces to names, and we can’t wait to do it all again next year at PPC Live!”

SAVE THE DATE

What: PPC Live
When: 22 March 2023
Where: Yorkshire Event Centre, Harrogate

bpca.org.uk/ppclive

Source: PPC107

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