International bed bug week

Towards the end of 2008, Rentokil ran a series of lectures across Europe in the first International Bed Bugs Week. Considering the huge interest in the subject and the amount of on-line debate centered on these pests here are some abridged diary entries from Dr. Peter Whittall, our Divisional Technical Director.

Hi guys,

Just a quick note on today’s activities in International bed bug week. Day 1 was a meeting of academics at the ETC. Representatives from the US, Denmark, UK and European Pest Control industries attended.

We also have had some coverage in The Guardian and BBC in the UK, and several papers in Ireland.

Today’s outcome – good rigorous ‘academic’ debate. Key points to emerge;

– total (unprompted) agreement that proactive inspections (to catch them early) is the only way to stand a good chance of controlling emerging bed bug populations. Good message to underpin our approach and apparently a number of other companies (in Ireland?) apparently doing this.

– proven resistance exists in every market represented and there was consensus that current actives will not touch populations in the future. ID’d the need for industry collaboration to assure effective future treatment, and perhaps the need to lobby regulators to permit use of materials other than pyrethroids within the arsenal. We could be positioned well here with heat.

– discussion of a view that it is this resistance (i.e. you can never completely get rid of an infestation) rather than global transportation that has resulted in the new resurgence as available actives have been removed (i.e. similar to MRSA mechanisms). Mixed views here and we discussed how this might be proven.

– led to a major discussion that they believe that we as one of the biggest PC companies are under utilising our information assets and could use our service reports to give significant  insights into infestations across wherever we operate; this if we could access them would give us competitive advantage..

– detection and its importance; new systems about to be launched in the US.

Conclusion – good day but need to reflect on how we get action from this.

More tomorrow – from France.

Cheers

Pete

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