Every month our FB (Field Biologist) team meets up for a discussion (usually one person in our team has more to say than others and he knows who he is!) on issues that affect us.
After the hard going of a meeting there is light relief in the form of a competition. The competition is that we all have to bring in an item associated with pest control whether it is an insect; an object that has been damaged by a pest or an unusual item connected to our job. One rule is no photos allowed as it’s easy to download a photo of a rare bug and claim it as one of yours!
A vote by everyone at the meeting determines the winner (I can’t believe my Maybug that I caught on holiday was beaten by Saw flies found in one of my colleagues garden last month). The winner of this competition is presented with a box of sweets by the boss.
All of these items are then put in a big plastic crate and can then be used as training purposes. The bizarre list of things as well as actual pests that have gone in the box of pest control delights include:
- A rare weevil not usually found in this country
- A snake skin of a Corn snake found on the shelf of a retail store
- The three commonest types of cockroaches on a single insect detector, these being a German, Oriental and American cockroach
- A cigar with holes made by cigarette beetle larvae (one of the many insects more commonly found in food than you think)
- Hornet nest
- Old style plastic bait boxes
- Various items with smear marks (dirt and grease found on rodents bodies when they run past a place over and over again)
- Other items that have been gnawed by rats and mice
There are numerous others but I cannot remember them. Needless to say this competition can get a bit competitive and I don’t know about my colleagues, but I have a couple of curiosities on standby for this month given to me by technicians in the field and others found by relatives.
I’ll let you know how I get on in one of my later postings if when I am triumphant.