The first day of PestWorld 2013 (Tuesday, October 23, 2013) in Phoenix, AZ is just wrapping up, and what a day it’s been. Some 3,300 Pest Management professionals from across the globe have packed the Phoenix Convention Center, getting all the latest info on everything from new methods of treatment and control to marketing strategy.
Here are a few of the highlights from day one (pictures to come):
Before PestWorld 2013 officially kicked off, many participants elected to run/walk in the Professional Women in Pest Management (PWIPM) 5K, just outside the downtown Phoenix Sheraton, with proceeds going toward a breast cancer cure and awareness. Additionally PestWorld 2013 held a golf tournament at the majestic Kierland Golf Club to help kick off the event. The admins of Blog Pest Control did not attend these two events, but should have pictures shortly.
Canine Scent Detection
I personally had the opportunity to sit in on the full four hours of of this pre-conference specialty session, and took quite a bit away from each of the presenters.
The Science Behind Canine Scent Detection
Dr. Paul Waggoner of Auburn University was the first to present and delved into the broad depths of canine scent detection; and not just as it pertains to bedbugs. In his research at Auburn University, Dr. Waggoner works extensively with detector dog teams in the context of basic sensory and behavioral sciences. In this work, he was able to tract different brain responses of detector dogs under MRI, as they were presented different odorants. It was quite fascinating to see some of the results.
One of the major themes I took away from Dr. Waggoner’s presentation, is that canine scent detection is extremely complex. There are so many variables that come into play when training and using these dogs. Early canine experience is key, and when training these dogs, do all you can to ensure that the dog’s training matches real world application/operations. Use wild bedbugs to train dogs for scent detection.
One thing I did find interesting, is that it really doesn’t matter all that much the breed of dog you choose for scent detection. The biology of how a dog smells is more or less the same, but certain dogs have a better public perception (i.e. labs, German Shepherds, etc.). That is why these breeds are more frequently selected for scent detection.
How To Effectively Sub-Contract Canine Scent Detection Teams
Here are a few highlights of this presentation, given by Judy Black of The Steritech Group and Donnie Blake of Okolona Pest Control Inc.:
If your customers claim they are getting bit, but you can’t find any visual bedbug activity, use canines. For your own protection, you have to verify that there is nothing there. You also have to have reliable dogs for this very reason. You cannot have false negatives.
Why Use Canine Bedbug Detection?
- Increase inspection efficacy
- Increase marketability
- Increase competitiveness
- Increase differentiation
- Inspection is faster
- Inspection more accurate and thorough
Own vs. Subcontract Canines: Keep in mind the initial cost, upkeep, two canine team capability, training, and certification. Can you make a profit doing it all on your own? Use one of your competitors? What’s vendor approval criteria?
- Dog on bed preferably
- Reinspect rooms done before and just after break
- Reinspect alerted rooms
- Track findings and false negatives
- What to do when canine alerts with no visual activity? (Documentation for court purposes and should still treat).
- Air flow can confuse canines
- Heat, in hallways in particular
- Heavy Infestations
- Canine sick
- Handler/canine relationships
- Reinspection= different results
Final Point: If you’re going to sell Canine services to your clients, you better believe in it!
Thought Leader Session: Ownership Thinking
Lead by Tom Bouwer, with Ownership Thinking out of Atlanta, GA. These sessions covered the paradigm shift from a employee view to a a business owner view. The sessions explored taking your employees and teaching them to think like business owners. Helping them understand profits, waste, and improving the company as a whole. Tom discussed how to set efficiency numbers. How to help employees see and measure key points for improvement. Sharing models for rapid improvement plans (RIP). Overall the group was full of pest control business owners learning how to improve their operations.
The opening ceremony for PestWorld 2013 kicked off the event in the Phoenix Convention Center Ballroom with a presentation by String Theory. Basically, it was a concert or music performance, done by a giant harp. Words cannot do it justice. (Pictures to come)
The remainder of today was spent in the exhibit hall, checking out the 100,000 square feet of exhibits and vendors. These vendors offered information and literature on every for products and services on everything pest management. It was a great opportunity to take a peak at all of the newest pest management products and technologies. They even h ad a pie station! I will likely dedicate another blog post to some of the exhibits I observed here today.
Check back tomorrow for our highlights from day two of PestWorld 2013 in Phoenix, AZ