Having worked in the pest control sector for 18 years, Alan Morris has extensive experience in the industry, and has been privy to many changes over the years.
His first taste of the sector was in 1997, working in a sales administration role for AgrEvo, the environmental science company for professional pest control, and he hasn’t looked back since.
In 2000 when the company merged to become Aventis Environmental Science, Alan took up the role of European product manager. “This was quite a step up from managing the sales, orders and deliveries in the UK. It was challenging, but the experience taught me a lot,” says Alan.
“The role required me to travel around Europe, working on the ground with pest controllers from different countries, which gave me experience of the different pest control challenges.
“It was a really interesting time, we were ultimately preparing for what regulatory bodies would do and the future needs of the industry, and this strategic investment in the future of pest control and adapting accordingly, is what Bayer as a company still does,” he says.
Now in the role of head of the sales and technical team for professional pest control products at Bayer, and heavily involved with the BPCA, NPTA and CRRU, Alan’s contribution to the industry is far-reaching, and he maintains that looking after his customers is still top of the agenda. “The changing needs of the pest controller are paramount, and we’re always innovating with new technologies, packaging presentations, new application equipment and are also keen to communicate key information and regulatory changes,” he adds.
Richard fell into the pest control industry quite by accident, but found it appealing from the off, because of the diversity of the job.
Starting as a pest controller in Wigan with ‘National Britannia’, a national pest control company, at the age of 22, he felt at home managing his own patch, and encountering a different challenge each day.
“I became fascinated straight away. I’d say something about the industry gets under your skin,” he says.
Eventually Richard progressed to manage the pest control needs for some of the largest food manufacturers in Europe. “It was a huge learning curve for me. I was also training others in the industry.
“This experience and training paved the way for my next post, in 2008, when I became the technical manager for the BPCA. Here I was heavily involved with influencing government policy, for the benefit of our members and the wider industry,” he says.
Having now been at Bayer for five months, Richard is the technical manager for professional pest control and feels the most important aspect of the role is to give pest controllers a high level of support and industry knowledge.
“I’m here to inform on legislation, formulations, insect identification and guidance on what will and won’t work,” he adds.
Neil’s role at Bayer is very much focussed on communicating with distributors and end users about products but also about supporting industry changes and best practice.
“I work closely with the NPTA and BPCA, attending and speaking at workshops around the UK and engaging directly with pest controllers.
“At these events it’s my job to let professionals know what products we have available and how to use them, for instance, the recent focus has largely been on Racumin® Foam, as this is our newest product, launched last year. It’s an innovative water-based foam formulation designed for use against both rats and mice,” he says.
Neil also manages the accounts for distributors Killgerm and Barrettine, where he believes transparency and good communication is key to the role. “I need to be on the ball in terms of regulatory and industry changes so I can advise on anything that might affect continuity of supply,” he adds.
Ken Black is responsible for the agricultural side of the Bayer pest control business, primarily covering rodenticides and grain storage pests. Ken can be seen at many agricultural events across the UK, where he actively engages with farmers about their pest issues.
Ken studied agriculture at Lancashire and then Lincolnshire College of Agriculture, then went on to work for a company installing dairy equipment. But it was an interest in animal health that attracted him to a role managing the sales of rodenticides and animal health products into the agricultural merchant trade, for the company Sorex.
“I was recommended to make the move to Bayer because they were about to launch their product range Rodilon, which comprises of an exciting range of rodenticide formulations that contain difethialone, an active with no known resistance,” he says.
“I’ve been with Bayer for five years, and I’ve seen many industry changes and shifts. To me it’s clear that as a company, Bayer is trying to ensure that farmers and pest controllers working in the agricultural sector are armed with the right products, and the right advice for dealing with pest issues.” Ken is also BASIS qualified and holds an RSPH level two in pest management.
Greg Collins represents the Bayer Pest Control industry in Ireland. He sits on the board for CRRU in Ireland and is expert in policy, which can differ from England.
Greg actively engages with distributers and pest controllers in Ireland, and works on the ground to ensure that his customers have the support they need to do the job.
“Regulations in Ireland are often different than the rest of the UK, so I have to be up to speed, and ready to communicate these changes to the people that need to know them, and support this with product knowledge,” he says.
Contact the Pest Solutions team at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 00800 1214 9451
Racumin® Foam contains 0.4% w/w coumatetralyl (BPR:UK-2014-0860, IE/BPA 7016) USE BIOCIDES SAFELY. ALWAYS READ THE LABEL AND PRODUCT INFORMATION BEFORE USE. PAY ATTENTION TO THE RISK INDICATIONS AND FOLLOW THE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS ON THE LABEL.