The last few weeks have been a busy period for AEPMA, from Code of Practices working group meetings for Termite Control In & Around Existing Buildings and also Training in the Pest Management Industry, to our face to face board meeting. These have all been highly productive with many positive activities to follow from robust discussions. One of the great benefits from representing the industry on the board and working groups is the personal development you gain from being able to deal with complex issues with differing opinions, potential outcomes based on state borders and the effect decisions made will have on member companies of different sizes. These personal developments translate into me being a better customer, employee and supplier manager within my own business. I highly recommend that you get involved. Not only would you be giving back to the Industry, it is well worth it in terms of what you can learn and take back to your own business. Read more
FMC has a new team but their product development is still historic
The purchase of Cheminova by FMC Corporation has meant a new management team at FMC Australasia Specialty Products and direct access to manufacturing in Australia. FMC Specialty is best known for HomeGuard Termite Management System and the Biflex range of Bifenthrin based products. In August, Patrick Madden was appointed as the Commercial Manager – Specialty. Patrick brings with him years of experience at Syngenta where he held several key commercial roles, including Seed Care Account Manager and Senior Sales Manager for Pest Control. Paige Finnegan has joined as Marketing & Communications Manager with experience at Syngenta, turf chemical distribution and pharmaceutical marketing. FMC’s Million Dollar Warranty is now being managed by John Tilley. Read more
A spotlight on Quality Pest & Weed Solutions - winner of Pest Manager of the Year - Less than 5 Employees
Mark and Fiona Sheppard run Quality Pest & Weed Solutions in East Perth. The business is unique, combining “hands on” pest management with a registered training organisation and a consultancy business offering specialist pest management advice. Mark says his background in competency based training was a good fit. He says, “It’s very rewarding to be able to train people in a number of things, whether it be government agencies in pesticide safety, pest control licencing, or for product stewardship.” Of course the pest management side of the business is important and there is a strong focus on quality. Mark says, “Our focus has always been on the commercial side of the business and that focus has been on trying to provide a quality service, that’s why we named our company Quality Pest & Weed Solutions. We’re not looking to be the biggest, but one of the things we always try and focus on is trying to be the best.” Read more
BASF Builds Business Bench Strength
Global Chemical Company, BASF has strengthened its local sales platform in pest control with the appointment of Mark Wilson and Leigh Pronk, area managers in Northern and Southern Australia, respectfully. The Australian Professional and Specialty Solutions team lead by Commercial Manager, Stewart Paterson has been actively bolstering its whole team with expertise across the board, securing Dr David Elmouttie to manage the technical side and Andrew Glenn to take care of sales in NSW over the last 12 months. ‘I am thrilled to be leading an energetic team, that is well-placed to support our rapidly growing business. With an exciting portfolio of new products coming in late 2015 – early 2016, our team has a significant depth and breadth of complimentary experience in the pest control industry’, Stewart Paterson said. Read more
WorkCover Guide to Respiratory Protection
WorkCover has recently provided to AEPMA a guide on respiratory protection, for more information, please contact the AEPMA National Office on 1300 307 114 or email to email@example.com.
To friend or not to friend - that is the question
Scared that “unfriending” or rejecting a request of a work colleague on social media will put you at risk of a bullying claim? Don’t be. A recent FWC case demonstrates that it’s a little more complicated than that. A property consultant, employed by a real estate franchise, filed an application with the FWC seeking orders to stop bullying after she allegedly suffered 18 separate incidents of bullying, resulting in a diagnosis of depression and anxiety. Read more
A Spotlight on Specialist Termite Control - Pest Manager of the Year - Specialised Business Area
Specialist Termite Control is based in Melbourne and covers the city districts and some regional parts of Victoria. Specialist Termite control has won Pest Manager of the Year in the Specialised Business Category for the second consecutive time. The business has 7 specialist technicians, 1 trainee and 3 office staff. Company Directors, Tom and Rob Boschma, say the business is unique in that specialist staff members are given a great deal of autonomy when it comes to the service that is provided to clients. He says, “From the very first moment when the technician arrives on the doorstep of the client, they’re responsible for the work and for the relationship with that client and the specification for the type of work that is to be carried out there.” Read more
Super Bed Bugs immune to pesticides
SUPER bed bugs are breeding in everything from backpacker hostels to five-star resorts, but scientists believe they are close to finding a way to stop them. For years, pest managers worldwide have been reporting bed bugs are becoming immune to insecticides. In Australia bed bug infestations have risen about 5000 per cent since 1999, according to Westmead Clinical School. University of Sydney researcher David Lilly, however, has found two ways the pests have developed this immunity. Read more
Join the magnetic revolution with Ensystex
MAGNATHOR™ MAGNETIC COCKROACH BAIT with Magthanite is the latest generational step forward in cockroach management from Ensystex. Mr Steve Broadbent, Ensystex’s Regional Director explains how MAGNATHOR uses a totally innovative concept to give improved results. “MAGNATHOR employs the power of paramagnetism. This is the weak magnetic attraction shown by most elements and some compounds in the presence of a magnetic field. Paramagnetic substances are not permanently magnetised by exposure to the field and revert to an un-magnetised state in its absence. MAGNATHOR Magnetic Cockroach Bait is a dry, flowable powder bait that contains a desirable blend of food attractants that lure the foraging cockroaches towards the MAGNATHOR Kill Zone™. As they approach the Kill Zone, the cockroaches literally act like a magnet and draw the MAGNATHOR particles to their exoskeletons resulting in their death. Read more
European wasps: They'll be back - and possibly more of them than before
European wasp numbers reached plague proportions across Victoria last summer – but some are predicting that this season could be worse. A King Valley winemaker said he was already planning for the aggressive pest, dashing hopes of would-be outdoor diners throughout the region. "Last year was horrendous," said Fred Pizzini, owner of Pizzini Wines. "We eradicated about 40 nests within 600 or 700 metres of our cellar door." Mr Pizzini said he would try to cull this year's crop of wasps with homemade traps using fermented honey water. "When we had functions, people were blaming us," he said. "It's not the fault of the venues. It is just a consequence of the conditions." Museum Victoria entomologist Patrick Honan said last summer's wasp population hit a 20-year high, reaching plague numbers throughout the state. "Enough to get people's attention." Read more
Date announced for International Conference in Urban Pests 2017
Held once every three years, the dates and details for the next International Conference on Urban Pests (ICUP) have been announced by the organisers. The conference is, once again, being held in Europe and will take place on 9 - 12 July 2017. The venue is Conference Aston, which is based on the University of Aston campus in central Birmingham, UK. This highly popular, non-profit, conference is the leading international forum for sharing information and ideas on the impact, biology and control of pests in the urban environment. It is attended by entomologists, pest management professionals, and academic and government scientists from around the world. Read more
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5 December 2015 - AEPMA Christmas Party, Hendra, Brisbane - details to follow. Don't forget to mark your diaries for the 26th FAOPMA Conference "Solving Pest Problems" to be held 14-16 September 2016 on the Gold Coast. For further information on any of the events above, please do not hesitate to contact the National Office on 1300 307 114.
The lifeline of Mumbai, the suburban local trains carry lakhs of people every day, but in this case, a rake was also ferrying thousands of hidden passengers – red ants. To make matters worse, these red ants gnawed through the primary brake cables.
The incident happened inside a Kalyan-Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus local train around 1.30 pm yesterday and the coaches were comparatively less crowded.
“As it crossed Matunga, the motorman saw a flicker on the dashboard, indicating that one of the cables connecting the EP brake was not working efficiently,” said a Central Railway (CR) official on condition of anonymity.
The Electro Pneumatic (EP) brake being the primary one inside the Siemens rake, the motorman then had to shift his attention to the secondary brakes.
Motormen have come to rely on the EP brake, in which the electrics take care of the braking and acceleration with little manual or mechanical intervention. This brake is like a joystick on the right side of the dashboard panel and the entire train, including its speed and braking, can be controlled by using it.
Sources said that after the EP brake failure, the rake was then run as a normal one, without the EP brake, all the way to CST, without it getting hampered by any technical glitch.
During this time the secondary brakes – which comprises an Auto brake – was put into use to take the train all the way till CST. “The train was then taken to Kurla carshed for inspection,” added the official. This is when the officials found thousands of red ants chewing the already damaged cables and insulators of the EP brake.
The official added, “The SKS12 cable insulator and in-coder cable were found damaged. We then had to replace them with a new one out of the stock.”
Meanwhile, the CR officials blame the motormen for not knowing to operate Auto brakes which are as good as the EP ones. Sources said that ever since the new rakes have come in, a single joystick is sufficient for acceleration and deceleration of trains. The Auto brakes and other semi-manual ones are on the left side of the dashboard panel.
“The motormen have more or less forgotten to use the Auto brakes, which was earlier an important part in older trains while manoeuvring them. We will now be training the 800-odd motormen to apply Auto brakes on a regular journey,” said the CR officials. The training will begin on the Kalyan-Karjat/Kasara route in the next couple of days during off-peak time when the motormen will be monitored while applying Auto brakes
In this case, CR officials claim that the motorman could have easily used the secondary brakes without panicking. These Auto brakes are semi-manual ones where there is little electronic control. When the Auto brakes are pressed, pressure is applied or released through a piston that then controls the braking of the entire rake. This was how the older rakes used to function.
“There is no need to panic as the braking system is foolproof. There are three other brakes to ensure that there are no problems in the running of the train. Ants are difficult to control but regular pest control is carried out,” said Narendra Patil, chief PRO, CR.
Combating the ant menace
Every rake undergoes pest control during the periodic overhauling every 18 months. Apart from this, the authorities try to ensure that there are no anthills inside the carshed, where trains are parked in large numbers.
Dealing with emergencies
There is a ‘dead man handle’ – that is like a spring on the joystick – which ensures that the train comes to a halt if the motorman is incapacitated or other brakes don’t function. The guard too has an emergency brake inside his cabin that is completely manual.
The joystick where the EP brake is present also has a regenerative brake in it wherein the train saves power of 33 per cent every time the brake is applied. When the EP is pulled backward, the regenerative braking works up to the speed of 5 km/h