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07 March 2018

PPC Live: Meet the speaker - Clive Boase

Feature pest control | PPC90 March 2018

We catch up with Clive to find out what we should expect from his upcoming seminar at PPC Live 2018 titled Resistance – back to basics.

Clive Boase talks resistance at PPC Live

I have worked in the pest control industry for several decades now, and have run the Pest Management Consultancy since the 1990s. Although the Consultancy’s work covers many aspects of pest control, one topic that keeps recurring is pesticide resistance.

In recent years we have been involved in developing resistance management programmes for particular pesticides, organising regional surveys of insect resistance, and evaluating alternative control techniques. The more time we spend working with our clients on resistance, the more fascinating the topic becomes.

Pests are living organisms, so of course, they are continually evolving defences against the pesticides used to control them. Charles Darwin would not have been surprised by insecticide resistance, although he may have been interested to see the speed with which it can evolve. In effect, there is an ongoing arms race between the pest control industry, and the pests.

In technical publications, this arms race is often discussed in terms of genes, enzymes, and modes of action. However, significant pest physiology is, the issue is much bigger than that. Through our work we have found ourselves involved in a much broader range of questions, for example:

  • To what extent are we to blame for pesticide resistance?
  • How much information should pesticide manufacturers provide on resistance?
  • Do we have to passively accept the gradual loss of pesticide effectiveness, or should our pest control industry become better organised in terms of resistance management?
  • What does resistance management actually mean in our industry?
  • To what extent can pests be controlled using non-chemical techniques and who would develop this technology? 
  • What, if anything, can we learn about resistance management from other sectors, such as agriculture or vector control?
  • Some people have said that there is a risk that pesticide resistance could become an excuse for poor pest control. Is this correct, and if so, what can we do about it?
  • Is it possible to actually reverse resistance, using genetic technology?

So, with help from the participants, this session aims to tackle some of the topics above.

Resistance back to basics

What will visitors get from this talk?

Those attending this session should bring an open mind, and a willingness to get involved. What people will take away from the session is going to depend a lot on who they are.
Manufacturers, servicing companies and regulators are all likely to find different take-home messages. However, if we can start to change the perception that resistance is...

  • A rare freak of nature
  • Someone else’s problem
  • Somehow a bit embarrassing

...then we will have made some progress.

Do you have anything special planned for the talk?

The session itself will, of course, involve a talk, probably a quiz (and maybe even a prize!), and most importantly plenty of time for discussion.

I will make sure that everyone’s questions, concerns or ideas about resistance are fully aired and addressed.

Looking forward to seeing you there! 


Professional pest control together. PPC Live is the sister show to PestEx, and is BPCA's exhibition and conference designed for UK pest control technicians, managers and company owners. This event will be held on Wednesday 14 March 2018 at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern, Worcestershire.

Register now

More about this talk

View all PPC Live seminars

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Source: PPC90

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