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01 November 2022

Pests in the press: July to September 2022

NEWS | PPC109 October 2022

Press activity ramped up with appearances on television and radio for BPCA as a long hot summer drifted into autumn, while seasonal pests including wasps and maggots generated plenty of headlines in print and online.

pests press hero

Activity in Q3

Work to position BPCA as a voice for the industry in the press is continuing to bear fruit.  National and regional news sites cover newly-released advice as well as quoting previously issued information from the Association.

BPCA’s guide to ‘Things that go buzz’ proved popular in regionals and sector-specific titles including Landscaping Matters, Local Gardener and Garden Forum in July. Enquiries from the media included information requests from iNews, BBC Radio Hereford & Worcester and Tomorrow’s Cleaning.

The focus in August was largely on wasps, with some titles reinforcing BPCA’s key messages in headlines such as: “‘Call in the professionals’ is message on wasp pests”.

BPCA wasp advice was included in articles from the South Wales Guardian and Oxford Mail to South West Farmer and Glasgow Evening Times.

Also in August, comments from a previous press release on false widow spiders resurfaced in articles across the UK from The Daily Mirror to Coventry Telegraph and Hull Daily Mail

An interview request from GB News resulted in Technical Manager Natalie Bungay appearing live on Breakfast with Eamonn and Ellie on Thursday, August 25, explaining why many people will see spiders and invertebrates moving indoors as the weather turns colder.

Natalie also advised viewers to call the RSPCA rather than a BPCA member in the rare instance a snake is discovered indoors, and offered Eamonn some advice on how to tackle his annual ant problem at home.

Warnings on wasps continued to gain coverage into September, alongside an article encouraging householders to check bins for maggots after a long hot summer.

On Wednesday, September 14, it was the turn of Technical Officer John Horsley to face the media with an interview on the consumer programme You and Yours, presented by Peter White, on BBC Radio 4.

John was called in to comment on bed bugs and the difficulty in tackling them as part of a debate about the right to a refund for holiday-makers who discover they are sharing their accommodation with the pest.

Stories about bed bugs popped up in regional and national titles at least once in each month over Q3, with BPCA advice quoted each time.

Press releases issued in September included articles on fleas and ticks, with features about woodlice, rats and mice planned in the run up to Christmas, alongside some targeted stories about the role of rodenticides in farming.

Top 3 headlines

▶ Wasp nest? Don’t be stung into DIY action - Dorset Echo (link)

▶ Households on maggot alert - Basingstoke and North Hampshire Gazette (link)

▶ Super-rats - Daily Star (link)

Articles to-date 2022 379

Circulation 170,625,536

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