Pest control company news and press releases

07 September 2022

Hobbies in the pest control industry

HEALTH AND SAFETY | PPC108 September 2022

We asked PPC readers, “what’s your hobby?” and boy did you all deliver! Take a look at what the professional pest control community does for fun. Who knows – you could discover your next out-of-hours passion project.

Jump to the BPCA staff team hobbies here.

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Hobbies for pest controllers

AIRSOFT player

member 1

Simon Barraclough from Premier Pest Control Services said: “Airsoft is a team game in which participants eliminate opposing players by tagging them out of play with spherical plastic projectiles shot with mock air weapons called airsoft guns.

“I started because my sons are involved with it, and I was soon hooked. For me, it’s the perfect hobby. I get to spend time with my sons, meet new people and stay fit.”

Head down to your local airsoft arena on a free rental night. See out in-depth look on page 39 too.

Disc jockey

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Debbie Wilson from Pestfix said: “My husband and I are Northern Soul and 60s skinhead Jamaican reggae DJs. I’ve been a big fan for over 38 years. It’s not just a hobby; it’s a way of life! 

“We DJ all over the country and abroad in Italy and Spain. We only play originals, so collecting the records is a massive part of our hobby. We love chasing the next record to add to our already huge collection of over 8,000 7” records and 2,000 LPs.”

You need to start collecting original records. To DJ at the big weekend venues, all your records must be original! Many big tunes are costly now, so anyone wanting to DJ now will have to spend thousands.

RNLI Volunteer

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Stuart Taylor from AGS One Pest Control said: “I’m part of the volunteer crew of the Littlehampton RNLI lifeboat. It’s extremely rewarding. Being an RNLI volunteer helps with your teamwork skills.”

Look up your local scuba diving clubs or visit the local lifeboat station. 

Fell runner

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Fell running, also sometimes known as hill running, is the sport of running and racing off-road, over upland country where the gradient ascended is a significant component of the difficulty. 

Adrian Gough from AG Pest Management said: “I love getting out into the countryside and the hills of Yorkshire and Lancashire. 

“If you’re going to give it a go yourself, take care and avoid bad weather. Remember, if it’s sunny on the lower ground, it could be snowing in the hills, so be prepared and ensure you stay within your limitations!”

Head for the hills!

Heavy metal concert goer

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Scot Tresidder from Duchy Pest Control said: “I travel the country (and sometimes Europe) going to heavy metal concerts. I’ve been into heavy music since my early years. At 49, I still love the atmosphere of the gigs and the 48 hours or so away from the business with the same group of mates I’ve known for over 30 years.

“I have met some fantastic people and been to some great cities. We went to Newcastle for Iron Maiden and Munich in Germany for Metallica - it’s always a great night.”

Download a heavy metal playlist on your Spotify account and get headbanging!

Ultra marathon runner

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Alan Johnson from Terminix said: “I was being medically discharged from the Army and wanted to prove that I had the minerals to do something tough. 

“I entered a 250-kilometre race across the Atacama Desert, which was epic and changed my life. 

“I participate in events longer than a marathon. I have participated in multi-stage races in Nepal, France and the Amazonian Rainforest.

“Most people look at runners and think it’s boring! However, (for me at least) it’s a doorway to another world! There is great serenity and peace but also turmoil, conflict and despair. If you have put in the time preparing physically and mentally, there can be an inexplicable reward that even the best narrator in the world would struggle to bring to life.”

Buy some running shoes (£60), a good pair of running socks (£3), a t-shirt and shorts. If you look the part, you’ll feel the part! Go somewhere with woods, a hill or open fields and just set off. You only need to run/walk across one field, and the journey has started.

Metal detectorist

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Gordon from Harvey Environmental Services said: “I’d seen a programme on TV, and it sparked my interest. I enjoy finding history and travelling to other areas of the country with members of my groups.”

You need insurance from the National Council for Metal Detecting (NCMD). Equipment is readily available online.

Chess player

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“If you have put in the time preparing physically and mentally, there can be an inexplicable reward that even the best narrator in the world would struggle to bring to life.”

Matt Garwood from MG Pest Control said: “I’ve loved chess since I was a child but have now taken it up more seriously and I’m competing in the Essex and County leagues. It’s great for switching off from my pest control business. Plus, it helps me exercise my brain and solve problems.”

Join a local chess club, or you can even play online.

Local historian

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“Researching family trees is a challenge; it’s just like pest control. Some detective work is needed, and you never stop looking at all the options.”

Andy Denholm from Durham County Council said: “For 30 years, I’ve been researching family trees and those who served in the Great War from 1914 to 1918. Incredibly, some people aren’t aware they had family who served. 

“The most exciting part is reuniting World War One medals with family members. Medals are brought to my attention, and then I trace the family. Sometimes, I see a medal for sale, and I think “I wonder if I can trace their relatives”, and it goes from there! 

“With access to the genealogy sites I subscribe to, I can do this and provide the relatives with all available military documents and records. 

“Researching family trees is a challenge; it’s just like pest control. Some detective work is needed, and you never stop looking at all the options.”

Why not start small, by tracing your own family tree? There are plenty of online genealogy and ancestry databases to use.

Charity footballer

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Jason Mcfarlane from Beaver Pest Control said: “I run a men’s 11-a-side charity football team. We play one game every other month. We started it during the lockdown, as I was feeling a bit down in the dumps and wanted a boost.

“We raise funds for Havering/Barking and Dagenham Mind if we play at home. When we play away games, we raise funds for the other team’s charities of choice.

“I love seeing all the lads get along and have a laugh. Plus, getting a win is always a bonus!”

Put on your studs and shin pads, and get playing! You can do a Google search for teams local to you.

Historical reenactor

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Dianne Godfrey from Godfrey Pest Control said: “I fight as a musketeer in 17th-century reenactments. I find it such a change from modern life that I come home refreshed. Where else can you go about the streets shouting “a pox on parliament” and playing with gunpowder?

“Some people just go for the ‘booze and bash’ (drink and fight), but I like to research the whole lifestyle of the time. I love cooking old recipes over wood, playing music on my cittern, and dancing the flirty dances of the time.”

Check out the Historic UK website for details on reenactment groups across the country


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Alex Wade of Wade Environmental said: “Powerlifting is the competition to lift the most weight (for your age and weight) in three different lifting styles: the deadlift, the squat and the bench press. 

“Although it might seem trite simply to pick something up just to put it back down again, I find that powerlifting has helped me maintain a healthy mental attitude, develop discipline and build patience.”

Turn up to any gym, start light and remember that technique is more important than weight.

Model maker

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Bill Griffin from Pestforce Peterborough said: “I enjoy making mostly military vehicles and aircraft. I served 22 years with the RAF, so I’m interested in military history. I’m a model club member and even had one of my models pictured in the Airfix monthly magazine!

“I started as a kid - everyone was making them in the 70s. I started again about ten years ago. I find it relaxing and challenging, depending on the model.”

Have a look on YouTube for model makers. Kits can be purchased online, and beginners kits usually have all the necessary components.

Fossil collector

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Mathew from III Shires Pest Control said: “Ever since I was very young, I could be found wandering head down looking for fossils. 

“Recently I found a sea urchin in Norfolk. I also have a dinosaur at the end of my garden… it’s a plesiosaur from around 203 million years ago, during the Jurassic period when most of Great Britain was underwater and very different to today.”

Go for a walk in the countryside where there has been glacial activity or take a stroll down Jurassic coasts. Read books or look online so you know what to look for.

Small bore rifle shooter

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Dan Lake from Precision Pest Management Solutions said: “I started when I went with my Grandad to his club when I was 16. It’s a great hobby for sharpening your concentration and discipline. Plus, it’s fun!

“Next weekend, I’ll compete in a trial to represent Great Britain against the USA, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand.”

Find your local rifle club online or contact the National Small-bore Rifle Association (NSRA). They usually run open days and taster sessions.

Classic car enthusiast

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Morris McKinlay from Rentokil said: “I own a 1968 Morris Minor. It’s nice to have and drive a car with my name on it! I’ve always had a passion for classic cars, and when this one came up for sale, I had to buy it.

“There is nothing like the feeling you get when you’re out driving a classic car!”

Look for an owners club. From buying to repairing, you’ll find all the help and tips as far as the cars are concerned.


member 17

Shaun Owens from Southwark Council said: “I’ve always had a natural given talent, and I am, like most artists, lazy! Covid forced my hands, and now I realise I must not stop!

“Having a heart bypass made me realise just what I’ve been missing. I especially like seeing the reaction of the people I create for.”

Join an art class or just teach yourself. The only thing holding anyone back is their own creativity. Just go for it.

What about the BPC team?

BPCA team members are a devoted bunch, but many of us are passionate about our hobbies. This is what the folk in the BPCA staff team do in their spare time.

“I enjoy problem-solving, and climbing gives you an excellent upper body workout.”

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Beth, our Sales Executive, said: “I enjoy problem-solving, and climbing gives you an excellent upper body workout. I got into it through Air Cadets, where I met my husband. He was the president of the Maidstone Climbing club and dragged me into the sport. I enjoy it!”

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Ballet dancer

Sarah, our Events Officer, said: “I started ballet when I was three, then never gave up my ballet shoes! As an adult, it keeps me fit and stops me from going to the pub next door on a Friday night!”

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Game player

Kat, our Marketing and Communications Officer, said: “I’ve played video games since I was very young, after I got my first Sega Master System. I’m currently playing Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands on PlayStation, a spin-off from the Borderlands series.

“I enjoy board games with my friends and partner! There’s nothing better than the chance to destroy my friends and reign supreme. (Note: I rarely win, I’m not very good).”

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Ian, our Chief Exec, said: “I’ve done a few long-distance walks, including Hadrian’s Wall and St Cuthbert’s Way. Living in East Yorkshire, I have a great choice of coast and country walks and will typically do two-three hour walks on a Saturday and Sunday.

“I remember going on regular walks around the North East of Scotland with my Granny. I‘ve always enjoyed getting into the hills or down a beach (preferably seeing as few people as possible)!”

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Chalk sign writer

Lauren, our Events Manager, said: “I initially started by making signs for my own wedding back in 2016. Then friends asked for signs for their own weddings and house decorations. In 2021 I set up my own Instagram page @laurendoeschalksigns, and began to make them for other people too! 

“I enjoy switching off and sitting doodling away in an evening, designing each piece from scratch and seeing them in people’s houses, at weddings and promoting other businesses.”

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Holiday maker

Clare, our Training Administrator, said: “As a child, a holiday was always a Morris Minor pulling a trailer to go camping. Now the world has opened back up post-Covid, holidays are more important to me than ever!”

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Football supporter

Niall, our Training and CPD Administrator, said: “I enjoy going to football games and travelling around the country to visit new places. I’m currently attempting to go to all the 92 English Premier League and football league grounds. I’m now at 64!”

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Lorraine, our Operations Manager, said: “Running has been a complete life changer. I joined a running club and made a cracking group of amazing new friends! We supported each other through our running highs (hills, which appear in running terms as ‘pay the bills’) and lows (being the final finisher in a race is character building, to say the least). 

“I’ve done things I never thought possible when I set out on being able to run for 30 minutes! Now I’ve done two London Marathons, the Manchester Marathon, the Ashby 20-mile road race, been a Leicestershire Road Race League participant, and won the running club’s President’s Award!”

Rachel, our Member Support Officer, also enjoys running. She said: “My husband did some work for our neighbour who runs regularly and mentioned if I’d like to try it, and invited me to join her. My fitness levels have improved, and running before work sets me up for the day!”

“Running has been a complete life changer. I joined a running club and made a cracking group of amazing new friends! ”

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Rounders player

Natalie, our Technical Compliance Manager, said: “I started playing in a women’s team in 2018. I’ve always been into sports and wanted to make some new friends in an area I was new to. Team sports are a fantastic way of not only keeping fit but also a great way to form some good lasting friendships.

“Rounders is quite a dangerous sport. The ball is small but hard. We’ve had broken fingers, split heads, detached retinas and even some knocked-out teeth! Apart from the exciting fear of injury, I find the game really fun. We have a lot of banter, and I’ve made some great friends.”

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John, our Technical Support Officer, said: “It all started with my parents being very active scuba divers. From age two, they started taking me on dive trips, mainly around the east coast of England and the west coast of Scotland. 

“As I grew older, this sparked my passion for exploring the sea. I joined a local sailing club where we raced locally every Wednesday and Sunday with several offshore races each year up and down the east coast and around Europe. 

“In recent years me and my partner Katie have raced smaller keelboats and enjoy encouraging our children to come sailing.”

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