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Welcome to the Australian Environmental Pest Managers Association October 2021 edition. Please read on below for more details below or visit our website for online version


AEPMA eNewsletter October 2021

Dear Member

Welcome to the October edition of the AEPMA eNewsletter. 

For the first time ever, The Pest Manager of the Year Awards were held virtually, and the event was a great success. Once again, the standard of nominees was extremely high.

Congratulations to Suburban Pest for winning Australian Pest Manager of the Year 2021.

I would like to congratulate the winners in each category and also thank BASF for their continued support of Pest Manager of the Year.

The Professional Women in Australian Pest Management (PWAPM) Excellence Award (sponsored by BASF) was also announced at the virtual event, and I would like to congratulate Kuyan Rider from Conquer Termites Northside as the 2021 Excellence Award Winner.

More information on the awards and winners can be found below.

Kind regards

Please don't hesitate to contact me or the National AEPMA Office should you have any queries.

Kind Regards 

Vasili Tsoutouras



Pest Manager of the Year 2021 

The winners of the 2021 Pest Manager of the Year were announced at an online Pest Manager of the Year & PWAPM Excellence Awards night. 

AEPMA President, Vasili Tsoutouras and Dr David Elmouttie (Business Manager, ANZ) from BASF, were delighted to announce the 2021 winners across the four categories.

  • South Pacific Pest Manager of the Year:   Rentokil Fiji
  • Micro Business Award:    Pest Doctors
  • Pest Management Firm with Fewer than 10 People:   Bug R Off! Pest Busters
  • Pest Management Firm with More than 10 People:   Suburban Pest Management
  • The Australian Pest Manager of the Year 2021: Suburban Pest Management

Upon accepting the award, Tom Aldridge from Suburban Pest Management said, "Kahlee and I want to thank everyone in the SPM team who enabled us to win this award. It would not have been possible without the incredible team we have. We also want to say thank you to everyone who has supported us over the years, both in and outside of the industry.  We've made many friendships over the years in this amazing industry and look forward to catching up with everyone to celebrate together when the opportunity finally arises!"

Congratulations to all of our 2021 winners and a big thank you to everyone who took the time to apply.

2021 PWAPM Excellence Award Winner

PWAPM President Nicky Turner and Michelle Downs (last year’s 2020 Winner) were excited to announce Kuyan Rider from Conquer Termites Northside as the 2021 Excellence Award Winner in the Gold Coast. The Professional Women in Australian Pest Management 2021 Excellence Award seeks to recognise and highlight the achievement of a woman who has advanced in the pest management industry.

This prestigious award is given to a woman in the pest control industry that has not only shown outstanding leadership but has dedicated her time and energy in making notable contributions to the development and growth of others in the industry. Kuyan’s persistence and hard work has paid off with being nominated and then a finalist for 3 years in a row. This year she did it. 

The PWAPM would like to thank BASF for once again sponsoring this award. It is important to acknowledge that without sponsors like BASF these awards are not possible. A special thank you to AEPMA for their support and other industry experts who helped with the judging. Many hours of voluntary time go into this award. 

Congratulations Kuyan Rider – 2021 PWAPM Excellence Award Winner. 

Pest Manager of the Year 2021 - Meet our Winners!

This year, the overall winner of Pest Manager of the Year 2021 was Suburban Pest.  We caught up with Tom and Kahlee Aldridge to find out more.

Tell us a little about Suburban Pest

Suburban Pest Management is a family-owned and operated business, established in Caboolture, north of Brisbane, in 1994. Richard and Angela Aldridge started the business from their home. Richard and Angela’s aim was to provide a quality pest control service to their clients, and their business grew as a result. After a few years of hard work, they moved into the first business premises on Beerburrum Rd at Caboolture. Clients came from the local Caboolture / Bribie Island / Redcliffe and Pine Rivers area.

Their son, Tom Aldridge, started working in the business as a labourer while at school. When he finished school, he started working in the business full-time and became an accredited Timber Pest Inspector. Kahlee joined SPM in January 2007 as a 'fill in' job while she decided what she wanted to do after completing high school, but never actually left.... From invoicing, drafting correspondence, scheduling, typing, and editing inspection reports, you name it she learnt it!

In 2011, Tom and Kahlee purchased the business and it has grown from strength to strength ever since. The business moved to a new, bigger premises on Beerburrum Rd Caboolture in 2013. In 2021, the company continues to grow and now employs over 40 staff. The company has long had a reputation for quality, reliable termite solutions and pest control treatments and our customer base now extends to the whole of the South-East Queensland area.

We also have a video on our story here 

How was this year’s judging process?

The judging process was a lot of fun and less daunting than we anticipated as we were quite nervous and really not sure what to expect as this was the first time we had entered anything like this. It was a really enjoyable way to review where our business is at, based on the questions that were asked and how well we could actually answer them. We really recommend anyone else thinking about it to get involved next year.

Share your secrets!  How did you win this competition?  What was your strategy?

 It's probably not a massive secret that in our opinion the key is not setting out to win the award but focusing on (over a long period of time) creating a better business for your clients and team. If you achieve this over time, the award becomes a simple process. And if you don't win, you have still created an awesome business anyway! The key to any successful business is, of course, finding the right team members and that is undoubtedly the biggest factor in us winning; we have assembled an incredible team and this continues to grow and get better every year!

Any tips for next year's nominees?

 Start focusing on your business now and getting things in place slowly (as this takes a lot of time and energy over a period of time). A great starting point is ensuring you have clear systems and processes in place and a continuous improvement list in place. No business is perfect, so the list is never-ending but having a list means you can review regularly and prioritise accordingly.

How will winning this year's Pest Manager of the Year help your business?

Promoting this in our advertising will hopefully pick up many new clients but what we really hope is it helps put Suburban Pest Management on the map within the industry. Our vision is "To be the go-to company for Pest Management in Australia." This relates to not just the consumer, but to industry governing bodies, suppliers and manufacturers, other pest management companies, pest technicians and anyone else employed in the pest management industry.  A key part of this being as we continue to grow; we hope this helps immensely with our recruitment and that more great team members will want to join us in the next 12 months!

AEPMA - Branch Update 

QLD AEPMA Branch Update – Peter May Branch Secretary

The last Qld AEPMA Branch General Meeting was held on 25th August 2021 as a virtual event.  

John Murray chaired the meeting with main items on the agenda relating to: Qld Pest Management Regulations, Qld Red Imported Fire Ant program, West Indian Drywood Termites, and Training.

Minutes of the meeting have been circulated to members.

A major item for discussion was reporting on contact with Qld Health as part of consultation for finalisation of the Qld Medicines and Poisons (Pest Management, Poisons, and other Regulated Substances) Regulations 2019.  Branch committee members had a series of meetings and made submission to Qld Health as part of their consultation process.  It is pleasing to note that the final version of the Regulations that were released on 27/9/21 contain many of the amendments requested by AEPMA.  Qld Health has released an information sheet detailing the changes. AEPMA will continue to liaise with Qld Health as they work to improve the online services relating to processing of pest management licences and renewals.

Biosecurity Queensland (DAF) red imported fire ants (RIFA) program continues to be a topic for SEQ pest managers. Contact has been made with the Chair of the Steering Committee for the program as well as relevant State & Federal Ministers to ensure that AEPMA’s position is made clear.  AEPMA supports ongoing training that supports RIFA treatment by pest managers and continues to encourage AEPMA members to participate in RIFA control activities.

The Qld Biosecurity West Indian Drywood Termite (WIDT) control program ended in early 2021 and a two-year transition to a community-based approach is now in progress with WIDT moving from a “notifiable” to a “normal” pest status.  AEPMA position is that treatments should continue to be funded by government through the transition phase.  AEPMA will be meeting with Qld Biosecurity in the coming months to represent the views and interests of the pest industry.

A property services industry reference group has been formed as the nominated Qld Training & Skills advisor.  It is intended that AEPMA will take an active involvement in this group as part of a national review on training.  AEMPA Qld Branch supports a pro-active approach to reviewing the Pest Management training package that is due for update in 2-3 years and as part of this has commenced a program of surveying members to determine status of current qualifications and ideas for change.

The next Qld Branch meeting is planned as a breakfast meeting at the National office at 0730 on Wednesday 27/10/21, subject to COVID restrictions. Please RSVP by the 26th of October via email 

Licensed Pest Management Technicians Medicines and Poisons Act 2019

The Medicines and Poisons Act 2019 (MPA) will commence on the 27 September 2021 and will replace the Pest Management Act 2001 (the PMA) and Pest Management Regulation 2003. This information sheet is for persons seeking to be or who are currently authorised to undertake pest management activities under the soon to be repealed PMA and Regulation.

Under the new MPA, a person can be authorised to carry out pest management activities as a licenced pest management technician (PMT). As before, a pest management licence may be issued with endorsements relating to urban pest control, timber pest control and fumigation activities. New endorsements for pest management are available for control of pest birds using avicides and carrying out pest control activities in sensitive places (e.g. aged care or childcare premises) or high-risk places (e.g. food manufacturing premises).

The MPA applies to PMTs working in primary production situations.  Pest management activities in intensive livestock farming such as in chicken farms, piggeries will be classed as high-risk pest management activities. The table below summarises how the authorisations for pest management activities will transition to the new MPA.

Read more here 

Agserv Gold Coast – Now Open

We are really excited to announce the opening of our new Gold Coast branch!

We are up and running in our new premises at 4/12 Hilldon Court, Nerang, which has been designed to support pest managers in the Gold Coast and Northern New South Wales regions.

Offering a full range of products including pesticides, application equipment, tools and accessories – Agserv has everything you might need to equip your pest control business.

Rick Szymanski, who many will know from his previous employment, is the branch manager. Rick is very pleased to be back in the business, and greatly looks forward to working with his old clients as well as any and all new customers who are prepared to give us a go.

Rick is very ably supported by Kirstie Trimmer, again a face well recognised from her previous position as customer liaison in the supply of Pest Control products.

Between the two, we have a very experienced and knowledgeable team who are there to help and to offer technical advice when required.

Come in and have a look, catch up with all the news, views and gossip from our major suppliers, your colleagues and our friendly Agserv staff. Or phone us on (07) 5518 7733


It is with mixed emotions that we would like to advise that Chris Mills, Territory Business Development Manager (PPM) – QLD/NT/NZ has resigned from Bayer.

Chris joined the Bayer PPM team on 1st January 2017 and during his time has been an extremely valued member of the PPM & ES team. His passion for people, customers and self-development are areas that he has excelled in and ensured success during his time at Bayer.

An opportunity came knocking for Chris to join a Pest Control business on the Gold Coast.  This will allow Chris to utilize his vast technical knowledge and assist in further developing the business.

Chris will be sorely missed by the Bayer business, but we wish him all the best in his future endeavours.



TICKS – Blood-sucking arthropods by Wendell Arnett, Territory Business Development Manager (PPM) – NSW/ACT

Ticks are parasites that feed on animal and human blood and they transmit a variety of infectious organisms; viral, bacterial and fungal pathogens, more than any other group of blood sucking arthropods.  Ticks are second only to mosquitoes in terms of their public health and veterinary importance.

 There are more than 800 species of ticks around the world, with 70 found in Australia and 16 species have been reported as feeding on humans. There are two major groups of ticks: hard ticks and soft ticks. Both have their heads and bodies fused together. Hard ticks (family: Ixodidae) have a hard-flat body. The soft ticks (family: Argasidae) have a wrinkled leathery appearance. Only a few species of this type are found in Australia.

The most important tick in Australia is the Paralysis Tick, Ixodes holocyclus, over 95% of tick bites in eastern Australia are due to this species. As a result of the paralysis tick, poisoning kills many domestic animals, particularly dogs and cats causing discomfort and illness.

Read more here 

Why Taking Cash in Hand Can Be A Bad Idea

Cash in hand work can seem enticing. No invoicing, no lengthy payment terms, and no need to tell the taxman. And you probably know at least a handful of people who are conducting “cash only” business without declaring it.

But cash jobs are a bad idea for any pest control professional. By conducting illegal business, you could be exposing yourself to enormous risk. Here’s more about the pitfalls of cash in hand as payment for work.

It’s not uncommon for customers to offer cash, especially if they’re hoping for a discount in return. And it can be tempting, especially if you think you might lose the job if you don’t accept it. It’s hard to estimate exactly how big the “cash in hand” market is because, by nature, the income often isn’t declared. Official estimates have put the figure at approximately 3% of GDP, or a whopping 50 billion dollars per year.

Read more here 

EnsnarePRO 50SC – Important Label Update a Relief to Commercial Pest Management Professionals

With innovative new formulations and modes of action of active ingredient being available to pest management professional, product label directions don’t always keep pace with how products are used.  Sundew is pleased to announce updates to EnsnarePRO50SC indoxacarb that will put a smile on commercial pest professionals faces.

“Pest managers from across Australia were very excited when Sundew launched EnsnarePRO, the first suspension concentrate liquid formulation of indoxacarb in 2017.  However in late 2020 questions arose from pesties around its use in Food/Feed situations being restricted to applying only in cracks and crevices,” said David Priddy, C.E.O at Sundew Solutions.

“The Food/Feed Areas statement in question was a legacy of older product registrations and did not reflect the changing advanced non-repellent chemistry and safety profile of EnsnarePRO 50 Suspension Concentrate Insecticide,” explained David.

The section of concern on the EnsnarePRO label directions was:

Food/Feed Areas
Application to food/feed areas of food/feed handling establishments may only be made as a crack and crevice treatment. Food and feed handling areas include areas for receiving, storage, packing (canning, bottling, wrapping, boxing), preparing edible waste storage and enclosed processing systems (mills, dairies, edible oils, syrups). Serving areas are also considered a food/feed area when food is exposed and the facility is in operation.

Apply into crack and crevices using equipment designed to deliver a pin stream between different elements of construction, between floor and equipment, openings to voids and hollow space in walls, bases and equipment.

“We worked closely with the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to make a more sensible and realistic directions for food/feed areas,” explained David.

The Food/Feed directions above have now been completely removed from the EnsnarePRO label and are now replaced with the updated directions below:

PRECAUTION:  Do not spray directly onto humans, exposed food, food utensils or food preparation areas

“These updates have been requested by pest management professionals and our reseller partners across Australia and Sundew is pleased to be able to work with the APVMA to have these important changes implemented.”

The changes to the GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS will provide even greater versatility of application and efficacy and will be a welcome update to pest management professionals across Australia.



The FAOPMA AGM was held via Zoom on the 4 October 2021.

AEPMA would like to congratulate the new Executive Committee for 2021 – 2023 and welcome Mr Su-Chart Leelayouthyotin as the FAOPMA President for this term.

How to Pest Proof your Home 

The weathers getting warmer, and this means the return of unwanted house guests such as ants and cockroaches. So, how can you get rid of them?

Philip Clark spoke to John Murray, National technical and training manager at Flick - Australia's oldest surviving pest control company, founded in 1918

Listen here

Credit - ABC

Keeping Family Pest Safe When Travelling 

Holidaymakers who take their dogs when travelling around regional Western Australia are being reminded to keep them safe from 1080 baits.

1080 baits are used extensively by farmers and pastoralists throughout the State on both private and government lands to control feral pests, including wild dogs, foxes, pigs, and rabbits, which threaten livestock and biodiversity.

Tourists travelling with pet dogs are urged to consider putting them on a lead, muzzling when off lead, or avoid bringing them on holiday to prevent them being poisoned.

Read more here

Press Release - International Pest Control businesses continue M&A expansion into Australia with recent acquisition of Allrid

Last week the commercial team at Nevile & Co. Commercial Lawyers of Collins St Melbourne, headed by Peter Nevile and Meng Cheong, completed the sale of Allrid which included a significant customer base in the mining sites in the north-west of the state.

The team conducted the successful negotiations and settlement after discussions with three of the four major international players in this area.

This transaction followed on from the successful negotiations and sale of Adams Pest Control in Melbourne, the largest independent pest control company in Australia to a subsidiary company of Rollins Inc., the largest Pest Control company in the world.

In between transactions, the team also acted in the sale of Masters Pest Control Pty Ltd, a Sydney based company.

It is one of the industry sayings that “Rats do not recognize recessions or even Covid!” Overseas Pest Control companies are taking advantage of the strong US dollar to snap up Aussie Pest Control companies and expand their global operations. Australian businesses can take advantage of the exchange rate and the low-interest rate environment to reach favourable valuations of their organisation.

Unable to travel, biosecurity experts tag-team to track worrying pests

Australian biosecurity experts have been forced to find a novel way to help colleagues in Papua New Guinea keep dangerous pests and plants at bay.

There are a number of nasties on Australia's doorstop, African Swine Fever is the worst, but there are other plants and insects just a short distance away.

Because of COVID-19 border bans, Australian experts will be using technology to help colleagues identify any potential risks.

If Australians needed any further warning of our biosecurity risk, they need only look at Fall Armyworm or the dog disease Ehrlichiosis as recent invaders we had no defence for.

Read more here

Credit - North Queensland Register 

Natural bacteria could wipe out dengue-carrying mosquitoes, Australian research suggests

Natural bacteria could wipe out dengue-carrying mosquitoes, Australian research suggests
Populations of mosquitoes, which spread dengue fever, zika and other viruses, dropped by 80% after being infected with Wolbachia bacteria.

Infecting dengue-carrying mosquitoes with a strain of naturally occurring bacteria can drastically reduce their numbers, new Australian research has found.

In a trial in three north Queensland communities, researchers dramatically suppressed the populations of the Aedes aegypti mosquito which spreads dengue fever, Zika, chikungunya and other viruses.

The trial was carried out with local approval in the towns of Mourilyan and South Johnstone in far north Queensland, as well as in Goondi Bend, an outer suburb of Innisfail.

Read more here

Credit - The Guardian

Important Dates


  • AEPMA QLD Branch – Breakfast Meeting 27th October 2021 @ 7.30am AEPMA National Office
  • AEPMA Pesticon 6-8 June 2022


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