This week Rune Bratland is welcomed by Daniel Schröer to Talking Pest Management. Rune is CEO and owner of pest control servicing company, Skadedyrservice AS, based in Bergen in the west of Norway. He is also chairman of SKABRA, the Norwegian Pest Control Association as well as being on the board of CEPA, the European pest management services trade association.
In general, familiarity and news of what is happening in the Norwegian pest control market is not great outside Norway, so it is very interesting to hear from Rune what is both similar, but also different.
Starting with what is similar, Covid-19 is a problem common to everyone and like elsewhere in Europe, after an initial shutdown period, pest controllers were deemed key workers. But what is unique across Scandinavia is the position regarding home insurance – whereby pest control is included as a service. A free home inspection is offered and then, if a problem arises, treatment is arranged. So arrangements between insurance and pest control company are mutually advantageous.
Asked how pest control has changed over the last 20 years, Rune explains how back in 2020 no formal training of technicians was required. Formal training was, however, introduced on 2004 since when there has been a gradual shift towards integrated pest management (IPM) and now the uptake of digital trapping and remote monitoring. Interestingly, he records how both first and second generation rodenticides are employed, because as yet, there is no evidence of resistance.
As part of his CEPA board remit, Rune has special responsibility for training and was involved in the development of the MoU (Memorandum of Understanding). This, Rune explains, is a self regulated standard that defines minimum training requirements which will differentiate, across Europe, trained professional pest controllers from just pest controllers.