In February, the National Wildlife Control Operators Association (NWCOA) and the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) jointly presented Wildlife Expo 2022 in Orlando, Fla. After missing 2021’s event due to travel restrictions and other health orders, I’m happy to report this year’s event was a success. A low number of cancellations and a high number of walk-in registrations were very pleasant surprises, with attendance at a little under 500. A huge thanks goes to all attendees, vendors and presenters, as well as platinum sponsors Wildlife Control Supplies and AAC Distributing.
The Wildlife Expo is a training event for pest management professionals (PMPs) and wildlife control operators (WCOs), featuring three days of a la carte-style certified training and two days of presentations by operators providing wildlife, rodent and bird control. It is a must-attend event for providers, as well as those thinking of providing such services to clients.
Day One kicked off with a keynote presented by Timothy Madere of Louisiana’s City of New Orleans Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board. He explained the organization’s work with rodent control during the COVID-19 pandemic, detailing rodent movements and predation among rat species. A real eye-opener was the discussion about Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus) predation on roof rats (R. rattus) on glue boards.
Day Two featured a keynote delivered by Baltimore, Md.-based lawyer Rabbi Shmuel Simenowitz. With working knowledge of pest and wildlife control, Simenowitz can take a legal issue presentation and weave it into a place where it is entertaining and has you wondering whether he has gone off topic — only to have him bring it back to a conclusion that has you understanding and appreciating legal ramifications.
Other Wildlife Expo presentations focused on removal techniques, business building, advertising and product usage. Several of them offered continuing education units (CEUs).
A particular highlight of the event was when Jon Ciske with New Jersey Pest Control and Mark Prusaitis of Wildman Pest Solutions led a presentation on metal exclusion of wildlife. They featured hands-on metal break usage and provided detailed exclusion techniques.
The vendor room was packed with providers of products and services to both PMPs and WCOs, many of which offered attendee-only specials. It was a hotbed of activity.
Wildlife Expo 2023 is set for Feb. 7-9 at the Marriott Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Resort & Spa at Grande Dunes. Certified training will be available two days before and one day after. Visit NWCOA.com for updates.