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NEWS Walking Wonders

Varitech Systems’ charity walkathon has been hailed as a “massive success” after it raised almost £50,000.

The 10-mile walk took place on Saturday 4th October, along the Granite Walk of the Meldon Reservoir in Dartmoor National Park, with around 250 students, parents and grandparents all taking part.

The money raised will be used to fund the Oakdene Education Trust, with a portion also being passed on to the Dartmoor National Trust.

It is not the first time that Varitech Systems have held such an event, having also held a charity bike-athon on South Dartmoor five years ago.

And Richard Scott, Director of Varitech Systems, is pleased with how the walk went. He said: “The walk was a massive success. We have raised an overwhelming figure,

in excess of £47,000 from this event, with donations still coming in. I would like to thank very much those who donated towards it.” UK Bed Bug Cases Double In Six Years

The number of bed bug cases in the UK has more than doubled over the past six years, according to Rentokil Pest Control.

Between 2007 and 2013, the number of bed bug treatments carried out in the UK by Rentokil Pest Control jumped by 108%, with London and the South East region experiencing the highest number of cases. Increased frequency of foreign travel by UK nationals, as well as visitors from overseas, is believed to have played a large role in this increase, with hotels and hostels being notorious hotspots for bed bug outbreaks.

In the wake of the financial crisis, hotel and hospitality managers are very often expected to do more within a decreased budget, meaning that problems are sometimes not detected or dealt with as quickly as they should be. To help combat the number of infestations and protect businesses from the reputational damage that bed bug issues can bring, Rentokil Pest Control has launched a new service called ‘Bed Bug Monitor’, which is an


early detection programme for bed bug activity.

This monitoring service uses a food- based lure which actively attracts bed bugs onto a sticky pad, providing an early warning of infestation. The lures are placed discreetly around the bedroom, such as under the bed or in suitcase storage areas and are serviced every six weeks by a Rentokil technician to check they are still effective. Bed bugs are virtually flat, and as a result can easily stow themselves away in the linings of suitcases or underneath skirting boards.

Each lure should be checked daily by housekeeping staff to ensure that any activity picked-up is reported immediately to Rentokil, so that a treatment schedule can be implemented to combat the infestation before it spreads. As part of the Rentokil Bed Bug Monitor package, Rentokil has developed an online training course for housekeeping staff called ‘myLearning’, which has been specifically designed to educate customers on bed bugs, including

how to find them, signs to look out for and what to do in the event of an infestation being found.

Colm Moore, Area Technical Manager for Rentokil Pest Control, commented: “Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs are not a sign of poor hygiene; unfortunately, they’re a pest that can be inadvertently introduced anywhere which has a regular turnover of people and luggage. The answer to preventing widespread infestations is early detection and dealing with an outbreak as soon as possible. Bed bugs can pose serious risks to an organisation’s reputation and profitability, and the longer you leave it, the more expensive it becomes to bring under control and eradicate.”

Rentokil’s Bed Bug Monitor enables housekeeping staff to be the first line of defence in detecting bed bug activity, and the online ‘myLearning’ training programme will ensure that they know exactly what signs to look out for, and what to do in the event of an infestation.

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