National Pest Awards 2023 - Pest Controller of the Year

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Nominations for the Syngenta sponsored National Pest Awards 2023 

Alan Day, Cleankill Pest Control

Alan Day worked for Rentokil from 2005 to 2012, carrying out bird work and general pest control before joining Cleankill in May 2014.

He has a wide range of qualifications and certificates including RSPH Level 2, Professional Marksmanship, Asbestos, Working at Height, Access and Scaffolding, Gassing and Fumigation Certificates, Hoist and Boom Lift, and LANTRA in Professional Falconry.

He is a team leader of the company’s three-strong bird team as well as being a falconer himself.

“I also oversee the netting team and give advice technical advice to anyone in the company who needs it,” he said. “I also constantly look at new techniques and ways we can combine tools to get the best results.”

Looking forward to the awards, he said: “I’m not going to count my chickens – or my Harris Hawks.”


Gemma Sutherland, Pest Solutions

Gemma Sutherland joined Pest Solutions in January 2021 as a graduate service technician.

She achieved a strong score in the RSPH Level 2 Award after six months, and went on to sit the BPCA Certificated Advanced Technician (CAT) exam last autumn.

She was recently promoted to service manager of the business and she is preparing to sit the BPCA Certificated Field Biologist exam in late 2023.

Ms Sutherland has established herself working as a technician in the extremely challenging area of the West End of Glasgow where bait shyness and behavioural resistance are a common challenge that many struggle to overcome.

She said: “I was shocked last year to win Young Pest Controller of the Year; it’s really good to be recognised for the work that I do on a day-to-day basis.”


Matthew Johnson, Vergo Pest Management

Matthew Johnson came into the industry with no prior experience.

Previous to working in pest control, he was a thermal welder on the railways, worked in retail management and become a civil enforcement officer.

He said: “I got fed up with all the stick I was getting – and just by chance I applied to work for Mitie Pest Control, where I started as a pest control technician.”

He completed all of his training in the North-west of England and gained his RSPH Level 2.

Mr Johnson was recently promoted to an escalation manager, working on a specific commercial contract.

“It’s been a huge jump to go from a technician to an escalation manager,” he said.

“When I got the finalist email, I sat in a daze for about 15 minutes.

“I’m really proud.”