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Masterson Presentation a Highlight of Purdue Conference

Mike Masterson, whose company, Isotech Pest Management, is the star of the reality TV show “Verminators,” was one of the featured speakers at the 74th annual Purdue Pest Management Conference.

Brad Harbison | January 12, 2010

Dr. John Osmun (center) was presented with the NPMA Pinnacle Award by NPMA's Kathy Heinsohn (left) and Purdue's Gary Bennett (right).
Dan Suiter's presentation was titled "Insecticide Basics for the Pest Management Professional."
Carl Hinderer, technical director, Southern Mill Creek Products of Ohio, gave a presentation titled "New Technologies in Pest Management."

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. —  Mike Masterson, whose company, Isotech Pest Management, is the star of the reality TV show “Verminators,” was one of the featured speakers at the 74th annual Purdue Pest Management Conference on Tuesday.

Masterson shared with attendees some of what goes on behind the scenes while filming “Verminators.” For example: 70 percent of what was filmed ended up in the trash; 25 percent of the filming crew was replaced by the end of the season; the average filming day was 14 hours. Why so long? Well, something viewers don’t see is the different camera angles at which the show is filmed. For example, a rodent caught in a snap trap will appear on camera at one angle, but it might need to be filmed from three or more different angles.

Masterson said he’s been proud of the show, especially during this past season (season two) in which he feels the show has been able to better educate the public about the link between pests and public health threats.

In a separate session, Masterson shared some of his experiences with green pest management. He addressed the topic from more of a marketing angle. Masterson said the effort needed to gain new customers should be similar to those it takes to “woo” a mate. In other words, convince potential customers why your company will deliver an effective green pest management program with the same conviction you used to persuade your mate why you would make a good spouse, Masterson said.

Masterson also reminded attendees of the reasons consumers don’t buy:
1. They are not aware of your product or service
2. They don’t understand the benefits of your product
3. They don’t feel your product or service has value
4. They don’t see how your product meets their needs
5. Your product or service is not accessible to them…and now

Other highlights from the second day of the Purdue Conference included:

Purdue and the National Pest Management Association presented Dr. John Osmun with the Pinnacle Award, which is NPMA’s annual award that celebrates an individual’s lifetime of dedication and commitment to the pest management industry. Osmun, who joined the Purdue University staff in 1948, is one of the industry’s true pioneers, whose accomplishments include support for developing the first four-year curriculum devoted to urban and industrial entomology and the annual Purdue Pest Control Conference. In accepting the award Osmun said, “Nobody walks the path of life without helping hands. In pest control the two people were William O. Buettner – the dynamic founder of the National Pest Management Association; and J.J. Davis (the second department head of entomology at Purdue). I was most fortunate to know both of them well and was honored when they brought me to Purdue University. This is a great industry. You are a wonderful group of people and it’s been my privilege to work with you. This Pinnacle Award is really very special. It is a culmination of all that has gone on in my life in connection with the pest control industry.”

Mark “Shep” Sheperdigian, technical director, Rose Pest Solutions, Troy, Mich., gave a presentation titled “Exclusion: What Works and How to Implement Profitable IPM Programs”. Shep noted that the following conducive conditions are either done by others are in partnership with service professionals from Rose Pest Solutions: Landscaping; lighting issues; cleaning and sanitation; tile and grouting; plumbing and carpentry.

Dan Suiter, University of Georgia, Griffin, Ga. campus, spoke on the subject “Insecticide Basics for the Pest Management Professional.” Suiter reminded attendees that IPM is “a decision-making process where decisions are only as good as the information on which they are based.” Much of Suiter’s presentation explained the mode of action of pesticides commonly used in the pest control industry. In reviewing safety and usage of products, Suiter recommended that service professionals have handy contact information for the National Pesticide Information Center 800/858-7378, e-mail address npic@ace.orst.edu, or the Web site http://npic.orst.edu.

The Purdue Pest Management Conference continues through Friday.
 

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