ATLANTA – Last week, Orkin hosted Dr. Susan Montgomery, a veterinary medical officer in the Parasitic Diseases Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Dr. Sonia Kjos, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation in Marshield, Wis. Drs. Montgomery and Kjos led an in-depth seminar on triatomine bugs, the insects that transmit Chagas disease. The training was conducted using Orkin’s interactive satellite television communications network. Hundreds of Orkin’s residential and commercial pest control specialists across the country tuned into the live broadcast to learn ways to recognize and prevent the disease.
Facilitated by Dr. Ron Harrison, technical director for Orkin, the broadcast is available to all of Orkin’s sister pest control companies, including PCO Services, HomeTeam Pest Defense, Western Pest Services, The Industrial Fumigant Company and Crane Pest Control. This is the fifth year Orkin has partnered with the CDC to bring training sessions to its pest control specialists. Last year, the organizations expanded their formerly once-a-year, fall program to include a spring and fall training session, four live broadcasts per session and Continuing Education Units. Exactly 175 of Orkin’s 400 field locations participated in the live broadcast; remaining locations will view the program through a video-on-demand feature within the next two weeks.
Drs. Montgomery and Kjos provided an overview of Chagas disease, an illness that affects the heart and stomach and which is found mainly in Latin America. The bugs that spread Chagas disease can be found in the United States. Drs. Montgomery and Kjos also gave advice on how to avoid triatomine bug infestations and why it is important for all pest control specialists, even those living in the northern United States, to be able to identify triatomine bugs. Specialists also learned practical advice to share with their clients.
“Orkin’s collaboration with the CDC promotes education about the risks of infectious diseases, and we are proud to partner with them to host the spring session of our fifth annual training program,” said John Wilson, president of Orkin USA. “The CDC training sessions keep our pest control specialists on top of the latest trends in public health and arm them with information to protect our clients and their families.”