VIRGINIA — VPMA conducted an Associate Certified Entomologist (ACE) Prep Course in August that helped prepare 23 participants to take the Entomological Society of America’s (ESA’s) exam.
Becoming an ACE is not a walk in the park. This certification is designed for pest professionals who have the knowledge and experience (at least 7 years) of pest identification, behavior and treatment, but don’t have the formal education to attain their Board Certified Entomologist (BCE) designation. The ACE Certification requires diligent self study and preparation in order to pass the exam that is intended to verify that the individual seeking the ACE certification clearly understands the ins and outs of pest management.
Dr. Dini Miller, of Virginia Tech, and Jim Fredericks, Technical Director of NPMA, conducted the full day of training that included a review of insect biology and morphology and general pest knowledge for biting and stinging pets, cockroaches, pest ants, occasional invaders, rodents and stored product pests, wood destroying insects, pest management tools and practices and pesticide safety, laws and labels were also covered. While the prep course can not substitute self-study, the review does give participants the opportunity to clarify information they may be unsure of and is another chance to become familiar with the information. Participants said they felt the prep course was an important element in their preparation and that it gave them a boost of confidence going into the exam.
Participants had the option to take the exam the day following the prep course, or to take the exam in October prior to the VPMA State Technical Meeting. About half opted to take the exam in August, some opted for the October date and still others will set up their own date with an approved ESA proctor within the year.
Prior to the VPMA ACE Prep course, Virginia only had a handful of ACE certified professionals. VPMA’s current president, Jeff Johnson, who attained his ACE designation through a prep course offered in Florida in 2010, made bringing the ACE program to Virginia one of his top priorities. As a result, there are now an additional 9 individuals who hold the ACE certification, and there are still more who have yet to take the exam.
VPMA plans to hold an additional ACE Prep Course during the winter of 2012. If you are interested in becoming an ACE, please contact VPMA. The sooner you register with ESA and begin reviewing the numerous study resources, the better prepared you will be to take the exam! Also, please keep in mind that you must make application with ESA to become an ACE at least 30 days prior to taking the exam.
Congratulations are extended to the following individuals who attained their ACE Certification through the VPMA ACE program:
Kyle Franklin, FMC Corporation
Jack Horsley, Terminix Seva, Inc.
Wayne Kessinger, Reliance Termite & Pest Control
Gregorio Lozano, Bell Environmental
Keith McCormick, A-Active Termite & Pest Control Co.
Don Richards, Orkin Commercial Services
Joe Stuart, Raven Termite & Pest Control Services
Dale Trombley, Yahweh Environmental Services
Jeffrey Weidhaas, Terminix
Editor’s note: This story was updated and revised on Nov. 4.