|A full-day educational program, titled, “Under the Lens: The Science of Urban Pest Management,” (UTL) was held in Knoxville, Tenn., concurrently with the ESA’s 60th Annual Meeting, also held in Knoxville. Here, Dini Miller, gives a bed bug presentation.|
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — In mid-November, the Entomological Society of America (ESA) hosted a series of meetings developed to provide training on the science of entomology to the pest management industry. An full-day educational program, titled, “Under the Lens: The Science of Urban Pest Management,” (UTL) was held in Knoxville, Tenn., concurrently with the ESA’s 60th Annual Meeting, also held in Knoxville.
“Our thinking in putting this event together was that since we have all of these incredible industry leaders gathered together in one spot, it would be great to put their knowledge and enthusiasm to use for the greater good,” says Chris Stelzig, ESA’s Director of Certification.
The UTL attendees participated in seminars on topics ranging from “Entomology 101” and “Innovative Techniques in Bed Bug Management” to “Impacts of Recent Pyrethroid Label Changes” and “Servicing Affordable Multifamily Housing.” A total of eight 50-minute sessions filled the day. Regulators from Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, North Carolina, Mississippi, Virginia, and Georgia approved CEU educational credits toward state licensing requirements for participants in this training seminar.
The following day, ESA offered an ACE Prep Course, designed to enhance the knowledge of those who were preparing to take the Associate Certified Entomologist (ACE) exam. Approximately 46 pest management professionals participated in the class. Many of the class participants took their ACE exams the following morning which was given online in a proctored setting – standard protocol for ACE exams.
The Prep Course sessions were led by highly trained educators from across the country. The purpose of the course was not to teach PMPs all that they need to know to pass their ACE exams. Rather, according to Stelzig, “The prep course was designed to give the applicants an opportunity to review what they already know and to highlight areas that they needed to focus on with their studies.”
On the same day, just a few hundred miles south, the Georgia Pest Control Association also hosted an ACE Prep Course and exam. The result was a record number of people testing for their ACEs on the same day – 38. Of the 38, 25 passed their exam and are now ACE certified. They are:
• Shaun Reeves, Reeves Pest Control (Culleoka, TN) • Betty Hilger, Orkin (Bloomington, IN)
• Kevin Mills, OPC Pest Control (Louisville, KY)
• Donald Partin, OPC Pest Control (Shepherdsville, KY)
• Jay Connors, Terminix (Orlando, FL)
• Aaron Veal, Russell's Pest Control (Knoxville, TN)
• Patrick Hickman, OPC Pest Control (Louisville, KY)
• Wayne Hammond, Ecolab Pest Elimination (Charlotte, NC)
• Brett Partin, OPC Pest Control (Louisville, KY)
• Gene Hilger, Orkin (Bloomington, IN)
• Dan Cassidy, The Bug Man (Murfreesboro, TN)
• Aron Thomas, Advanced Services for Pest Control (Augusta, GA)
• Ron Schwalb, Nisus Corporation (Rockford, TN)
• Nathan Frushour, Preventive Pest Control (Albuquerque, NM)
• Charles Gates, Skyline Pest Solutions (McDonough, GA)
• Robert Teal, Terminix (St Augustine, FL)
• Timothy Sherrer, Expest Exterminating (Snellville, GA)
• William Keesee, BB Pest Control (Lincoln Park, MI)
• Tim Jackson, Ace Exterminating (Clarksville, TN)
• Michael Spry, Precision Services Management (Valley Grove, WV)
• Peter Schonemann, Russ Pest Control (Winterville, NC)
• Chad Cain, Webster Exterminators (McDonough, GA)
• David Mante, Homak Exterminating (Norcross, GA)
• Jim Orr, Univar (Soddy Daisy, TN)
Additionally, the following PMPs tested for their ACE or Board Certified Entomologist (BCE) certifications in November and are now certified:
• BCE – Kyle Jordan, BASF (Atlanta, GA)
• BCE -- Allison Taisey, Northeastern IPM Center (Ithaca, NY)
• BCE – Miroslav Gajovic, Orkin (Calgary, AB)
• ACE -- William Melville, Orkin (Mississauga, ON)
• ACE -- Robert Lowe, Ecolab (Eagan, MN) \
• ACE -- Anthony Hahn, Hahn Exterminators (Springfield, MO)
• ACE – Joseph Davidson, Schendel Pest Services (Topeka, KS)
• ACE – Doug Botham, Schendel Pest Services (Harwood, MO)
• ACE – Randall Coleman, Alert One Pest Control (Joplin, MO)
The large number of applicants and new ACEs is due in part to an increased presence of the ESA at pest management events around the country. The ACE program, which was first introduced in 2004, has also begun to be adopted by the marketplace as a “must have” for industry professionals.
“In the past when I met PMPs at industry events and discussed the benefits of ACE certification, I had to spend a lot of time explaining what ESA and the Certification Corporation are and what we do. Now, whether it‘s at NPMA’s Pest World, or another industry event, people approach me to ask how they can become certified. Clearly, the word is getting out that we offer a valuable certification program,” says Stelzig.
The ACE program is undergoing a thorough review with a revised content outline and updated questions that will debut later this year.
“This intent,” says COL. (Dr) Mustapha Debboun, BCE, Director of the Certification Board – the body that oversees the ESA certification programs – “is to ensure that the ACE program is current, relevant, and a direct reflection of the work experience of a high caliber pest management professionals, who may work for a large national pest management firm, a small owner-operated pest control organization, or even other areas of Integrated Pest Management, like the ones provided in the military.”
ESA’s certification program will next be exhibiting at the Purdue Pest Management Conference in Lafayette, Ind., Jan. 7-9, 2013 and then at the 2013 DoD Triennial Pest Management Workshop in Jacksonville, Fla., Feb. 3-8, 2013. Those interested in certification can visit ESA there or download all the materials from the www.entocert.org website. For more information on the program, contact Chris Stelzig at email@example.com.