CLEVELAND — The Greater Cleveland Pest Control Association (GCPCA) honored Scott Steckel of Varment Guard with the coveted Tom Evans Award at the annual spring banquet last week. The award is given each year to an individual who has made significant contributions to GCPCA and the pest management industry.
Steckel is an active member and former president of the Ohio Pest Management Association and he currently serves as chairman of the NPMA Wildlife Committee. He is a third-generation pest management professional, currently serving as vice president of Varment Guard.
“This individual has made great contributions to the industry, to various associations he’s been involved in and to his family,” said Evans, who was on hand to present the award to Steckel.
Steckel, who previously served in the United States Air Force, said he was honored to be recognized with the award and proud to be a part of the pest control industry, an industry he returned to after his military stint. “Flying is great, but it also is very mechanical – you don’t deal with people – and that really is the lifeblood of our industry.” Steckel also said he enjoys the fact that this industry has so many family-run business, which he says, “bodes well for our future.”
Other highlights from the meeting included:
- Steckel updated attendees about a pair of wildlife issues that are of concern. The first one involves licensing. Steckel said that in order to be a professionally licensed wildlife removal specialist in Ohio, all that is required is a hunting license and fur taker permit. Steckel and others are pushing for changes that would recognize wildlife control as a professional industry and regulate it accordingly. The second issue involves wildlife relocation. Currently, wildlife pests that are captured (as opposed to those that can be euthanized) are required to be released on private grounds, but as Steckel noted, “Who wants to have 1,000 squirrels let loose on their property?”
- Andrew Christman, co-owner of Ohio Exterminating and current OPMA president, updated attendees on a number of issues, including IPM in Schools (for Ohio). Christman said that applicators must follow IPM guidelines of one of two IPM programs (chosen by each school): 1) The Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Integrated Pest Management Standard or 2) a forthcoming Pesticide Use in Schools guideline, which is expected to be approved in May.