[ESA Coverage] A Record Day

Features - Industry Events

In November, a record number of people tested for their Associate Certified Entomologist certification on the same day. Read on for more about ESA’s ACE program.

January 29, 2013
PCT Magazine

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. 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.

“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. Forty-six 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.

Three instructors from the “Under the Lens Cap” educational program. Left to right: Karen Vail (University of Tennessee), Rebecca Baldwin (University of Florida) and Dini Miller (Virginia Tech). Photo: Mike Merchant.

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.”

A Record Day.
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, 24 passed their exam and are now ACE certified. They are:

  • Chad Cain, Webster Exterminators (McDonough, Ga.)
  • Dan Cassidy, The Bug Man (Murfreesboro, Tenn.)
  • Jay Connors, Terminix (Orlando, Fla.)
  • Nathan Frushour, Preventive Pest Control (Albuquerque, N.M.)
  • Charles Gates, Skyline Pest Solutions (McDonough, Ga.)
  • Wayne Hammond, Ecolab Pest Elimination (Charlotte, N.C.) 
  • Patrick Hickman, OPC Pest Control (Louisville, Ky.)
  • Betty Hilger, Orkin (Bloomington, Ind.)
  • Gene Hilger, Orkin (Bloomington, Ind.)
  • Tim Jackson, Ace Exterminating (Clarksville, Tenn.)
  • William Keesee, BB Pest Control (Lincoln Park, Mich.)
  • David Mante, Homak Exterminating (Norcross, Ga.)
  • Kevin Mills, OPC Pest Control (Louisville, Ky.)
  • Jim Orr, Univar (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.)
  • Brett Partin, OPC Pest Control (Louisville, Ky.)
  • Donald Partin, OPC Pest Control (Shepherdsville, Ky.)
  • Shaun Reeves, Reeves Pest Control (Culleoka, Tenn.)
  • Peter Schonemann, Russ Pest Control (Winterville, N.C.)
  • Ron Schwalb, Nisus Corporation (Rockford, Tenn.)
  • Timothy Sherrer, Expest Exterminating (Snellville, Ga.)
  • Michael Spry, Precision Services Management (Valley Grove, W. Va.)
  • Robert Teal, Terminix (St Augustine, Fla.)
  • Aron Thomas, Advanced Services for Pest Control (Augusta, Ga.)
  • Aaron Veal, Russell’s Pest Control (Knoxville, Tenn.)

Additionally, the following PMPs tested for their ACE or Board Certified Entomologist (BCE) certifications in November and are now certified:

  • BCE — Miroslav Gajovic, Orkin (Calgary, Alberta)
  • BCE — Kyle Jordan, BASF (Atlanta)
  • BCE — Allison Taisey, Northeastern IPM Center (Ithaca, N.Y.)
  • ACE — Doug Botham, Schendel Pest Services (Harwood, Mo.)
  • ACE — Randall Coleman, Alert One Pest Control (Joplin, Mo.)
  • ACE — Joseph Davidson, Schendel Pest Services (Topeka, Kan.)
  • ACE — Anthony Hahn, Hahn Exterminators (Springfield, Mo.)
  • ACE — Robert Lowe, Ecolab (Eagan, Minn.)
  • ACE — William Melville, Orkin (Mississauga, Ontario)

Increased Visibility. 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, also has begun to be adopted by the marketplace as a “must have” for industry professionals.


The Entomological Society of America Certification Corporation offers two certification programs, the Associate Certified Entomologist (ACE) and the Board Certified Entomologist (BCE).

The BCE program is geared toward those with degrees in entomology or a related field. The ACE program is focused on those with hands-on training and professional development in the field of structural pest management.

ESA says becoming Board or Associate Certified can help PMPs and technicians gain better visibility, be recognized as an expert in the field, and provide them with greater career opportunities. Visit www.entocert.org to learn more.

“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 PestWorld, 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 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,” says Col. (Dr.) Mustapha Debboun, BCE, director of the Certification Board — the body that oversees the ESA certification programs. “They 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 Heads to Austin

This year’s annual Entomological Society of America meeting, Entomology 2013, will be held Nov. 10-13 in Austin, Texas.

To Learn More
ESA’s certification program exhibited at the Annual Purdue Pest Management conference earlier this month in West Lafayette, Ind., and will exhibit  at the 2013 DoD Triennial Pest Management Workshop in Jacksonville, Fla., Feb. 3-8. 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 cstelzig@entsoc.org.