Departments - News Coverage

October 23, 2013
PCT Magazine

Terminix Technician Assists in Fire Rescue

CLINTON, Miss. — Timothy Booth, a Terminix service technician, helped save an elderly woman and some of her personal belongings from her burning house in Clinton, Miss., on Sept. 17.

Booth was making a treatment outside of a customer’s home when he heard “popping” sounds coming from a house several doors down. “It didn’t dawn on me what happened, until I heard more popping and then saw the smoke,” Booth told PCT. He added that he believes the fire started in the woman’s garage.

Booth also heard the woman’s neighbor, 12-year-old Braden McGaugh, yell “Fire!” Braden then ran into his house and told his mother, Lori McGaugh, who called 911.

Upon arriving at the scene, Booth dissuaded the woman from going back inside to gather belongings, including important medications. Instead Booth, who is a Level 2-certified volunteer firefighter in the state of Mississippi, went inside to retrieve the items. “She told me she needed her medications,” said Booth, who proceeded to call on his firefighting training. “I pushed open the door and noted that it was not full of smoke and there was breathable air, so I knew I had a little bit of time.”

Booth actually went back in the house a second time to retrieve another bag for the lady. “After that trip I noticed some smoke coming down the hall, so it was fixing to get real bad, real quick,” he recalled.

After police officers and firefighters arrived on the scene, Booth informed them that nobody else was in the house. He then called upon his firefighting training again and helped the firefighters roll out and hook up hoses to a nearby fire hydrant. TV station WAPT reported that it took firefighters 45 minutes to put out the blaze, and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Booth, 30, has been with Terminix for a year and a half. He specializes in new accounts after having started with the firm as a termite technician in February 2012. He and wife Cynthia are parents to a 6-year-old son, and are expecting their second child in January. — Brad Harbison


Industry Mourns Loss of Jonathan Peck

OSSETT, ENGLAND — Jonathan Peck, chairman and majority stockholder of U.K.-based Killgerm Group and a passionate advocate of the pest control industry, passed away on Sept. 15, at age 66. The company issued the following statement:

“It is with great sadness that we are writing to inform you that Jonathan Peck, chairman and majority shareholder of Killgerm Group Limited, died yesterday following a long battle with cancer.

“Since the late 1960s when he joined the company, and soon after led the management buy out, Jonathan has been the driving force behind the Killgerm Group of companies. Over the past five decades he has led the steady and focused expansion of the Group, such that today its operations span 10 countries on three continents, and is a recognized leader in the pest control industry.

“Known and respected around the globe, Jonathan’s passion for, and commitment to the pest control industry has been clear for all to see and admire.

“For the many people who have had the pleasure of working with Jonathan over the years, they will remember him as being a larger than life character, dynamic and action orientated, and always striving to further the best interests of the industry he loved.

“It has been a remarkable measure of Jonathan that over the past years he has had no time for pity or sorrow for his personal situation. Indeed it will surprise few people that if anything it gave him a free reign to enjoy his ‘gallows humor,’ which he did to the full.

“Killgerm Group and the pest control industry have lost a key supporter, leader and friend. While we will mourn him, Jonathan himself said not long before he died that he hoped people would rather celebrate his life and have a damn good party. Many of us will have heard his often repeated story about ‘Peck weddings and funerals being quite fun events.’

“As a testament to Jonathan’s practical side, and his knack for forward planning, over the past few years he worked extensively with the executive team at Killgerm Group to put in place a series of succession planning measures.

“As many in the industry will know, majority ownership of Killgerm Group will now pass to an employee trust set up by Jonathan. The trust will ensure that the future of the Killgerm Group companies, and the employees he so much admired for their hard work and loyalty, is secure.”


Speakers, Sessions Announced for 78th Purdue Pest Control Conference

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The 78th annual Purdue Pest Control Conference will be held Jan. 6-8, at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind. This year’s conference features the latest research findings and field observations from renowned industry speakers, as well as an exhibit hall filled with the latest product innovations from industry suppliers. Some of the speakers and topics include:

  • Spray Water: The Forgotten Component to Pesticide Applications — Fred Whitford
  • Bed Bugs: Treatment Failures — Mark Sheperdigian
  • Spiders — Dr. Jerome Goddard
  • Green Pest Management — Jay Bruesch
  • Bed Bug Litigation — Christian Hardigree
  • Misconceptions as to How HACCP and Pest Control Fit Together — Dominique Sauvage
  • Getting Maximum Impact from Your Rat and Bait Stations — Bobby Corrigan
  • Odorous House Ants — Dan Collins and Laurel Hansen

To register, contact Kathy Walters at 765/494-2758 or kw@purdue.edu. For CCH and program information, contact Holly Fletcher-Timmons at 765/494-5856 or htimmons@purdue.edu.

For additional conference information and to register online visit www.conf.purdue.edu/pest2014.


Bird-B-Gone Gives Back

Mission Viejo, Calif. — Bird-B-Gone continues to improve the lives of some of the poorest children in Africa through its partnership with Children of the Nations (COTN), a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide Christ-centered care for orphaned and destitute children, enabling them to create positive and lasting change in their nations.

In an open letter to its supporters – “Partner Report” – distributed by Children of the Nations earlier this year, COTN thanked Bird-B-Gone for its outreach efforts. As stated in the report, because of Bird-B-Gone’s generosity, “In March we were able to install the new solar pump...in Sierra Leone. The pump was previously powered by a generator, which was an expensive and inconsistent operation, as fuel costs are high and the generator unreliable. This pump supplies more than enough water for our school, the school kitchen, clinic, guesthouse and staff quarters. Thank you for this gift!”

In addition, this past spring construction consultant Jim Jackson traveled to Sierra Leone to help install solar lighting in the children’s village and at a local school sponsored by Children of the Nations. “Thanks to you (Bird-B-Gone), we now have lights in every Children’s Home, in two classrooms and in the school library,” COTN reported. “Within three days, the children began coming to the school at night to study. It is a huge blessing to them to be able to study at night. Sixteen-year-old Amie, from our children’s village, got up the morning after the lights were installed and announced this was the first time she has ever gotten dressed in the morning in light. Thank you for providing the children with light!”

Bird-B-Gone President and CEO Bruce Donoho has been a committed advocate of COTN since he heard the organization’s founder, Chris Clark, speak at his church in 2008. Since then, Donoho has traveled to COTN’s ministry site in Sierra Leone, West Africa, and funded numerous projects there including a water pump, a new guesthouse, children’s dormitories, teacher’s quarters and solar electricity panels for COTN’s Children’s Homes. “Five years ago when we started this project, I would have never dreamed it would get this big.” says Donoho. These projects have improved the health and education of the children COTN serves by providing them with clean water and electricity, and allowing more teachers, doctors and other volunteers to visit and provide care. “There is still a lot to do…” adds Donoho.

Bird-B-Gone’s staff also has lent its expertise to help COTN run its ministry more efficiently, thereby raising the level of care the children receive. In addition, Donoho serves on the COTN-USA board of directors.

Children of the Nations contributes its time, talent and financial resources to several impoverished villages in Sierra Leone. Officials say these communities will continue to benefit from Bird-B-Gone’s gifts long into the future, as their children grow and become better equipped to lead and become agents of positive change. Lasting change through the empowerment of youth is COTN’s goal in each of the communities it serves, and Bird-B-Gone demonstrates a commitment to that same goal through its partnership.

If you would like to contribute to Children of the Nations, visit cotni.org/opportunities.


Date Book

Send your announcement at least 14 weeks in advance to jdorsch@giemedia.com. For additional dates, visit www.pctonline.com/events.

Nov. 10-13: ESA’s Entomology 2013, Austin, Texas. Contact: www.entsoc.org.

Nov. 19-22: BedBug Central’s BedBug University Boot Camp, Lawrenceville, N.J. Contact: 877/411-1142 or visit www.bedbuguniversity.com.

Dec. 5-6: Global Bed Bug Summit, presented by NPMA and sponsored by BedBug Central, Denver Sheraton, Denver, Colo. Contact: NPMA, 703/352-6762 or visit www.npmapestworld.org.

Jan. 6-8: 78th Purdue Pest Management Conference, West Lafayette, Ind. Contact: Holly Fletcher-Timmons, 765/494-5856 or htimmons@purdue.edu.

Jan. 22-24: NPMA Eastern Conference 2014, Tarrytown, N.Y. Contact: See Dec. 5.

Jan. 27-29, 2014: NPMA/PLANET’s Lawn Care Summit 2014, Omni Nashville Hotel, Nashville, Tenn. Contact: See Dec. 5.

Jan. 29-30, 2014: NPMA Southwestern Conference 2014, Sandia Resort and Casino, Albuquerque, N.M. Contact: See Dec. 5.

Norman Goldenberg to Retire from Terminix

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Norman Goldenberg, senior vice president of government affairs and industry relations for Terminix, has announced plans to retire from the company at the end of this year. He plans to continue working with Terminix on a consultative basis through 2015.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to have Norm on the Terminix team for the past 23 years,” said Larry Pruitt, president of Terminix. “We will miss him greatly, and are indebted to his efforts and contributions that have helped propel Terminix and the industry to where it is today.”

Goldenberg graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in entomology. He held various management roles in the pest control industry before launching his own company in the late 1980s. Goldenberg joined Terminix and TruGreen in 1990, representing industry issues on the local, state and national levels. He also was responsible for helping to strengthen relationships with franchisees, manufacturers and distributors, as well as overseeing the company’s product sales division.

He is past president of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), the Florida Pest Management Association (FPMA), Project EverGreen and the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), and he currently serves on the board of directors for Project EverGreen and PLANET.

In 2004, Goldenberg was given the NPMA Pinnacle Award. This honor recognizes lifetime dedication to the pest management industry. He has received numerous other industry commendations, including the President’s Award and Pioneer Award from FPMA; Professional of the Year Award and Crown Leadership Award from PCT; and the PMP Hall of Fame Award. Goldenberg often lends his pest management and lawn care expertise to various forums and has presented to legislatures, regulatory agencies and Congress.


Former NPMA Technical Director Phil Spear Passes Away

Gainesville, Fla. — Phil Spear, technical director for the National Pest Management Association from 1954 to 1980, passed away on Aug. 28, at Shands Hospital, in Gainesville, Fla. He was 98.

Spear was one of the pest control industry’s pioneering educators, instrumental in creating many of the industry’s standard technical resources during his 26-year tenure at NPMA. A native of Massachusetts, in 1937 Spear earned a bachelor’s degree in entomology from the then Massachusetts State College. Before and after WWII he worked in New England and California in termite control.

When Spear arrived at the NPCA in 1954 (now NPMA), the pest control industry had a great need for information about safe and effective use of the many new pesticides that had been developed in wartime. He gathered and communicated to workers in the field the useful results of research. Communication was accomplished in workshops throughout the country and by publication of scores of technical releases. He alerted state, federal and commercial workers to the information needs of the industry and organized funding to support research. These activities led to opportunities to work with numerous panels and committees of national and international bodies. In 1972, Spear became senior director of research for the association, and he also served brief terms as acting executive secretary, before retiring in 1980.

“I could hardly wait to get the monthly technical bulletins prepared by Phil that were so useful to our company, and to me as a budding entomologist,” said Gary Bennett, professor and coordinator, Center for Urban Industrial Technology, Purdue University. “Phil was widely known within the industry, and was the main reason many companies joined NPMA. He was always ready and willing to help, at a moment’s notice, with any problem we had. He even had my dad bring me to an NPMA convention in New Orleans, so that he could meet me, show me around and become even more of a mentor than he already was through correspondence.

“Dr. Spear was truly a pioneering force in our industry, and a gentleman and a scholar,” Bennett said.

Donations may be made to: UUF Foundation, 4225 NW 34th St., Gainesville, FL 32605. — Brad Harbison


CDC Estimates 300,000 Americans Diagnosed with Lyme Disease Annually

BOSTON, MASS. — Estimates released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that about 300,000 Americans are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year. These preliminary estimates were presented in Boston at the 2013 International Conference on Lyme Borreliosis and other tick-borne diseases.

This early estimate is based on findings from three ongoing CDC studies that use different methods, but all aim to define the approximate number of people diagnosed with Lyme disease each year. The first project analyzes medical claims information for about 22 million insured people annually for six years, the second project is based on a survey of clinical laboratories and the third project analyzes self-reported Lyme disease cases from a survey of the general public.

Each year, more than 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to CDC, making it the most commonly reported tick-borne illness in the United States. The new estimate suggests that the total number of people diagnosed with Lyme disease is roughly 10 times higher than the yearly reported number and supports studies published in the 1990s, indicating that the true number of cases is three to 12 times higher than the number of reported cases. Most Lyme disease cases reported to CDC through national surveillance are concentrated heavily in the Northeast and upper Midwest, with 96 percent of cases in 13 states.

“We know that routine surveillance only gives us part of the picture, and that the true number of illnesses is much greater,” said Paul Mead, M.D., M.P.H, chief of epidemiology and surveillance for CDC’s Lyme disease program. “This new preliminary estimate confirms that Lyme disease is a tremendous public health problem in the United States, and clearly highlights the urgent need for prevention.”

CDC continues to analyze the data in the three studies to refine the estimates and better understand the overall burden of Lyme disease in the United States and will publish finalized estimates when the studies are complete. Efforts also are underway at CDC and by other researchers to identify novel methods to kill ticks and prevent illness in people, including a broader approach to tick reduction, involving entire communities, to combat this public health problem. This community approach would involve homeowners trying to kill ticks in their own yards, and communities addressing issues such as rodents that carry the Lyme disease bacteria; deer that play a key role in the ticks’ life cycle; suburban planning; and the interaction between deer, rodents, ticks and humans. For more information on Lyme disease, visit www.cdc.gov/lyme.

Comings & Goings

If your company has added new personnel, send a photo and press release to jdorsch@giemedia.com.

The North Carolina Pest Management Association welcomed its executive officers for 2013-14. The new officers include President Burns Blackwell of Terminix, Greensboro; Vice President Scott Canady, Canady’s Services, Lumber Bridge; Secretary/Treasurer Lee Smith, Rid-A-Pest, Morehead City; and Past President Mitch Taylor, Capital Pest Services, Raleigh. In addition, two people were sworn in as new board members. The new board members are Tony Dean, Pestar, Camden, N.C., and John Adkins, Four Seasons Pest Control, Danville, Va. The officers will serve a one-year term ending July 2014.

The Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC) Board of Trustees appointed Dr. Nick Hamon as CEO to succeed Professor Janet Hemingway. Hamon jons IVCC with more than 25 years of experience in product development in the crop protection and environmental science industries. Most recently he was head of sustainability at Bayer CropScience, North America, before which he worked for Bayer as vice president of product development and sustainable development and as director of development and technical services.

Rollins named Elizabeth B. “Beth” Chandler vice president and general counsel, replacing the recently retired Kathleen Mayton. Before joining Rollins, Chandler was vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary for Asbury Automotive.

Robin Slatter was named director of product development for FMC Professional Solutions. In this position, Slatter will oversee the development of new products for the U.S. non-crop markets, which include the pest, nursery/greenhouse and turf management industries, both professional and consumer segments.

University of Illinois (UI) entomologist and professor May Berenbaum is slated to become president of the Entomological Society of America in 2016. Berenbaum, who is head of the UI Department of Entomology, recently was elected vice president-elect of the society. After serving in that capacity in 2014, she will be vice president in 2015, and then society president in 2016.

Rose Pest Solutions in Troy, Mich., announced the promotion of John Steenstra, ACE, to district supervisor in Grand Rapids, Mich. In other news at the firm, Mark VanderWerp, BCE, has been promoted to manager of education and training for Rose Pest Solutions.

Dow AgroSciences named Jeremy Adamson as the sales representative for the Sentricon System in portions of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey. He is based in Wilmington, Del.

Lance Gray has been promoted to service center manager of Sprague Pest Solutions’ Eugene, Ore., service center.

Bird-B-Gone has announced the addition of Ashley Johnson to its corporate office. Johnson’s responsibilities will include corporate and social communication material development, marketing project management, marketing analytics and business expansion.

Dean Osborn joins J. F. Oakes as its independent sales representative for Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, New Mexico and Colorado. Osborn will work with and call on distributors to promote J. F. Oakes and its products.

Ken Christianson joined Terminix as commercial division sales manager. Christianson is a 25-year commercial pest control industry veteran, having spent time at Presto-X-Company and Plunkett’s Pest Control.

NPMA, Bayer Launch Vision 2020

FAIRFAX, Va. — The National Pest Management Association and Bayer have announced a new initiative, Vision 2020, aimed at helping guide and shape the future of the pest management industry.

The multi-year initiative will identify trends and equip the industry to enhance its value to society in the midst of emerging societal, economic, technological and regulatory issues, the two groups say.

As a first step, NPMA and Bayer hosted a workshop of 40 executives and senior managers of pest management companies. Industry leaders were challenged to analyze current trends, predict related implications and imagine potential future scenarios in four major trend areas, including society and demographics, technology and science, regulation and environment, and economy and markets. “Our goal with Vision 2020 is to imagine our preferred future as an industry, and take action to create that future,” said Chris Pienaar, director of business operations for Bayer’s professional pest management and vector businesses. “We need to find a way not only to survive, but to thrive, in a changing marketplace, and the only way we can accomplish this is by working together as an industry.”

NPMA and Bayer will develop executive summaries of each of the four initial trends then present these insights at a showcase at PestWorld 2013 in Phoenix this month. “The outcomes from Vision 2020 are so important for the industry’s future,” said NPMA Executive Vice President Bob Rosenberg. “Both NPMA and Bayer have committed to building upon the discussions that took place.”


Eric Smith, Senior Entomologist at Dodson, Announces Retirement

LYNCHBURG, Va. — Eric Smith, Ph.D., the director of technical services at Dodson Pest Control for more than 22 years, has announced he will retire from the company effective Feb. 28, 2014. Smith will continue to work on special projects for the company as needed.

Smith joined Dodson as director of technical services in August 1989, and has made enormous contributions during his tenure as senior entomologist, the firm said. He has given numerous presentations at industry meetings and workshops across the country, has published many articles on urban pests and scientific papers in journals, and is the senior author of the NPMA Field Guide to Structural Pests.

Smith received his bachelor’s degree in botany from Miami University (Ohio), his master’s degree in entomology from Purdue University and his doctorate in systematic entomology from The Ohio State University. He is a member of several scientific and professional societies and is a past president of Pi Chi Omega. In 2006, Smith received the inaugural Crown Award for Technical Excellence sponsored by PCT and Syngenta. In the same year, he also won the Virginia Pest Management Industry Stewardship Award for his lifetime commitment and service to the pest management industry.


Liphatech Rocks Atlanta, Other Cities With Soft Bait Event

Atlanta — Rock and roll and rodents may not appear to be a natural combination, but for the pest management professionals who attended the recent Liphatech Eraticate Soft Bait Awareness Tour stop in Atlanta, the event hit all the right notes.

The event featured rodent headliners Dr. Bobby Corrigan and Ted Bruesch who gave presentations on “Why Rodents Are So Effective” and “How to Combat Rodents Using Soft Bait.” The program also included a panel discussion on the use of soft baits in commercial and residential accounts with John Dunbar of Terminix Services, Columbia, S.C., and Mark Hunter of Landmark Wildlife and Pest Control, Macon, Ga.

“The Eraticate tour represents a bold step to change the way Lipha-tech educates pest management professionals on rodent control,” says Manny Martinez, executive director of Liphatech. “We wanted attendees to have fun while they were learning and what better way to accomplish that than with a little rock and roll.”

The event also featured attendee prize giveaways including a video camera flashlight, Samsung Galaxy Notebook, Lipha-tech soft bait product samples, and a wandering six-foot rat that posed for pictures and mingled with attendees throughout the evening.


BugPlug Fills in Drill Holes Left from Termite Jobs

TOMS RIVER, N.J. — As a pest control operator with 17 years of experience performing termite work, one of Gerry LaBruzza’s greatest frustrations was the time and labor it took to fill in holes left behind from drilling.

LaBruzza, owner of Guardian Termite and Pest Control, Toms River, N.J., said he felt there had to be a better alternative to the painstaking task of patching holes with concrete. So, he enlisted the help of son Joseph LaBruzza and the duo set out to find a solution themselves. After several months experimenting with different prototypes, they developed the BugPlug, a product that fits snugly into the holes left behind during termite jobs, and is held in place by protruding wings strategically placed along its core.

According to Joseph LaBruzza, the BugPlug quickly and efficiently closes the holes while leaving a polished, professional appearance. The entire installation takes just seconds per hole, saving the technician hours from each job, and his employer hours of pay as well, he added.

For companies that may be interested in branding, it is also possible to have the company logo printed on top of the plugs.

“The BugPlug was developed out of a need for such a product. I have performed many termite jobs and never did I look forward to patching the holes; by the time you cork and cement 100+ holes, your back and knees are aching, not to mention it almost never looks great,” said Joseph LaBruzza. “The BugPlug fixes the aesthetic problems, it installs in seconds and gets me off to the next job quicker.”

Joseph LaBruzza introduced the BugPlug at August’s New Jersey Pest Management Association 66th annual clinic, tradeshow and clambake, and he said the product was well received.

He said the patent-pending product is not available through distributors yet, but it can be ordered at www.thebugplug.com (payments can be made through PayPal).


Termatrac Names Univar as First Authorized U.S. Distributor of T3i

BRISBANE, Australia – Termatrac, manufacturer of the T3i, continues to expand its global distribution network, naming Univar Environmental Sciences as its first authorized distributor in the United States.

The Termatrac T3i is a termite detection device using radar, moisture and thermal capabilities to detect the location of termites. Visit www.termatrac.com for more information.


Fumigation Companies Compete in 10th Annual Banner Contest

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Pest Control Operators of California (PCOC) association announced the winners of the 10th annual Fumigation Banner Bonanza Contest, sponsored by Dow AgroSciences, the manufacturer of Vikane gas fumigant. The contest recognizes California fumigators for promoting fumigation through signage at fumigation sites.

Take Care Termite of Tracy, Calif., won first place. The judges commented that the winning banner was easy to read, had a good layout and used a nice tagline — “Let us ‘take care’ of what bugs you.” Take Care Termite owner Ray Carrier said he entered the banner contest at the encouragement of his wife and some of his fumigators. The banner was designed by Carrier’s stepdaughter, who enjoys graphic design.

“Winning this is going to make her day,” Carrier said. “I’m very excited that we won this year. There have been some really neat banners that have won in the past. We appreciate Dow AgroSciences sponsoring this contest.”

Finishing in second place was Advanced Integrated Pest Management of Sacramento, with a banner featuring dead termites with a photo of the company truck. Taking third was a banner from Pest Control Center of North Highlands, Calif. Fourth place was awarded to Clark Pest Control of San Diego. A panel of communications specialists judged the banners on readability from a distance, professionalism, visual impact and attractiveness. The first-place prize was $1,250; second, $1,000; third, $500; and fourth, $250.

“Dow AgroSciences is happy to sponsor the PCOC Banner Contest for the 10th year,” said Heather Kern, Dow AgroSciences product manager for Vikane gas fumigant. “The contest allows our fumigator partners to exhibit their banners, engage in some friendly competition with their peers and promote the value of structural fumigation with Vikane gas fumigant.”


Marathon Data Systems Introduces Video Series

WALL, N.J. — Marathon Data Systems unveiled a new video series titled “Meet Marathon,” which gives customers a behind-the-scenes look at the company. The first episode introduced viewers to the firm’s N.J.-based support staff with Marketing Specialist Danielle Panichi interviewing longtime employee Jennifer Walker. The series will continue throughout the year, alternating between different departments and employees in the company. With daily communication taking place on the phone and over the Internet via email and Live Chat support, Marathon hopes to use this video series to provide customers and potential customers with a more personal view of their company and dedicated staff.

Chris Sullens, Marathon Data Systems CEO, said, “We have a phenomenal team of hard-working, dedicated N.J.-based staff focused on trying to do the right thing for our clients. We thought putting a face to a name through this video series would be a fun way to provide current and potential clients greater insight into who they work with day in and day out and will tighten the already close relationship we have with most of our clients.”

View the first episode at http://bit.ly/MDS-Episode1 or by visiting Marathon’s Facebook page. For more information visit www.marathondata.com.


Entomology Professor Receives USDA Fellowship

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — New Mexico State University’s Alvaro Romero, an assistant professor of urban entomology, was one of five scientists at Hispanic-serving institutions to receive the 2013 U.S. Department of Agriculture E. Kika de la Garza Fellowship. “It’s an honor to be selected for this fellowship,” Romero said. “I want to take full advantage of this opportunity because this is an excellent chance to contribute to education — to mine and of my students. It is a step forward in my research and it will increase the notability of NMSU.”

The competitive three-week fellowship began June 6 and is awarded to professors performing agricultural research. It offers faculty from Hispanic-serving institutions the opportunity to work collaboratively with USDA to gain insight about the government agency. Each year, participants are selected based on their curriculum vitae and the potential impact their research can have on their respective institutions.

“It is very impressive for somebody in his early career stage to be recognized in this way,” said Gerald Sims, department head of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Weed Science at NMSU. “It identifies him as an outstanding scientist.”

Romero, who is originally from Colombia, said the fellowship will help him establish connections with other Hispanic scientists in his research area to create projects on urban pests and eventually expand the research agenda of his program.

He spent the first two weeks at the USDA’s largest research center, Beltsville Agriculture Research Center in Maryland, where he conducted research in one of his areas of expertise, bed bugs.

One of his goals is to boost graduate and undergraduate student enrollment and participation in USDA internships relating to agriculture and pest management, thereby helping graduates find jobs with federal and private agencies.

Sims said USDA has had a long-standing relationship with land-grant universities from a research standpoint, but the agency is still learning how to approach Hispanic-serving institutions from the academic side. He said Romero’s fellowship will give NMSU the ability to influence USDA and educate the agency about its needs.


Pi Chi Omega Awards Four Scholarships

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Pi Chi Omega, the international professional pest management fraternity, awarded four scholarships this year. Scholarship recipients for 2013 include:

  • Adam Salyer, Purdue University, $3,000 John V. Osmun Memorial Pi Chi Omega Scholarship
  • Benjamin Hottel, University of Florida, $2,000 Austin Frishman Pi Chi Omega Scholarship
  • Reina Koganemaru, Virginia Tech, $2,000 Faye & Terry Whitworth Pi Chi Omega Scholarship
  • Hamilton Allen, Clemson University, $2,000 Pi Chi Omega Scholarship


PCO News

Please send press releases about your firm to jdorsch@giemedia.com.

Heron Pest & Lawn Solutions, Apopka, Fla., launched a new mobile website. The company said it developed the site to provide customers with an easy-to-use mobile website to make doing business with Heron fast and convenient. Visit www.heronpest.com from a mobile phone to see the new site.

Also, the company recently celebrated its annual Employee Appreciation Day at Bear Lake Park in Apopka. Employees enjoyed lunch, played sports, went fishing, listened to music and spent time catching up with each other, the firm said.

Springfield, Mass.-based American Pest Solutions celebrates 100 years in business this year. The family-owned firm was founded in 1913 by Abraham Russell. Current President Robert Russell credits a work environment where everyone can succeed as the reason for the company’s longevity. “My grandfather Abraham manufactured and packaged his own roach power,” said Jim Russell, the company’s third-generation president. “Back then, our service vehicle was a horse and wagon.”

Shamrock Pest Control, Dallas, Texas, announced the opening of its second branch office in Houston.

Al Harris Pest Control, Sarasota, Fla., received the Sarasota Herald Tribune’s 2012/2013 First Place Reader’s Choice Award, voted the No. 1 pest control company in the area. The company said it was honored to receive the award. The firm has won a Reader’s Choice Award nine years in a row.

Aaron Pest Control, DeLand, Fla., is celebrating 50 years in business throughout 2013. The family-owned company opened its doors in DeLand in 1963 and has grown to provide pest control and lawn care throughout Central Florida. “Fifty years is a remarkable milestone for any company to achieve,” said Phil Smith, president. “The 50th anniversary is a celebration for our loyal customers.” The firm is celebrating in a number of ways, including the launch of a new social media campaign, the unveiling of its new mascot Aaron the Mouse (at left), and the sponsorship of the DeLand High School Bulldogs baseball team.

Georgia Association Installs New Officers

NORCROSS, Ga. — The Georgia Pest Control Association (GPCA) installed its 2013-14 officers at its summer conference in July. Completing his tenure as GPCA president, Ted Veitch became the chairman of the board; Manuel Snipes assumed the position of president; Jeff Dunn, vice president; and Shay Runion, secretary/treasurer.

Veitch is a technical consultant at Cook’s Pest Control, responsible for overseeing quality assurance and regulatory adherences in Georgia.

Snipes entered the pest control industry in 1978. In 1988, he launched his own company, Interstate Exterminating, and in 2005 purchased Azalea City Exterminating.

Dunn is leader of sales for Northwest Exterminating.

Runion is senior vice president of professional development and human resources at Arrow Exterminators, Atlanta. 


BedBug Central Launches Redesigned Website

Lawrenceville, N.J. — This summer, Bedbug Central launched its newly redesigned website, www.bedbugcentral.com, intended to give it a fresh new look, while retaining some of the site’s most popular landing pages, the firm said.

Some of the reasons for the redesign were to make it more mobile friendly, increase traffic, make it easier to navigate, give it an overhaul and add geo-based advertising for its bedbugFREE network, the firm said.

“We are really excited about the redesign of the website and look forward to continuing to provide educational and newsworthy information, along with showcasing the best products available to visitors of the site,” said Vice President of Operations Robert DiJoseph.


PCO Bookkeepers Hires M&A/Family Succession Planning Expert

NEWTON, N.J. — PCO Bookkeepers, an accounting and business advisory firm that serves the pest control industry, announced that John Corrigan is joining the company as an advisory consultant to oversee the firm’s mergers and acquisitions and family succession planning practice.

Corrigan is a CPA and M&A specialist and brings experience in all forms of business contracts including executive compensation plans, long-term incentive awards, employment and severance agreements, deferred compensation structures, and mergers and acquisitions transactions, including all types of reorganizations, recapitalizations and refinancings, the firm said.

In addition to his role at PCO Bookkeepers, Corrigan will continue as a member of the New York-based law firm Corrigan and Baker. He was a founding member of The Breakwater Group and has been recognized by his peers as a Super Lawyer in the New York metro area, as well as earning a “superb” rating on the national lawyer service website www.avvo.com.


Terramerra, Hydrex Team Up to Help Community

VANCOUVER, Canada — Terramera announced it has partnered with Hydrex Pest Control of California to provide pest control services for a nonprofit, transitional living facility for the homeless, The Kingdom Center (TKC), Ventura, Calif.

Alex McCarty, site manager for TKC, said, “I was thrilled with the service and the results from the treatment in January. The response from everyone involved was just great. We were able to get rid of the bed bugs quickly and permanently from the treated unit and get our residents back into their home.”

McCarty added, “Thanks to the results, we now have an Integrated Pest Management protocol in place that we can rely on. When we had a bed bug incident in another one of our residential units, we turned to Terramera.”

The vision of The Kingdom Center is to come together as a community to provide hope, resources and strength to those less fortunate, empowering them to become productive members of the community, the group says. Hydrex Pest Control volunteered its resources for the treatment.

Dave Watkins, general manager of Hydrex, and longtime CIRKIL-user, said, “I am glad that we could help a pillar of our community.”

To learn more about Terramera visit www.terramera.com. To learn more about Hydrex Pest Control visit http://hydrex.com.