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ATHENS, GA - Throughout Georgia and South Carolina, 21 Gene Higginbotham Memorial Scholarships were awarded to high school students by American Pest Control. All the recipients boasted many academic, athletic or community service-oriented accomplishments throughout their high school careers and reflected the values held by the Higginbotham family, the company said.
American Pest Control introduced the Gene Higginbotham Memorial Scholarship in May 2016. Gene Higginbotham founded American Pest Control in 1971. He valued family, education and community as top priorities for his company. Higginbotham passed away on Aug. 30, 2015 and the scholarship was created in his honor by family and employees to continue his legacy.
For American Pest Control’s 45th anniversary year, the scholarship was awarded to children of American Pest Control employees who graduated in May 2016. This spring, the scholarship was offered to all local students.
Editor’s Note: The following was adapted from Techletter, a biweekly publication from Pinto & Associates, Mechanicsville, Md. To subscribe, visit www.techletter.com or call 301/884-3020
IPM is the best way to control any pest over the long term. But not every job is suited for IPM. Mosquito control is a good example. In our industry, there are two distinct types of mosquito jobs: one is “quick and dirty,” one is management over the long term. As a result, we have two different types of mosquito control.
A “one shot,” for lack of a better term, is when a customer calls on Wednesday because she is having an outdoor function on Saturday evening and the yard is loaded with mosquitoes. Maybe it’s a party or a wedding in a backyard or maybe it’s a church function. No matter the occasion, the customer doesn’t want to hear about Integrated Pest Management, monitoring, source reduction and the like. She wants you to “get rid of those mosquitoes” so guests are not bitten on Saturday. This is a spray job to kill adult mosquitoes, pure and simple (although this customer is a hot prospect for a mosquito IPM program in the future).
There are two effective ways to apply insecticides to kill adult mosquitoes. In traditional “fogging,” you apply an aerosol of very fine insecticide droplets using a thermal fogger or ULV cold aerosol generator. The goal is to spray so that the insecticide contacts the adult mosquitoes.
More commonly in our industry, we apply insecticide treatment of a residual insecticide onto mosquito resting areas, most typically in and on vegetation, where they land on treated surfaces and pick up a lethal dose of insecticide. This is often called a mosquito “barrier treatment.”
The most effective way to apply a barrier treatment into vegetation is with a powered mist blower. However, the application also can be made with a power sprayer, backpack sprayer and even a regular compressed air sprayer. When treating vegetation it is critical to get the insecticide residue onto the underside of leaves where mosquitoes most commonly rest.
A wide range of insecticides are suitable for mosquito barrier treatments. Additionally, some EPA-exempt products also have been used for this type of treatment.
One-shot mosquito control jobs are by their nature short term and only partially effective, ranging from 50 to 90 percent reductions depending on the field study. Limitations include: 1) not all mosquito resting areas are treatable or reachable; 2) it is difficult to get complete coverage inside thick vegetation; and 3) mosquitoes can fly in from untreated sites.
Mosquito IPM Programs.
The most effective way to control mosquitoes effectively over the entire mosquito season is through IPM. Briefly, a mosquito IPM program contains these essentials:
Inspections and surveillance. IPM programs for mosquitoes require regular inspections. Mostly, inspectors should be looking for active breeding sites (with mosquito larvae, eggs or pupae) or potential breeding sites, but also for adults (biting counts, traps and resting mosquitoes), potential offsite problems and sensitive areas.
Source reduction. All mosquitoes need water to breed. Long-term effective control usually requires a reduction in the number and attractiveness of mosquito-breeding sites…called “source reduction” in mosquito control work. Source reduction includes removal of mosquito-breeding containers, elimination of standing water, and, in rare cases, modification to bodies of water (elimination of organic debris, ditching and draining).
Vegetation management. An often overlooked component of mosquito IPM, vegetation management, can greatly reduce a site’s attractiveness to mosquitoes. Yards with lots of overgrown vegetation, weeds and brush provide many mosquito resting sites. Customers need to remove weeds and brush, thin ornamental plantings, trim tall grasses, etc., to lessen mosquito pressure.
Larviciding. For standing water that cannot be altered or drained, larvicides are the key control tool. They kill the larvae or they prevent larval development so that biting adults are not produced. They are either applied to standing water, or to a site that will flood later (to control floodwater mosquitoes). The common larvicides are methoprene, B.t.i. and thin surface oils.
Other components of mosquito IPM programs are biological control (primarily mosquito fish), mosquito traps, adulticiding (the last resort, often indicating a program failure somewhere) and, of course, ongoing education and communication with the customer.
The authors are well-known industry consultants and co-owners of Pinto & Associates.
The awards, sponsored by BASF Pest Control Solutions, recognize a trio of standout service professionals in the residential, commercial and termite categories. Be sure to nominate your company’s standout service professionals. The nomination form is printed on pages 117-118 in the April issue. (Click here to read about last year’s winners). Entry deadline is July 18.
A PDF of the nomination form can be downloaded here.
You also can fill out the online nomination form.
Contact Brad Harbison with any questions at email@example.com.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In recent years, pest control operators have been re-affirming their commitment to be protectors of pollinator health in variety of ways.
Jay Besheer, president of Gunter Pest Management, and his wife, Pam, decided to have a beekeeper install a beehive in the front yard of their home they've lived for 29 years to promote and encourage their community to take part in the protection and re-population of honeybees. The Besheers asked permission from their neighbors to make sure there were no seeded fears in bees floating around their homes.
"We've been in business for 67 years and take our role as pest control leaders in our community very seriously. We want to be known for more than just the elimination of pests. Our company has studied and become very well versed in the low bee population over the last few years and have worked hard to educate and take a stand for the protection of our bees in efforts to increase pollination. It's important that our company educates our customers that not all insects and bugs are harmful and that we must work hard to protect certain species against extinction."