Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Things aren't always what they seem (Guest post by Gerry Wegner, BCE)

Things aren’t always what they seem.

A sweat bee resting calmly on a leaf might be a bit sluggish from the cool autumn air, or there might be something else going on.

As I was photographing this halictid from a front angle, I noticed an extra pair of wings on the abdomen.  As I changed my angle of orientation, I beheld a rare treat – a male twisted-wing parasite (Strepsiptera: Stylopidae) – positioned atop the bee’s abdomen.

Either the strepsipteran had just emerged from its pupa, tucked beneath a tergite, or he was mating with a hidden female in that location.  Either way, the male left his spot and took flight from one of the sweat bee’s hind legs.

The whole episode passed quickly but the experience, to me, was priceless.






Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Renewing ACE and BCE

It's October so that means it is time to get ready for renewals of your ACE and BCE certification. For many of you this is a new venture, so I wanted to try and explain it in a little more detail.

First off, don't freak out. ESA's intent is to have this be as stress-free as possible. Renewing your ACE is not hard. You will find that our definition and a state regulatory group's definition of a CEU may be a little different -- with our definition being the more lenient version. For example, we count things that the states don't (an obvious example here is reading pest control magazines).  We call a CEU most activities that show you have continued to develop your knowledge of structural pest contro as it intersects with entomology.

But before we start talking about renewing, we need to revisit the ACE application.

Recall that the new ACE application that started being used in late 2013 changed renewals a bit. The new applications have a 3-year lifespan and at whatever point during the application period a person passed their exam, they were ACE certified until the end of it. So anyone who applied on the new application does not yet need to renew their ACE. The price paid for the application tells you if you used the new or the old application (old fee was $150/non-members or $125/ESA members. The new fee is $355/members and $395/non-members). If you still don't know, contact ESA.

ACE Renewals:
Renewing your ACE is now simpler than ever. Starting in 2014 we began allowing people to renew for 3 years. This year all renewing ACEs will be for a 3-year period.  The basic rules for renewing your ACE (U.S. version of ACE only) are these steps:
  • Must be a licensed applicator and be allowed to apply pesticides without supervision, or whatever is the highest credential in your state, territory, or region. State-based, tribal, and Dept of Defense applicator licenses all count. You must submit proof of this licensure.
  • Sign your name to affirm your continued adherence to the ACE Code of Ethics
  • Submit your renewal fees (currently $295/ESA members and $375/non-memers). Recall that ESA is a personal membership, not company-based like NPMA is. So to claim the lower rate you must be a member of ESA (generally about 30-40% of ACEs are also ESA members).
  • Must submit 18 CEUs earned during the 3 previous years, according to this table of eligible CEUs.
It is this last point that generates the most questions. People want to know "what counts as a CEU?" ESA is very generous on what counts as a CEU. For the vast majority of ACEs this is the same information that you need to submit to renew your state-based license. If you are having trouble finding credits, contact ESA.

Here are four scenarios that help to explain renewing ACE certification:
  1. John is a new ACE, having earned his certification in January 2014. He applied on the old application so his renewal comes due on December 31, 2014. He needs to submit CEUs earned during the years 2012-2014 which would include from the time prior to his becoming an ACE.
  2. Jane is a new ACE, having earned her certification in January 2014. She applied on the new application so does not need to renew until the end of her initial application period (end of 2016).
  3. Jack earned his ACE years ago but has been renewing annually every year, including in 2014. This year he submits CEUs earned during 2012-2014 to renew for 2015-2017.
  4. Jill earned her ACE years ago and has been renewing annually, but in 2014 she chose the phase-in of the new structure and renewed for 3 years. She does not need to renew until December 31, 2016.


BCE Renewals:
Renewing a BCE is still an annual process. The reason for this discrepancy is that most BCEs (95%) are also ESA members and ESA membership renewal is also calendar-year based.  Every year a BCE must pay the annual renewal fee (see fee schedule here). Fees are reduced for Interns and Emeritus BCEs.

Every three years all full BCEs (Interns and Emeritus are exempt) must also submit a report that documents their CEUs. There is no fee for this report as long as it is received prior to the due date and is submitted electronically. The report covers CEUs attained in the three years prior to the report. It is due on December 31st and considered to be on time if received by the end of March in the following year.

The link to the annual BCE renewal form is here (or just do it as a part of your ESA renewal)

The link to the tri-annual CEU report is here. You can download a copy of the report in Excel, Word, or as a PDF.

Monday, September 29, 2014

So I hear you're interested in becoming an ACE ...

At ESA we get a lot of phone calls and emails from people who are interested in becoming ACE or ACE-International certified. This post is designed to serve as a link to get you started and answer most of the more common questions that people have about the programs, including:
  1. An overview of what the ACE program is, and what it isn’t.
  2. Hear from some people who have passed the ACE exam via a testimonial and a guest post on our blog.
  3. ESA is the organization that runs the ACE program. You can join ESA and save a little money on your ACE fees. Taking and passing your ACE exam does not make you an ESA member, though.  Here is some more about ESA membership benefits.
  4. There are lots of ways to study for the ACE exam. From a list of study materials, to finding a prep course near you, to simply reviewing the materials on which the exam is based.  There is also a sample exam (the username and password are both ACEQ).
  5. The Certified Entomologist blog is a good source of information with general info, including a good post with FAQs about the ACE application and exam process.
  6. The application is good for three years. You will need to pass the ACE exam within that time period in order to have it still be active. That 3-year “clock” starts when your application is officially accepted (we’ll email you). As soon as you pass your ACE exam within that time period you will be an ACE until the end of that 3-year period before needing to renew. 
  7. The main differences between ACE and ACE-International are simple -- if you are a permanent resident of the United States, then ACE is for you. If you aren't then you need to look at ACE-I.
  8. When you feel that you are ready to get started, click here to access the ACE and ACE-I application.

Your contact for more ESA certification questions is:
Chris Stelzig
Director of Certification
Entomological Society of America
3 Park Place, Suite 307
Annapolis, MD 21401-3722
301-731-4535, x3012 | Direct dial – 240-696-3741

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

First applicant for ACE-International

After months of meetings, writing exam questions, setting standards, negotiating with industry leaders, approval from boards, and developing promotional materials ... it is all finally starting to fall into place.

Moments ago, ESA approved the first applicant for the new ACE-International program. 

This applicant (let's call him Mr X) was interested to become an ACE-I as a way to showcase his professionalism and training. Mr X is well-established as an arborist in his country and has received a certificate for attending the Purdue course. But he felt that he needed something more to really establish himself as a reliable professional. When referring to his Purdue certificate, he says, "People are impressed, but I am sure ACE ...would be more impress(ive) in the future."

We've received numerous inquiries from PMPs like Mr. X from all across the globe as the industry begins to prepare for this new international credentialing program. We're posting information on the new ACE-I program as it becomes available.

The ACE-International program will launch on October 22nd, 2014 at PestWorld. We're taking applications now so that people can test as soon as they are ready to after the launch.

Click here to download the PDF ACE-International application.

We now know who the first applicant is. But who will be the first ACE-International?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Certified Science 2014, #4

This issue of Certified Science was emailed to all current ACEs and BCEs on August 5, 2014. The next issue will post to the blog in about 6 weeks. To receive the current issue as it publishes, please consider becoming ACE or BCE certified. 


Certifiedsciencelogo.jpg

A Periodic E-mail Service to ACEs and Urban-Industrial BCEs

The Entomological Society of America is the #1 source of scientific information for the entomologically-focused urban professional. This email is a service of the ESA for all ACEs and any BCEs who hold a specialty in urban and industrial entomology.

Here is a summary of some recent articles in the ESA journals that relate to structural pest management and urban arthropod pests. The abstracts are freely available online for all articles, though access to the full text will generally require membership in the ESA, in addition to ACE or BCE certification.

The journal issues covered in this issue are:
  • Annals of the ESA, Volume 107, #4
  • Journal of Medical Entomology, Volume 51, #4
  • Environmental Entomology, Volume 43, #4
  • Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 107, #4
  • American Entomologist, Volume 60, #2
  • Entomology Today blog (posts between June 9 and July 16, 2014)


Effect of Crop Volume on Contraction Rate in Adult House Fly
Authors:  Stoffolano, John G.; Patel, Bhavi; Tran, Lynn
Source: Annals of the Entomological Society of America, Volume 107, Number 4, July 2014, pp. 848-852(5)
Abstract:  The functional aspects of the adult house fly crop have not been studied even though various human and domestic animal pathogens have been discovered within the crop lumen. The average volume consumed (midgut and crop) by flies starved for 24 h was 3.88 ?l by feeding both sexes on a sucrose phosphate glutamate buffer. In addition, various volumes of a solution (0.125 M sucrose plus Amaranth dye) were fed to 3-d-old adult female house flies... (Click here for full abstract)

The Relationship Between Deer Density, Tick Abundance, and Human Cases of Lyme Disease in a Residential Community
Authors:  Kilpatrick, Howard J.; Labonte, Andrew M.; Stafford, Kirby C.
Source: Journal of Medical Entomology, Volume 51, Number 4, Pages 725-906, pp. 777-784(8)
Abstract:  White-tailed deer ( Odocoileus virginianus Zimmerman), serve as the primary host for the adult blacklegged tick ( Ixodes scapularis Say), the vector for Lyme disease, human babesiosis, and human granulocytic anaplasmosis. Our objective was to evaluate the degree of association between deer density, tick abundance, and human cases of Lyme disease in one Connecticut community over a 13-yr period. We surveyed 90-98% of all permanent residents in the community six times from 1995 to 2008... (Click here for full abstract

X-Ray-Induced Sterility in Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) and Male Longevity Following Irradiation
Authors:  Yamada, H.; Parker, A. G.; Oliva, C. F.; Balestrino, F.; Gilles, J.R.L.
Source: Journal of Medical Entomology, Volume 51, Number 4, Pages 725-906, pp. 811-816(6)
Abstract:  The mosquito Aedes albopictus (Skuse, 1895) is a potent vector of several arboviral diseases, most notably chikungunya and dengue fever. In the context of the sterile insect technique (SIT), the sterilization of the male mosquitoes before their release can be achieved by gamma-ray irradiation. As gamma-ray irradiators are becoming increasingly problematic to purchase and transport, the suitability of an X-ray irradiator as an alternative for the sterilization of Ae. albopictus males was studied... (Click here for full abstract

Exploring New Thermal Fog and Ultra-Low Volume Technologies to Improve Indoor Control of the Dengue Vector, Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae)
Authors:  Harwood, James F.; Farooq, Muhammad; Richardson, Alec G.; Doud, Carl W.; Putnam, John L.; Szumlas, Daniel E.; Richardson, Jason H.
Source: Journal of Medical Entomology, Volume 51, Number 4, Pages 725-906, pp. 845-854(10)
Abstract:  Control of the mosquito vector, Aedes aegypti (L.), inside human habitations must be performed quickly and efficiently to reduce the risk of transmission during dengue outbreaks. As part of a broad study to assess the efficacy of dengue vector control tools for the U.S. Military, two pesticide delivery systems (ultra-low volume [ULV] and thermal fog) were evaluated for their ability to provide immediate control of Ae. aegypti mosquitoes with a contact insecticide inside simulated urban structures... (Click here for full abstract

Alate Trap-Based Assessment of Formosan Subterranean Termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) Dispersal Flight Phenology Associated With an Urbanized Barrier Island Ecosystem
Authors:  Puckett, Robert T.; Espinoza, Elida M.; Gold, Roger E.
Source: Environmental Entomology, Volume 43, Number 4, August 2014, pp. 868-876(9)
Abstract:  During 2009, 2010, and 2011, the reproductive dispersal flight phenology of Formosan subterranean termites ( Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki) was assessed on Galveston Island, TX, via LED light-based termite alate traps. In all three years, traps were deployed at sampling sites before the initiation of C. formosanus dispersal flights, and retrieved weekly until the cessation flights. In total, 45, 102, and 90 traps were deployed during 2009, 2010, and 2011, respectively... (Click here for full abstract

Effect of Broadcast Baiting on Abundance Patterns of Red Imported Fire Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and Key Local Ant Genera at Long-Term Monitoring Sites in Brisbane, Australia
Authors:  McNaught, Melinda K.; Wylie, F. Ross; Harris, Evan J.; Alston, Clair L.; Burwell, Chris J.; Jennings, Craig
Source: Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 107, Number 4, August 2014, pp. 1307-1315(9)
Abstract:  In 2001, the red imported fire ant ( Solenopsis invicta Buren) was identified in Brisbane, Australia. An eradication program involving broadcast bait treatment with two insect growth regulators and a metabolic inhibitor began in September of that year and is currently ongoing. To gauge the impacts of these treatments on local ant populations, we examined long-term monitoring data and quantified abundance patterns of S. invicta and common local ant genera using a linear mixed-effects model... (Click here for full abstract

Potential Distribution and Cost Estimation of the Damage Caused by Cryptotermes brevis (Isoptera: Kalotermitidae) in the Azores
Authors:  Guerreiro, O.; Cardoso, P.; Ferreira, J. M.; Ferreira, M. T.; Borges, P.A.V.
Source: Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 107, Number 4, August 2014, pp. 1554-1562(9)
Abstract:  In the Azores archipelago, a significant proportion of buildings are infested with the urban exotic drywood termite Cryptotermes brevis (Walker), causing major economical and patrimonial losses. This work aims to understand the potential spread of this termite species in the Azores and estimate the costs for both treatment and reconstruction of infested buildings in the entire archipelago. A maximum entropy niche modeling process was used to determine the potential occurrence... (Click here for full abstract

Mortality Patterns in Coptotermes gestroi (Blattodea: Rhinotermitidae) Following Horizontal Transfer of Nonrepellent and Repellent Insecticides: Effects of Donor:Recipient Ratio and Exposure Time
Authors:  Neoh, Kok-Boon; Yeoh, Boon-Hoi; Lee, Chow-Yang
Source: Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 107, Number 4, August 2014, pp. 1563-1572(10)
Abstract:  The donor: recipient ratio and the time of donor exposure to termiticide required for maximal toxicant transfer among termites are crucial information for the development of termite management plans. Most of the available information on termiticide toxicity came from temperate zonal termite species, whereas little is known about tropical Asian species. In this study, mortality patterns of recipient termites, Coptotermes gestroi (Wasmann) subjected to seven formulated insecticide exposures under different... (Click here for full abstract

Lethal and Sublethal Effects of Lufenuron on the Formosan Subterranean Termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)
Authors:  Wang, Cai; Henderson, Gregg; Gautam, Bal K.; Chen, Xuan
Source: Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 107, Number 4, August 2014, pp. 1573-1581(9)
Abstract:  A laboratory study was conducted to understand the effect of low concentrations of lufenuron on termite physiology and behavior. Survivorship, running speed, body water content, food consumption, tunneling, microbial infection, and two behavioral patterns (carcass-burying behavior and particle transport behavior) were compared among Formosan subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, fed lufenuron-treated (250, 500, or 1,000 ppm) or untreated (control) filter paper... (Click here for full abstract
 

Fumigation of Bed Bugs (Hemiptera: Cimicidae): Effective Application Rates for Sulfuryl Fluoride
Authors:  Phillips, Thomas W.; Aikins, Michael J.; Thoms, Ellen; Demark, Joe; Wang, Changlu
Source: Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 107, Number 4, August 2014, pp. 1582-1589(8)
Abstract:  The bed bug, Cimex lectularius L. (Hemiptera: Cimicidae), has resurged recently as a domestic pest in North America with very limited options for decisive control. We report efficacy studies with sulfuryl fluoride (SF) toward use as a structural fumigant to control bed bugs. Laboratory studies were conducted in which eggs, adults, and nymphs from a pesticide susceptible laboratory population were fumigated for 24 h using SF at 99.8% purity in airtight, 3.8-liter glass containers under two temperatures, 25°C and 15°C.... (Click here for full abstract)  

Laboratory and Field Evaluation of an Indoxacarb Gel Bait Against Two Cockroach Species (Dictyoptera: Blattellidae, Blattidae) in Lagos, Nigeria
Authors:  Anikwe, Joseph Chuks; Adetoro, Fouad Abidemi; Anogwih, Joy Anuri; Makanjuola, Winifred Ayinke; Kemabonta, Kehinde Abike; Akinwande, Kayode Lawrence
Source: Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 107, Number 4, August 2014, pp. 1639-1642(4)
Abstract:  Indoxacarb gel bait was evaluated for its efficacy in the laboratory and field against American cockroaches, Periplaneta americana (L.), and German cockroaches, Blattella germanica (L.). Advion 0.6% indoxacarb gel bait was toxic to both P. americana and B. germanica. There were no significant differences in the LT50 (h) values for treatment levels of 0.25 g, 0.5 g, and 1.0 g gel applied against P. americana, whereas gel applied at 0.5 g to B. germanica had... (Click here for full abstract

ACEs also have free access to the online edition of American Entomologist (which is free for ESA members). Recent articles of interest to the structural pest management community include:
  • POSTMARKED EXTENSION: The Early Years of Extension Entomology: Celebrating Cooperative Extension's First 100 Years (Bessin, Ric; Mulder, Phil) [ARTICLE]
  • Don't Fear the Creeper: Do Entomology Outreach Events Influence How the Public Perceives and Values Insects and Arachnids? (Pitt, D.B.; Shockley, M.) [ARTICLE]
  • Regulating Pesticide Use in United States Schools (Hurley, Janet A.; Green, Thomas A.; Gouge, Dawn H.; Bruns, Zachary T.; Stock, Timothy; Braband, Lynn; Murray, Kathleen; Westinghouse, Carol; Ratcliffe, Susan T.; Pehlman, Derrick; Crane, Lauren) [ARTICLE]

And finally, some relatively recent posts of interest on the free and popular EntomologyToday blog include:
  • Scientists Decipher Stink Bug Aggregation Pheromone  [ARTICLE]
  • Are Local Honey Bees Healthier than Imports? [ARTICLE]
  • Powerful Trap-jaw Ants are Gaining Ground in the Southeastern United States [ARTICLE]
  • Chikungunya Virus is Expected to Become Established in the U.S. [ARTICLE]
  • CT Scanning Shows how Fire Ants Interlock to Form Floating Rafts [ARTICLE]
  • Genetically-Modified Honey Bees: A Key Technology for Honey Bee Research [ARTICLE]
  • Ability to Detect Polarized Light Helps Bees Find Food [ARTICLE]

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

New BCEs and ACEs

You can always tell when pest prevention season is fully underway. Summer is always the slowest time for new ACEs and BCEs. Nevertheless, we did have four intrepid individuals take and pass their certification exams in the past month. Please join me in congratulating our newest ACEs and BCE.

Mr. David Sindani Wangila, BCE-Intern, (University of Nebraska- Lincoln), Lincoln, NE  USA.  Certified on 8/13/2014.

Mr. Kenneth Michael Richard, ACE, (Adam's Pest Control, Inc.), Hamel, MN  USA.  Certified on 8/18/2014.
Mr. Tony Garcia, ACE, (Clark Pest Control), Lodi, CA  USA.  Certified on 7/31/2014.
Mr. Douglas E. Stavig, ACE, (Orkin Inc.), Killeen, TX  USA.  Certified on 7/18/2014.

They join the record number of professionals who have pursued their certification in entomology. If you have not yet signed up, what's holding you back?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What to study for ACE International?

We're just 56 days away from PestWorld 2014 and the launch of the new ACE-International program.  ACE certification has been rapidly becoming the new benchmark of professionalism in the pest management industry for the past 10 years with an average annual growth of over 35%.  But until now it has been for US-based PMPs only.

Starting on October 21, 2014, ESA will begin to accept international ACE applications. The application is online now but all applications received prior to the October 21st launch will be held in abeyance until that time.

For ACE-I, the exam will be broken down into two different sub-exams. The primary one will be slightly shorter than the current ACE exam and will cover most of the same information. The primary ACE-I exam will be about 140 questions and the second exam will be approximately 30 questions. As with the US-based ACE, there is a content outline for each exam so that all applicants know what they are to study.

The primary exam has the same four main knowledge domains as the US ACE:

  • Inspection and Identification (45% of exam)
  • Selection and Implementation of Control Methods (28% of exam)
  • Evaluation (15% of exam)
  • Monitoring (12% of exam)

Under each of these topics there are a host of skills and knowledge areas upon which the exam content will be based. The primary difference between the US-based ACE and ACE-I is that all US regulations are removed from the exam. Click here to access the ACE-International Content Outline for the primary exam.

The second exam focuses solely on pesticide safety. The questions will all draw from these domains:

  • Understanding pesticides and control methods (20% of exam)
  • Using pesticides and other control methods (40% of exam)
  • Pesticide safety and exposure (40% of exam)
Again, under each of these topics are detailed knowledge areas that must be mastered in order to pass the exam. Click here to access the ACE-International Content Outline for the Pesticide Safety exam.