Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Data Digging the PCT Top 100 List

I'm a big fan of PCT -- I imagine most followers of the pest control industry are too. But by far my favorite issue of the year is the PCT Top 100 list. This list is a great way for people interested in data (like me) to quantify what is happening in the industry. This year I asked Katherine Matthews, ESA's database manager, to review the list and compare it to our list of ACEs.  She found some interesting things that I thought I wanted to share with our list of certified professionals.

First, some simple facts:
  • We don't have a company of record for all of our ACEs (we don't require that in our database), so while most of our ACEs do in fact work for a professional organization, not all of them have shared with us what firm that is. All of the statistics below bear this fact in mind.
  • The ACE totals we used are current as of June 30, 2014, which means a total of 772 ACEs.
  • For those that we do have a company listed, just over 42% work for one of the top 100 firms.
  • 59% of our ACEs are in primarily "residential work firms", 40% work for companies that do more commercial work, and about 1% are in companies that have an even split between residential and commercial.
  • 90% of our ACEs work for companies where general pest control is the focus and the remaining 10% do primarily termite work.
Year Started By Firm:
When we look at the year our current ACEs, listed by employer we can see when the top 10 firms really started to adopt ACE as a business tool. Rollins hit a high point in 2012 when 25 of their people joined the ranks of our current ACEs. Recently Clark Pest Control has begun to put more people through the program with 13 of our current ACEs joining in 2013. Wil-Kil and American Pest Control are tied for third-most ACEs in a year with 11 each in 2009 and 2013 respectively.

Total Counts By Firm:
Rollins/Orkin (PCT #1) far and away has the most number of current ACEs with 69. Terminix (PCT #2) is in second with 26 (for the purposes of this analysis we joined Terminix International and Terminix Service together, as we don't differentiate between the two in our database). Clark Pest Control (PCT #10) is in third for number of total ACEs on staff (recall that they didn't start to get serious about the ACE program until 2013!). Ecolab (PCT #4) is next with 19 ACEs. Click on the chart to the right to see the rest of the numbers. Western Exterminator Company of course was acquired by Rentokil North America in October 2012, so our Western folks are listed under Rentokil.

Best Months to Test?
These next facts don't really correlate to the PCT list, but since we were doing data analysis anyhow, it just seemed like a good idea to dig a little deeper. When we reviewed the list of our current ACEs and the month in which they passed their exams, we can see that March and November seem to be the months when most people pass their tests. But if you want to maximize your score, then November and February seem to be your best bet. What that says to me is that it may be prudent to schedule your ACE for a less-busy time of year (if such a thing exists!).

Which States Lead The Pack?
In April of last year on this blog we looked at the number of ACEs by state. At that time Florida was #1 and Texas was #2. As you can see by the chart at the right, little has changed. But a few of the states that were previously "ACE-less" now have them. Of the 50 states the only ones that don't have any ACEs are Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Rental Property Opportunities
Pests in rental properties, whether low income or not, is a hot topic in the news. Due to high turnover and other factors, rental properties often create a good marketing opportunity for PMPs. Perhaps that is why we see that our ACEs are often more prevalent in states with high numbers of rental properties. A number of states that have high numbers of renters do not yet have high numbers of ACEs (Illinois, Ohio, and New York in particular). That will change in the coming months, I'm sure.

What kinds of research would you like to see regarding certification. Email us and let us know.

Friday, July 11, 2014

New ACEs and BCEs through July 10, 2014

Please join us in congratulating these newly certified professionals:

Mr. James A. Stephens, BCE, (Cook's Pest Control), Lawrenceville, GA  USA.  Certified on 7/2/2014.

Mr. Adam D. Grendon, ACE, (Sprague Pest Solutions), Tacoma, WA  USA.  Certified on 7/7/2014.
Mr. Charles P Trimble, ACE, (Sprague Pest Solutions), Tacoma, WA  USA.  Certified on 7/7/2014.
Mr. Edward Scott Belliston, ACE, (Sprague Pest Solutions), Tacoma, WA  USA.  Certified on 7/7/2014.
Mr. John C. Nichols, ACE, (Skyline Pest Solutions Inc.), McDonough, GA  USA.  Certified on 6/20/2014.
Mr. Brian Lee Fernander, ACE, (SWAT Services), Marietta, GA  USA.  Certified on 6/20/2014.
Mr. Blake C. Landry, ACE, (Terminix), Lafayette, LA  USA.  Certified on 6/17/2014.
Mr. Matthew Curtis Reyelts, ACE, (Bug Warrior), Yuma, AZ  USA.  Certified on 6/13/2014.
Mr. Ernest Schicchi, ACE, (Alternative Pest Control Inc.), Brooklyn, NY  USA.  Certified on 6/10/2014.
Mr. Fred Padilla, Jr, ACE, (Steritech), Orange, CA  USA.  Certified on 6/5/2014.
Mr. Ben Harl, ACE, (Cardinal Professional Products), Decatur, IL  USA.  Certified on 6/4/2014.
Mr. Calvin Mack Kennon, Jr., ACE, (Specialty Exterminating Co.), Madison Heights, VA  USA.  Certified on 6/4/2014.
Mr. Billy Justin Olesen, ACE, (Mathis Exterminating), Bremerton, WA  USA.  Certified on 5/28/2014.
Mr. Kenneth B. Merkl, ACE, (Rose Pest Solutions), Blue Ash, OH  USA.  Certified on 5/20/2014.
Mr. Earl M. MacLean, ACE, (Baxter Pest Professionals), Muncie, IN  USA.  Certified on 5/19/2014.
Mr. Douglas Whited, ACE, (Perschel & Meyer Pest Management), Jacksonville Beach, FL  USA.  Certified on 5/8/2014.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Certification Corporation Bylaws Updated

Bylaws are the guiding rules by which an organization operates. They define the how, what, and why of operations. As such, they should be well-thought out from the very beginning and adjusted only when necessary.

This is one of those times.

The ESA Certification Corporation arose out of the ESA and many of the Bylaws were adapted from current ESA rules and practices. As (a) the ACE program has continued to grow and thrive, and (b) additional stability was required for proper board management, it became apparent that a Bylaws adjustment was necessary in order to allow proper representation on the Certification Board.

Effective immediately, the following changes to the composition and structure of the Certification Board have taken place via an update to the ESA Certification Corporation Bylaws (See Article VII, Section 2):

  • An ACE Representative position has been created,
  • Terms of office are moving from one year to three years (see note below),
  • New rules are in place for appointment of candidates if none arise through the normal elections process, and
  • The two Ad Hoc positions have been clarified.

The 2015 officers of the Society are going to be elected in just a few weeks. Any candidates for the open seats should step forward soon and apply by COB on June 13th. Please visit the ESA Elections and Nominations page to nominate yourself or someone else for a seat on the Certification Board.

Staggered terms off office:
The positions on the board will be staggered so that approximately one third of all candidates rotate off each year. In order to achieve this, ESA is going to stagger the implementation of the three year terms.  For the 2015 positions (that would be elected in the summer of 2014), the Southeastern and North Central Branch representative positions will be elected to three year terms. The ACE position will be selected by a vote of all ACEs. All other positions are still for one year terms. The following year the Eastern and Southwestern Branches will elect to three year terms. The Governing Board will also appoint one of the Ad Hoc positions to a three year term. And then, completing the implementation, the 2017 officers will be selected for three-year terms in the summer of 2016. These would be the appointment of the second Ad Hoc position and the election of the International and Pacific Branch representatives.

ACE position:
The ACE representative does not need to be an ESA member to compete for the position. During the election all current ACEs will have the opportunity to vote for their representative.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Certified Science May 2014

Certifiedsciencelogo.jpg

A Periodic ESA 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 your certification.



Tunneling and Food Transportation Activity of Four Subterranean Termite Species (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) at Various Temperatures
Authors: Cao, Runxin; Su, Nan-Yao
Source: Annals of the Entomological Society of America, Volume 107, Number 3, May 2014, pp. 696-701(6)
Abstract:  The effect of temperature on tunneling and food transportation activity of four subterranean termite species, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, Coptotermes gestroi (Wasmann), Reticulitermes virginicus (Banks), and Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar), was examined. The experiment was conducted at 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35°C and ? 99% relative humidity (RH) using 10- by 10-cm planar arenas. Tunneling areas excavated by termites at 12 and 48 h were analyzed using ... ( Click here for full abstract)
 

 
Within-Field Spatial Distribution of Stink Bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae)-Induced Boll Injury in Commercial Cotton Fields of the Southeastern United States
Authors: Pulakkatu-Thodi, Ishakh; Reisig, Dominic D.; Greene, Jeremy K.; Reay-Jones, Francis P. F.; Toews, Michael D.
Source: Environmental Entomology, Volume 43, Number 3, June 2014, pp. 744-752(9)
Abstract:  Spatial distribution of boll injury caused by stink bugs to developing cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) bolls was studied in five commercial fields (?22 ha each) in 2011 and 2012 to understand variability in boll injury dynamics within fields. Cotton bolls and stink bugs were sampled weekly from a georeferenced grid of sampling points (one sample per 0.40 ha) in each field, but no samples were taken within 30 m of field edges. The inverse distance weighted interpolation, variogram analysis, and ... ( Click here for full abstract)
 

 
Bioactivity of Cedarwood Oil and Cedrol Against Arthropod Pests
Authors: Eller, F. J.; Vander Meer, R. K.; Behle, R. W.; Flor-Weiler, L. B.; Palmquist, Debra E.
Source: Environmental Entomology, Volume 43, Number 3, June 2014, pp. 762-766(5)
Abstract:  Heartwood samples from Juniperus virginiana L. were extracted with liquid carbon dioxide, and the bioactivity of carbon dioxide-derived cedarwood oil (CWO) toward several species of ants and cedrol toward ticks was determined. Repellency was tested for ants, and toxicity was tested for ticks. Ants in an outdoor bioassay were significantly repelled by the presence of CWO on a pole leading to a sugar-water solution. Similarly, CWO was a significant repellent barrier to red imported fire ants and prevented them from finding a typical food source. ( Click here for full abstract)
 

 
Durability of a Novel Durable Bait for Control of Subterranean Termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae): Results of Five-Year Field Aging Studies
Authors: Eger, J. E.; Hamm, R. L.; Demark, J. J.; Chin-Heady, E.; Tolley, M. P.; Benson, E. P.; Zungoli, P. A.; Smith, M. S.; Spomer, N. A.
Source: Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 107, Number 3, June 2014, pp. 1201-1205(5)
Abstract:  A durable termite bait containing 0.5% noviflumuron was evaluated for physical durability, retention of active ingredient, consumption by termites, and toxicity to termites over 5 yr in field studies at locations in Indiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina. Plots in Indiana and Mississippi included both natural rainfall and irrigated plots, while plots in South Carolina received only natural rainfall. Samples collected every 3 mo for the first 4 yr were evaluated for consumption with ... ( Click here for full abstract)
 

 
Effect of Feeding Status on Mortality Response of Adult Bed Bugs (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) to Some Insecticide Products
Authors: Choe, Dong-Hwan; Campbell, Kathleen
Source: Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 107, Number 3, June 2014, pp. 1206-1215(10)
Abstract:  Fresh and aged residual deposits of several insecticide products were tested against bed bug adults to determine if a recent bloodmeal affected their mortality response to the residues. The bed bugs with a recent bloodmeal survived significantly longer compared with the unfed ones on their exposure to fresh or aged residual deposits of chlorfenapyr and aged residual deposits of deltamethrin on a wooden substrate. Even though the survival time of fed bed bugs was significantly longer ... ( Click here for full abstract)
 

 
Influences of Pyriproxyfen on Fecundity and Reproduction of the Pharaoh Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)
Authors: Tay, Jia-Wei; Lee, Chow-Yang
Source: Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 107, Number 3, June 2014, pp. 1216-1223(8)
Abstract:  The effects of the juvenile hormone analog pyriproxyfen (at concentrations of 0.1, 0.5, and 1%) on egg production, number of ovarioles, and length of oocytes were examined in queens of the Pharaoh ant Monomorium pharaonis (L.). Pyriproxyfen significantly reduced egg production in queens from week 3 onwards. Queens that were exposed to 1% pyriproxyfen stopped producing eggs at week 8. After 8 wk, ovaries were dissected from all queens, and the number of ovarioles and the length of the largest oocytes ... ( Click here for full abstract)
 

 
Trehalase Activity in Fungus-Growing Termite, Odontotermes feae (Isoptera: Termitideae) and Inhibitory Effect of Validamycin
Authors: Tatun, Nujira; Wangsantitham, Orathai; Tungjitwitayakul, Jatuporn; Sakurai, Sho
Source: Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 107, Number 3, June 2014, pp. 1224-1232(9)
Abstract:  Trehalase is the hydrolytic enzyme that catalyzed the hydrolysis of trehalose to glucose. In this study, trehalase activity in the fungus-growing termite, Odontotermes feae Wasmann had been examined. Trehalase activity in digestive tract and carcass of O. feae was higher than that in wood-feeding termite, Coptotermes gestroi Wasmann. The intestinal tract of worker caste of O. feae was the main source of trehalase compared with that in salivary, fat body, and carcass. In particular, the highest activity was found in ... ( Click here for full abstract)
 

 
Efficacy of Aerosol Applications of Methoprene and Synergized Pyrethrin Against Tribolium castaneum Adults and Eggs
Authors: Tucker, Angela M.; Campbell, James F.; Arthur, Frank H.; Zhu, Kun Yan
Source: Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 107, Number 3, June 2014, pp. 1284-1291(8)
Abstract:  Experiments were performed to determine the efficacy of a single aerosol application of the insecticides methoprene and piperonyl butoxide-synergized pyrethrin, alone or in combination, and the insecticide carrier, Isopar M, against Tribolium castaneum (Herbst), the red flour beetle. The initial test exposed adults to insecticide treatments and placed male/female pairs in flour. All adults exposed to synergized pyrethrin were knocked down for at least 24 h after exposure but they recovered. ( Click here for full abstract)
 

 
Going the Distance: How Does Market Access Affect Demand for IPM Packages?
Authors: Buckmaster, Amy; Alwang, Jeffrey; Peterson, Everett; Rivera, Mauricio
Source: Journal of Integrated Pest Management, Volume 5, Number 1, 2014, pp. B1-B7(7)
Abstract:  A challenge facing integrated pest management (IPM) technology transfer programs is to identify where to conduct outreach. As IPM is a knowledge-intensive management process, effective training usually requires sustained interactions between extension professionals and target farmers. Efforts to disseminate IPM are constrained by limited extension budgets and therefore should focus on areas with the greatest promise for ... ( Click here for full abstract)
 

 
Susceptibility of Cat Fleas (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae) to Fipronil and Imidacloprid Using Adult and Larval Bioassays
Authors: Rust, M. K.; Vetter, R.; Denholm, I.; Blagburn, B.; Williamson, M. S.; Kopp, S.; Coleman, G.; Hostetler, J.; Davis, W.; Mencke, N.; Rees, R.; Foit, S.; Tetzner, K.
Source: Journal of Medical Entomology, Volume 51, Number 3, May 2014, pp. 638-643(6)
Abstract:  The monitoring of the susceptibility of fleas to insecticides has typically been conducted by exposing adults on treated surfaces. Other methods such as topical applications of insecticides to adults and larval bioassays on treated rearing media have been developed. Unfortunately, baseline responses of susceptible strains of cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis (Bouchè), except for imidacloprid, have not been determined for all on-animal therapies and new classes of ... ( Click here for full abstract)
 

 
The Effects of Temperature and Innate Immunity on Transmission of Campylobacter jejuni (Campylobacterales: Campylobacteraceae) Between Life Stages of Musca domestica (Diptera: Muscidae)
Authors: Bahrndorff, S.; Gill, C.; Lowenberger, C.; Skovgård, H.; Hald, B.
Source: Journal of Medical Entomology, Volume 51, Number 3, May 2014, pp. 670-677(8)
Abstract:  The house fly ( Musca domestica L.) is a well-established vector of human pathogens, including Campylobacter spp., which can cause infection of broiler chicken flocks, and through contaminated broiler meat can cause outbreaks of campylobacteriosis in humans. We investigated whether Campylobacter jejuni (Jones) could be transferred between life stages of M. domestica (larvae-pupae-adults) and determined bacterial counts of C. jejuni at different time points after bacterial exposure.  ... ( Click here for full abstract


In addition to the scientific research, ESA also hosts the Entomology Today blog. Some recent posts of interest include:



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Certification Board Actions

On May 13, 2014 the ESA Certification Board (CB) held its second quarter meeting via teleconference. In anticipation of launching the ACE-International program later this fall, the CB made several decisions which will also modify the domestic ACE program. The goal is to have the two programs be as similar as possible with as little stratification as required. Two decisions that affect the ACE program -- both of which will take effect on October 1, 2014 -- are:

1) Modify the application requirements to require submission of two letters of professional reference. Currently the program only requires the applicant to list one professional colleague who would be able to vouch for the candidate's professionalism. This new requirement mirrors the BCE requirement for submission of two letters.

2) Modify the application requirements to adjust the years of experience required. Currently the ACE program requires seven years of professional experience in structural pest management -- a number that was derived arbitrarily at the program's inception. Two panels of subject matter experts reviewed the decision and felt that the point at which a professional was able to acquire the minimum amount of experience to competently perform their duties up to the ACE standard would be closer to five years.

This latter decision is in keeping with the rules of certification. According to Jerald Jacobs in the Association Law Handbook, "The best way to maximize validity is to have an open process by which all affected constituencies may participate … a broad base of participation and input will help ensure that the requirements do not unfairly bias or discriminate against any eligible professionals and accurately measure competency… The criteria, standards, or principles should be no more stringent than necessary to ensure the levels of competency or quality that the program aims to measure have been achieved by the candidates."

In other words, the rule for setting the requirement is to find the point at which the minimum is met, not the maximum.

Said another way by Mickie Rops, CAE (who also served as ESA's Certification Consultant during the program review in April 2012), "It is important that eligibility requirements are linked to the actual needs of the role being certified, not randomly chosen; this concept is often called job-relatedness. It is sometimes tempting for a certification committee to drift towards wanting to recognize excellence rather than competence in a role, and for the eligibility requirements to become unnecessarily high. Requirements should be reasonable and reflect the need-to-have, not the nice-to-have."

Both of these rules will be implemented with an effective date of October 1, 2014.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Newly certified - April 2014

Please join ESA and the Certification Board in congratulating these professionals for earning their ACE and BCE credentials recently:

New BCE:
Dr. Daniel C. Peck, BCE, (Grass Systems Entomology), Geneva, NY  USA.  Certified on 5/2/2014.

New ACEs:
Mr. F. Allen Hall, ACE, (Hometeam Pest Defense), Jacksonville, FL  USA.  Certified on 5/8/2014.
Mr. John L. Lightsey, ACE, (EnSec Pest & Lawn), Cantonment, FL  USA.  Certified on 5/8/2014.
Mr. Michael David Duncan, ACE, (Truly Nolen of America, Inc.), Orlando, FL  USA.  Certified on 5/8/2014.
Mr. Kevin Thorn, ACE, (Thorn Pest Solutions), Pleasant Grove, UT  USA.  Certified on 4/14/2014.
Mr. Benjamin Joseph Blahnik, ACE, (Copesan), South Milwaukee, WI  USA.  Certified on 4/11/2014.
Mr. Anthony E. Petersen, ACE, (ConAgra Foods), Omaha, NE  USA.  Certified on 4/9/2014.

Friday, May 9, 2014

ACE fees explained

We've had some questions come in to ESA about how the new fees for ACE work (see Questions #7 and 8 on this post). Here is my attempt to explain the process as succinctly as possible.

The old system (which went away on January 1, 2014) required an application fee and then --upon passing their exam-- most people had to renew their ACE again right away. The new structure flips that on its head and now most people will remain ACE certified and not need to worry about renewing their certification for several years after they pass the exam.  Overall the fees remain about the same for most people, so this change is not a fee increase -- it is a restructuring.

ACE application and renewal date rules:
  1. All applicants must take their exam within 1 year of the application's acceptance
  2. If unsuccessful, the applicant must wait at least 3 months but not more than 1 year from their earlier attempt
  3. All applicants must ultimately pass the ACE exam within 3 years of application acceptance or the application will expire
    1. If the application is accepted in the first half of the year it will expire on December 31st, two years hence
    2. If the application is accepted in the second half of the year it will expire on December 31st, three years hence
  4. Once an applicant passes the exam they are ACE certified until the end of the initial 3-year term.
  5. When it is time to renew the ACE certification, the renewal term is for 3 calendar years.
Everything that ESA does is based on the calendar year, however, which complicates this model a little bit. Applications accepted in Jan-June will be a little less than 3 years and applications accepted July-December will be a little longer than 3-years in terms of their ACE certification when they pass. Here are some examples of how this plays out:

(a) Example #1 - John's application is accepted on 2/1/2014 and he tests and passes his ACE on 9/1/2014. His application lifespan is from 2/1/2014 and he will remain ACE certified until the end of the 3-year term (12/31/2016) which is a few months short of the 3-year period.

(b) Example #2 - Jane's application is accepted on 8/1/2014 and she tests/passes later that month. Her application lifespan is from 8/1/2014 and she will remain ACE certified until 12/31/2017 (since she applied in the second half of the year). Her application lifespan is thus a little longer than 3 years.