Monday, August 10, 2015

And then there were two ...

Peter Brigden, ACE-I
ESA would like to congratulate Peter Brigden of Rapid Solutions in Queensland, Australia on being the second person in the world to earn the Associate Certified Entomologist-International (ACE-I) designation.

Having been launched at PestWorld in 2014, the ACE-I is a new and international version of the ACE program. The first ACE-I, Kenneth Leung (Hong Kong), passed his exams in February of 2015 and --though others have attempted it-- Peter is only the second person in the world to pass both of the ACE-I exams. The ACE-I program differs from the ACE program in several key respects, including the fact that applicants are required to take and pass two exams (One on Core entomology and pest management/IPM skills; and another on pesticide knowledge and safety) instead of just one for the US version of the ACE program.

"Getting ACE-certified serves as confirmation that as a professional trainer in the Australian Pest Management Industry, that I ‘know my stuff’," Brigden recently told the ESA staff. It also served as a personal challenge to get a qualification of international standing for the industry and --if it challenges others, like it seems to in the USA-- then that is a good thing because we need to stretch ourselves mentally from time to time. ACE also served as a professional marker because as a trainer I need to continually develop my professional standards in both training (teaching) and industry knowledge (pest management) and for the latter, ACE-I does that in a most unequivocal manner."

Hear Peter speak on August at the 2015 Rapid Risk Management Conference, August 14-15, on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Newly certified - through July 15, 2015

You can always tell when we're in the thick of summer. Not just because the temperatures climb, but because the number of people testing for their ACE and BCE slows down. So these folks are to be doubly congratulated for taking the time out of their busy summer seasons to successfully sit for their ACE or BCE exams.

  • Ms. Lauren Ashley Ward, BCE-Intern, (Texas A&M University), Bryan, TX  USA.  Certified on 6/30/2015. 
  • Mr. Eric Douglas Anderson, ACE, (Ecolab Pest Elimination), Saint Paul, MN  USA.  Certified on 7/9/2015. 
  • Mr. Jon Jeffry Duran, ACE, (Venables Pest Management), Tumwater, WA  USA.  Certified on 6/26/2015. 
  • Mr. Jesse Jay Collins, ACE, (McCauley Services), Benton, AR  USA.  Certified on 6/23/2015. 
  • Mr. William Paul Ballard, ACE, (Allgood Pest Solutions), Dublin, GA  USA.  Certified on 6/19/2015. 
  • Mr. Anthony Wade Huggins, Jr., ACE, (Cook's Pest Control), Decatur, AL  USA.  Certified on 6/19/2015. 
  • Mr. Jason Lee Kiefer, ACE, (Cook's Pest Control), Decatur, AL  USA.  Certified on 6/19/2015. 
  • Mr. Jay C. Spicer, ACE, (Janus Pest Management, Inc.), San Dimas, CA  USA.  Certified on 6/19/2015. 
  • Mrs. M'lissa Ponder, ACE, (ABC Home and Commercial Services), San Antonio, TX  USA.  Certified on 6/17/2015. 
  • Mr. Tracy Lee Oliver, ACE, (Cook's Pest Control), Decatur, AL  USA.  Certified on 6/16/2015. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Updated ACE Code of Ethics (Guest Post)

By 2015 ESA Certification Board Director Dr. Laura Higgins, BCE

By unanimous vote yesterday, the Certification Board updated the ACE Code of Ethics which is binding on all ACEs and ACE aspirants. The Code of Ethics is seen as a living document and may change over time, though the intent will always be to ensure that ACEs and those who wish to become ACEs continue to be of the highest ethical caliber and represent the best in our industry.

For the most part, the recent changes to the Code of Ethics were cosmetic and merely served to simplify and clarify the language. For example, in the previous version of the Code, every time the ACE was referred to, it was listed as "Associate Certified Entomologist-Pest Control," a cumbersome structure to be sure. In the new version, that has been simplified to "ACE" in 25 different instances.

The most substantive changes came to Sections 3.4, which was a relatively new addition to the Code, having been added only in November 2013, as discussed here. Whereas the previous version of this Section only dealt with the ways that an ACE refers to themselves, this latest update adds a burden on the ACE to report back to ESA any misuse of the terms entomologist or certified entomologist.

It is the belief of the ESA Certification Board that only by obtaining a degree in entomology (whether a Bachelors, Masters, or Doctorate) can one become an entomologist. The ACE is the only legitimate path currently in existence for an individual to become an Associate Certified Entomologist.

Any pest management professional who claims to be a "Certified Entomologist" but (a) does not have a degree in the science, or (b) is not certified as an ACE or a BCE is not recognized as a certified entomologist in the eyes of the ESA Certification Board.

This is not a change from past practices, actions, nor beliefs of the Certification Board, it is merely a codification of long-standing policy of the Board.

To review the current ACE Code of Ethics, please click here.

The specific changes to the Code are detailed below with additions indicated in blue and deletions noted by strike-through:

Preamble: The profession of entomology is increasingly important to the welfare and progress of human society. Associate Certified Entomologists-Pest Control (ACE)s have the position and authority to render effective service to humanity, in keeping with high standards of ethical conduct. In order that the honor and dignity of the profession be advanced and maintained, the Entomological Society of America (ESA) has established the following code to define the professional conduct and ethics, binding on Associate Certified Entomologists-Pest ControlACEs.
1.1: The Associate Certified Entomologist-Pest Control'sACE’s knowledge and skills will be used for the betterment of human welfare.
1.2: The Associate Certified Entomologist-Pest ControlACE will share in sustaining the laws, institutions, and burdens of the community.
2.1: The Associate Certified Entomologist-Pest ControlACE will have proper regard for the safety, health, and welfare of the public in the performance of all of his or her professional duties – ensuring proper regard for the safety, health, and welfare of the public and environment; documenting findings as appropriate and required; and keeping all stakeholders informed of the process.
2.2: The Associate Certified Entomologist-Pest ControlACE will be honest and impartial, and will preface any one-sided statements, criticisms, or arguments by clearly indicating on whose behalf they are made.
2.3: The Associate Certified Entomologist-Pest ControlACE will express an opinion on an entomological subject only when it is founded on adequate knowledge and honest conviction,; and will be factual in all estimates, reports, and testimoniesy.
3.1: The Associate Certified Entomologist-Pest ControlACE will strive to advance the science and art of entomology, to guard and uphold its high standard of honor, and to conform with to the principles of professional conduct.
3.2: The Associate Certified Entomologist-Pest ControlACE will cooperate in edifying the profession by exchanging information with fellow entomologists, and by contributing to the work of technical societies and the technical press, where disclosure of such information does not conflict with the interests of clients and employers.
3.3: The ACE will strive to promote the public’s awareness and perception of pest management, pest management professionals, and all facets of the pest management business, taking special care of his/her responsibilities as an ACE to defend the honor and prestige of the entomological aspects of the pest management profession that are encapsulated by the ACE program.The Associate Certified Entomologist-Pest Control will defend the prestige of the entomology and pest control professions and will report to the Entomological Society of America any persons or organizations using the words entomologist, entomology, or derivatives thereof in a manner implying performance or supervision by a Board Certified Entomologist, or by an Associate Certified Entomologist, when such is not true.
3.4: The ACE, when referring to the certification granted by the ESA, shall always use the full title of Associate Certified Entomologist or ACE, rather than abbreviating to Certified Entomologist or only Entomologist. The ACE will seek to inform others of the prestige of entomology and will immediately report to the ESA any misuse or misrepresentation of the terms entomology, entomologist, Associate Certified Entomologist, Board Certified Entomologist, or derivatives thereof. The Associate Certified Entomologist – Pest Control, when referring to the certification granted by the Entomological Society of America, shall always use the full title of Associate Certified Entomologist or ACE, rather than abbreviating to certified entomologist or only entomologist.
4.1: The Associate Certified Entomologist-Pest ControlACE will act as a faithful agent or trustee for each employer or client, and will not knowingly engage in illegal work or unethical practice, or knowingly cooperate with any person so engaged.
4.2: The Associate Certified Entomologist-Pest ControlACE will undertake only those entomological assignments for which he or she is qualified. The Associate Certified Entomologist-Pest ControlACE will obtain, or advise the employer or client to obtain, the assistance of specialists whenever the employer's or client's interests are so served best, and will cooperate with such specialists.
4.3: The Associate Certified Entomologist-Pest ControlACE will indicate to the employer or client alternatives to recommended courses of action and the expected consequences of each recommended action and alternative.
4.4: The Associate Certified Entomologist-Pest ControlACE will inform the employer or client of any financial interest, or other conflicting interest, he or she has in any person, material, device, or concept which is or might become involved in a project or work for the employer or client. Decisions regarding entomological or business services to be performed shall not be influenced by such interests.
4.5: The Associate Certified Entomologist-Pest ControlACE will act fairly and justly toward vendors and contractors, selecting their products and services on the basis of merit and value.
4.6: The Associate Certified Entomologist-Pest ControlACE will not disclose information concerning the business affairs or technical processes of present or former employers or clients without their consent.
4.7: The Associate Certified Entomologist-Pest ControlACE will not accept compensation, financial or otherwise, from more than one party for the same service, or for other services pertaining to the same work, without the consent of all interested parties.
5.1: The Associate Certified Entomologist-Pest ControlACE will give credit for pest management and entomological work or advice to whom it is due.
5.2: The Associate Certified Entomologist-Pest ControlACE will promote solidarity and harmony with fellow pest management professionals, respect their judgment, and support them collectively and individually whenever possible against unjust claims and accusations.
5.3: The Associate Certified Entomologist-Pest ControlACE will not accept any engagement to review the professional work of a fellow pest management professional (except in litigation and editing of technical or scientific papers) without the knowledge of such person, unless the person’s connection with the work has been terminated.
5.4: The Associate Certified Entomologist-Pest ControlACE will not injure intentionally the professional reputation, prospects, or practice of another pest management professional. However, proof that another ACECertified Entomologist has done anything unethical, illegal, or unfair in a professional capacity, should be communicated to the Entomological Society of AmericaESA as soon as possible.
5.5: The Associate Certified Entomologist-Pest ControlACE will provide a prospective pest management employee with complete information on working conditions and the proposed status of employment and during employment will keep the employee informed of any changes therein.
5.6: The Associate Certified Entomologist-Pest ControlACE who employs or supervises other pest management professionals will endeavor to encourage and provide opportunities for their professional development and advancement.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Certified Science (2015 - #2)

This issue of Certified Science was emailed to all current ACEs and BCEs on March 5, 2015. The next issue will post to the blog in about 6-10 weeks. To receive the current issue as it publishes, please consider becoming ACE or BCE certified. 

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 specialize in urban and industrial entomology.

Certified Science 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.
  • Environmental Entomology, Volume 43 #6 and Volume 44 #1
  • Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 107 #6 and Volume 108 #1
  • Journal of Medical Entomology, Volume 52 #1
  • American Entomologist, Volume 60 #4 and Volume 61 #1
  • Entomology Today blog (posts between December 2, 2014 and March 3, 2015)
The abstracts are freely available online for all articles, though access to the full text will generally require membership in ESA, in addition to your certification. Every time a new issue of Certified Science is emailed the prior edition posts to Certified Entomologist, the Certification blog. 

Mechanisms of Competitive Displacement of Native Ant Fauna by Invading Myrmica rubra (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Populations
Authors:  Jeffrey Garnas , Eleanor Groden , Francis A. Drummond
Source: Environmental Entomology, Volume 43, Number 6, December 2014, pp. 1496-1506
Abstract: Exotic ants have become invasive in many regions around the world, with variable ecological impacts. Postinvasion, native ant communities are often found to be depauperate, though the causes of this apparent lack of coexistence are rarely well known. Myrmica rubra (L.), a Palearctic Myrmecine ant, is currently expanding its range as an invasive in North America. This aggressive ant forms... (Full abstract

Activity Trends and Movement Distances in the Arizona Bark Scorpion (Scorpiones: Buthidae)
Authors:  Christopher Stephen Bibbs , Sarah Elizabeth Bengston , Dawn Heather Gouge
Source: Environmental Entomology, Volume 43, Number 6, December 2014, pp. 1613-1620
Abstract: The bark scorpion, Centruroides sculpturatus Ewing, is a nocturnal, cryptic, nonburrowing, mobile species that is common in urban landscapes spanning the desert southwest. Bark scorpions are often found in dense localized populations in cities, but the question of whether this is because the species is metabolically movement limited or choose to aggregate has not been addressed. Field observations lead us to believe that ... (Full abstract

Density-Dependent Effects of an Invasive Ant on a Ground-Dwelling Arthropod Community
Authors:  M. Cooling , D. A. Sim , P. J. Lester
Source: Environmental Entomology, Volume 43, Number 6, February 2015, pp. 44-53
Abstract: It is frequently assumed that an invasive species that is ecologically or economically damaging in one region, will typically be so in other environments. The Argentine ant Linepithema humile (Mayr) is listed among the world's worst invaders. It commonly displaces resident ant species where it occurs at high population densities, and may also reduce densities of other ground-dwelling arthropods. We investigated the effect of varying Argentine ant abundance on... (Full abstract

Practical Pest Management Strategies to Reduce Pesticide Runoff for Argentine Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Control
Authors:  Les Greenberg , Michael K. Rust , Jaben Richards , Xiaoqin Wu , John Kabashima , Cheryl Wilen , Jay Gan , Dong-Hwan Choe
Source: Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 107, Number 6, December 2014, pp. 2147-2153
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to involve pest management professionals in the design of application techniques and strategies that would be efficacious and also reduce insecticide runoff. Our study involved measuring both the efficacy of treatments for the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), and the concurrent runoff of fipronil and pyrethroids. Two collaborating companies used low-impact protocols for controlling ants while minimizing runoff. ... (Full abstract

Colony Size Affects the Efficacy of Bait Containing Chlorfluazuron Against the Fungus-Growing Termite Macrotermes gilvus (Blattodea: Termitidae)
Authors:  Ching-Chen Lee , Kok-Boon Neoh , Chow-Yang Lee
Source: Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 107, Number 6, December 2014, pp. 2154-2162
Abstract: The efficacy of chitin synthesis inhibitors (CSIs) against fungus-growing termites is known to vary. In this study, 0.1% chlorfluazuron (CFZ) cellulose bait was tested against medium and large field colonies of Macrotermes gilvus (Hagen). The termite mounds were dissected to determine the health of the colony. Individual termites (i.e., workers and larvae) and fungus combs were subjected to gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis to detect the presence of CFZ... (Full abstract

Potential of Essential Oil-Based Pesticides and Detergents for Bed Bug Control
Authors:  Narinderpal Singh , Changlu Wang , Richard Cooper
Source: Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 107, Number 6, December 2014, pp. 2163-2170
Abstract: The bed bug, (Cimex lectularius L.), is a difficult pest to control. Prevalence of insecticide resistance among bed bug populations and concerns over human-insecticide exposure has stimulated the development of alternative bed bug control materials. Many essential oil-based pesticides and detergent insecticides targeting bed bugs have been developed in recent years. We evaluated the efficacy of nine essential oil-based products and two detergents using direct spray and residual contact bioassays in the laboratory.... (Full abstract

Accuracy of Trained Canines for Detecting Bed Bugs (Hemiptera: Cimicidae)
Authors:  Richard Cooper , Changlu Wang , Narinderpal Singh
Source: Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 107, Number 6, December 2014, pp. 2171-2181
Abstract: Detection of low-level bed bug, Cimex lectularius L. (Hemiptera: Cimicidae), infestations is essential for early intervention, confirming eradication of infestations, and reducing the spread of bed bugs. Despite the importance of detection, few effective tools and methods exist for detecting low numbers of bed bugs. Scent dogs were developed as a tool for detecting bed bugs in recent years. However, there are no data demonstrating the reliability of trained canines under natural field conditions. We evaluated the accuracy of 11 canine detection teams in naturally infested apartments.... (Full abstract

Exposure of Bed Bugs to Metarhizium anisopliae at Different Humidities
Authors:  Kevin R. Ulrich , Mark F. Feldlaufer , Matthew Kramer , Raymond J. St. Leger
Source: Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 107, Number 6, December 2014, pp. 2190-2195
Abstract: Bed bugs Cimex lectularius L. were exposed to conidia (spores) of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae by feeding, aerosol spray, or contact with a treated surface. Feeding experiments demonstrated that bed bugs were innately susceptible to this fungus. However, only at 98% humidity were mortality rates high, regardless of whether bed bugs were sprayed with a fungal solution or contacted a treated surface.... (Full abstract

Knockdown and Mortality of Five Stored Product Beetle Species After Short Exposures of Thiamethoxam
Authors:  Fotoula C. Tsaganou , Thomas N. Vassilakos , Christos G. Athanassiou
Source: Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 107, Number 6, December 2014, pp. 2222-2228
Abstract: Laboratory bioassays were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of thiamethoxam, against five major stored-grain beetle species, the lesser grain borer, Rhyzopertha dominica (F.), the rice weevil, Sitophilus oryzae (L.), the confused flour beetle, Tribolium confusum Jacquelin du Val, the larger grain borer, Prostephanus truncatus (Horn), and the sawtoothed grain beetle, Oryzaephilus surinamensis (L.). Adults of the above species were exposed on wheat ... (Full abstract

Investigation of Age Polyethism in Food Processing of the Fungus-Growing Termite Odontotermes formosanus (Blattodea: Termitidae) Using a Laboratory Artificial Rearing System
Authors:  Hongjie Li , Mengyi Yang , Yonger Chen , Na Zhu , Chow-Yang Lee , Ji-Qian Wei , Jianchu Mo
Source: Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 108, Number 1, February 2015, pp. 266-273
Abstract: Laboratory rearing systems are useful models for studying Rhinotermitid behavior. Information on the biology of fungus-growing termites, however, is limited because of the difficulty of rearing colonies in the laboratory settings. The physical structure of termite nests makes it impossible to photograph or to observe colonies in the field. In this study, an artificial rearing system for field-collected colonies of the fungus-growing termite Odontotermes formosanus (Shiraki) was developed... (Full abstract

A Fluid Bait for Remedial Control of Subterranean Termites
Authors:  Nan-Yao Su
Source: Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 108, Number 1, February 2015, pp. 274-276
Abstract: A fluid bait, comprising ?-cellulose and fine-ground phagostimulants (Summon Preferred Food Source) impregnated with 0.5% hexaflumuron (AI wt/wt) and mixed with 1% methylcel solution to yield 10% dry weight, was injected into simulated foraging galleries of Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki and Reticulitermes virginicus (Banks) for a laboratory efficacy evaluation. Six weeks after the injection, mortalities for both species exceeded 90%, and all termites died by the eight wk.... (Full abstract

Metabolic and Behavioral Mechanisms of Indoxacarb Resistance in Sitophilus zeamais (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)
Authors:  Khalid Haddi , Larine P. Mendonça , Milaine F. Dos Santos , Raul Narciso C. Guedes , EugĂȘnio E. Oliveira
Source: Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 108, Number 1, February 2015, pp. 362-369
Abstract: The control of the most important pest of stored maize, the weevil Sitophilus zeamais Motschulsky (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), is mainly achieved with the use of pyrethroid insecticides. However, the intensive use of these compounds has led to the selection of resistant populations and has compromised the control efficacy of this insect pest. Here, the toxicity of indoxacarb for a potential use in the control of S. zeamais was assessed on 13 Brazilian populations... (Full abstract

Status of Urban Bed Bug Infestations in Southern China: An Analysis of Pest Control Service Records in Shenzhen in 2012 and Dongguan in 2013
Authors:  Lei Wang , Xuquan Cai , Yijuan Xu
Source: Journal of Medical Entomology, Volume 52, Number 1, January 2015, pp. 76-80
Abstract: The recent resurgence of bed bugs (Cimex spp.) in many developed countries has drawn increasing attention worldwide. The status of urban bed bug infestations were investigated in Shenzhen and Dongguan, two major cities in southern Guangdong Province of southern China, based on pest control service records from two different companies (one during 2012 and another during 2013). The results showed that Shenzhen and Dongguan have a severe problem with bed bug infestations... (Full abstract

Mean Old Bed Bug Blues
Authors:  Robert K.D. Peterson
Source: American Entomologist, Volume 60, Number 4, pp. 241-243
Full article 

DDT and the American Century: Global Health, Environmental Politics, and the Pesticide that Changed the World (Book review)
Authors:  Jeffrey G. Scott
Source: American Entomologist, Volume 60, Number 4, pp. 250
Full article

And some recent posts from ESA's popular site, Entomology Today:
  • Dermacentor limbooliati, a New Tick Species From Malaysia and Vietnam (March 2015 article)
  • Fleas that Could Potentially Carry Plague Found on New York City Rats  (March 2015 article)
  • Tom Turpin Talks about Louse Dislodgers, Malaria and Powdered Wigs (February 2015 article)
  • Spanish Traders Shipped Tropical Fire Ants Worldwide Nearly 500 Years Ago (February 2015 article)
  • A Spoonful of Sugar Helps Insecticide Go Down (February 2015 article)
  • Some Facts About Florida's Genetically Modified Mosquitoes (January 2015 article)
  • Planting the Wrong Kind of Milkweed May Harm Monarch Butterflies (January 2015 article)
  • Why Fly When You Can Hitchhike? Mosquitoes Rely on Roads to Disperse (January 2015 article)
  • Scientists Identify Pheromone for Bed Bug Traps (January 2015 article)
Compounds from Poison Frogs May be Used to Control Fire Ants (December 2014 article)

Friday, June 19, 2015

New BCE and ACE list through June 15, 2015

Our congratulations to all the new ACEs and BCEs:

  • Mr. Patrick William Corallo, ACE, (Arrow Exterminating Co.), Lynbrook, NY  USA.  Certified on 6/13/2015. 
  • Mr. Christopher James Gehrke, BCE-Intern, (Ecolab), Eagan, MN  USA.  Certified on 6/11/2015. 
  • Mr. Charles William Sheaffer, ACE, (Orkin Pest Control), Rustburg, VA  USA.  Certified on 6/10/2015. 
  • Mr. Brian Aubrey Jarvis, ACE, (Perma Treat Pest Control), Culpeper, VA  USA.  Certified on 6/10/2015. 
  • Ms. Runxin Cao, BCE-Intern, (Home paramount pest control), Nottingham, MD  USA.  Certified on 6/5/2015. 
  • Mr. Randal Moffat, ACE, (Eden Pest), Kent, WA  USA.  Certified on 6/4/2015. 
  • Mr. Phillip Andrew Cole, ACE, (Ecolab), Fresno, CA  USA.  Certified on 6/1/2015. 
  • Mr. Paul Reed, ACE, (Ecolab Inc.), Minneapolis, MN  USA.  Certified on 5/22/2015. 
  • Mr. Hendrick Wong, BCE, (not provided), Daly City, CA  USA.  Certified on 5/20/2015. 
  • Mrs. Sandra Dean Powell, ACE, (The Steritech group), Charlotte, NC  USA.  Certified on 5/18/2015. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

New ACE and BCE list thru May 18, 2015

Please join the Entomological Society of America in congratulating the newest professionals to pass their ACE and BCE exams

  • Mr. Matthew Don Hilton, ACE, (Blue Sky Pest Control), Phoenix, AZ  USA.  Certified on 4/27/2015. 
  • Mr. Anson J. Shaw, ACE, (Ecolab), Saint Paul, MN  USA.  Certified on 5/7/2015. 
  • Mr. Martin J. Overline, ACE, (Aardvark Pest Management), Philadelphia, PA  USA.  Certified on 5/12/2015. 
  • Mr. Bradley Craig, ACE, (Orkin Pest Control), Cathedral City, CA  USA.  Certified on 5/12/2015. 
  • Ms. Alexandria Reed, BCE, (Nestle Purina Petcare), Belleville, IL  USA.  Certified on 4/23/2015. 
  • Major Robert G. Lowen, PhD, BCE, (U.S. Army), Pasadena, MD  USA.  Certified on 5/5/2015. 
  • Dr. Jimmy Wedincamp, Jr., BCE, (East Georgia State College), Swainsboro, GA  USA.  Certified on 5/15/2015. 

Follow your mother's advice

Recently we as a nation once again celebrated Mother's Day and it dawned on me how much good advice that I got from Mom is still relevant to me today.

When I was a young teenager, my mother would always be on my case about showing up on time, tucking in my shirt, and being polite to people I meet. The advice is as relevant now as it was so many years ago.

There is a good, if brief, article about the importance of timeliness in a recent issue of PCT Online from Software Advice, a firm which offers third-party reviews of pest control software.

Professionalism is a hot topic in pest control right now. As it should be. But professionalism should be more than a fad topic -- it should be a way of life.

I went to a lot of pest management shows this spring and found that on most programs there is at least one talk on professionalism (I gave a similar talk 4 times this spring) and most speakers weave it into their presentation in some form or another.

The PCT article had some interesting statistics that I contacted Software Advice to dig in further on.  Specifically of interest was the following (click here for their full report):
  • 67% of customers won't rehire a company if the technician is an hour late
  • If the technician is running late, 73% of customers would be more willing to rehire if they received text messages with updated arrival times
  • 2% of customers would hire a company no matter how late they are (amazing, right?!?!)
In other words ... follow your mother's advice:  Show up on time and call if you are going to be late. Taken straight from my childhood, here is my list for what your customers should be able to expect from a pest management service provider:
  1. Knowledgeable:  You have to know your pests and you have to know how to treat them effectively. You have to know what products are safe to use in each environment and you must be able to provide ...
  2. Good Communication:  Your advice is only as good as your ability to convey it. Whether you use pre-printed PDFs that can offer your customers advice on their role in pest prevention or simply train your personnel to effectively convey that information, you must be able to let your customers know what you recommend and why you do so. 
  3. Professionalism: Is a big topic and everything else on this list can fit into it, but it is worth highlighting in order to remind us all of the elements of professionalism, including: 
    • Your Appearance
    • Your equipment's appearance and state of repair
    • Your truck's appearance
    • Your honesty
    • Your personal manners
    • Your punctuality and ...
  4. Reliability:  Be true to your word. If you promise to follow up on something, do so. Like mom says, "Do what you say."