Thursday, December 20, 2012

7 Reasons to Choose an ACE or a BCE for your pest management problems

1.     Experts
Many people don’t spend time thinking about pest control. They go about their life – swatting the occasional fly when needed – and only think of pest management when something gets beyond their control. In these emergent situations, the customer doesn’t always have time to fully vet a range of firms to find the most knowledgeable resource. They simply want someone to come in, find out what the problem is, and fix it. Associate and Board Certified Entomologists have proven that they are a cut above. Their credentials have been approved by the Entomological Society of America (ESA) and they have passed a rigorous test of their knowledge of urban entomology. In short, if they hire a certified entomologist, customers can have a high degree of confidence that the person walking through the door will be able to tell a termite problem from an ant problem – and they’ll know what to do about it.
2.     IPM
But simply identifying the problem is not enough. Pest management is an industry that has a history of heavy dependence on chemicals. But a chemical solution is not always the best solution. In some cases all that does is treat a symptom – and not always accurately at that. Instead, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a better course of action. Utilizing IPM principles, the pest management professional is much more of a detective. They assess the situation, look for clues on what is causing the infestation, and then determine the best course of action to solve the problem. The result can be as simple as figuring out and removing whatever the creatures are living in and feeding on (harborage sites) and may not involve spraying chemicals. This is important because fewer chemicals being applied in the home means less exposure for people and animals. A certified entomologist understands and follows IPM principles. Hiring an ACE means hiring someone who knows more than how to pull the trigger on a spray gun.
3.     At least seven years’ experience
To become ACE certified a person must show a documented level of dedication to the industry. For ACEs that is seven years in structural pest management. An advanced degree is not required to be ACE certified (though you do need at least a bachelor’s degree to become a BCE), but those who go through the program and attain their certification are those who are both book- and battle-tested in urban pest management.
4.     Code of Ethics
Every certified entomologist signs an agreement with ESA to continue to adhere to the Code of Ethics. Every year. This document assures that –under pain of revocation of certification– the ACE or BCE will always keep the customer’s interests at the forefront of their business dealings, act in an environmentally and socially responsible fashion, and seek to create a better world for all through their professional and personal actions. 
5.     Back-up
The certified entomologist may enter a structure alone, but they have over 6,000 professionals backing them up. The Entomological Society of America (ESA) is a 120-year old association of insect scientists. When an ACE or BCE finds themselves in a situation that they cannot solve on their own –be it a new insect they’ve not encountered before or a creature behaving in a way that they would not have expected it– they know that they can find a colleague and seek advice on solutions. In today’s increasingly globalized society, insects and other invasive species travel with surprising ease between areas that they would otherwise have never been able to approach. With members across the globe, the ESA may just be the most important tool in the bag of today’s pest management professional.
6.     Bed bugs
PMPs across the country report that an increasingly large amount of their time is spent on management of this pest. The latest research shows that many tools that a home owner or less-trained PMP may rely on are largely ineffective against bed bugs and may actually do more harm than good as the insects build up a resistance to a spray that does not kill them. Recently ESA published research that proves both room foggers and ultrasonic devices have little to no impact on bed bugs. Further, 70% of the time the bed bugs may not even be on the bed. Finding and controlling bed bugs takes persistence, knowledge, and skill. ACEs and BCEs have proven to be the pest management professionals who stay on top of the latest developments in control.
7.     Cost
And finally … what it all boils down to is cost, right?  Customers want to know that their PMP is going to solve their problems in the fastest, safest, and least expensive way possible. While a lesser-trained PMP might only be treating symptoms, a certified entomologist knows how to get to the source of the problem and seek ways to take care of it. This will result in lower callbacks and fewer times you’ll have to treat the same problem. For while we’re never get rid of all of the insects in our homes, restaurants, and other buildings – it only makes sense to use the best and the brightest to solve what we can. And that means calling an Associate (or Board!) Certified Entomologist.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Promote your ACE and BCE

How are you using your certification to an advantage? Make sure that people know you have earned your certification and proudly put those three letters behind your name on your business cards, your advertisements, your website, your badge at meetings. And insist that if you are interviewed for a press article that they include ACE or BCE next to your name.  Why?

Because it establishes you as a professional; a cut above. Anyone who has taken the time to acquire the knowledge that you did to earn this prestigious certification should be proudly letting others know of this achievement.

It also makes good business sense. People get certified for different reasons. Some do it to establish credibility, some to seek other jobs, some to use as a marketing chip. At some point in your career you decided that you wanted to become certified as an associate or board certified entomologist. What advantage is it to you if nobody knows you earned it.

So get out your horn and trumpet to the world that you earned your ACE or BCE!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Record number of new ACEs

The ESA certification programs have been quite high profile recently. With exhibits at the Bed Bug Summit in Las Vegas, NV and then again at PestWorld in Boston, MA many new applications for both ACE and BCE have been received and processed.  This is an exciting time for ESA as we're seeing tremendous growth in awareness and certificants.

And November was through the roof.

Fueled in large part by the successful ACE Prep courses offered simultaneously in Knoxville, TN and Griffin, GA, November 16th, 2012 set a new high-water mark for the most pest management professionals to earn their ACE certification on the same day.  Congratulations to our newest ACEs. On the list below, all but Bill Melville earned their ACE on Nov. 16, 2012:
  1. Bill Melville, Orkin (Mississauga, ON Canada)*
  2. Shaun Reeves, Reeves Pest Control (Culleoka, TN)
  3. Betty Hilger, Orkin (Bloomington, IN)
  4. Kevin Mills, OPC Pest Control (Louisville, KY)
  5. Donald Partin, OPC Pest Control (Shepherdsville, KY)
  6. Jay Connors, Terminix (Orlando, FL)
  7. Aaron Veal, Russell's Pest Control (Knoxville, TN)
  8. Patrick Hickman, OPC Pest Control (Louisville, KY)
  9. Wayne Hammond, Ecolab Pest Elimination (Charlotte, NC)
  10. Brett Partin, OPC Pest Control (Louisville, KY)
  11. Gene Hilger, Orkin (Bloomington, IN)
  12. Dan Cassidy, The Bug Man (Murfreesboro, TN)
  13. Aron Thomas, Advanced Services for Pest Control (Augusta, GA)
  14. Ron Schwalb, Nisus Corporation (Rockford, TN)
  15. Nathan Frushour, Preventive Pest Control (Albuquerque, NM)
  16. Charles Gates, Skyline Pest Solutions (McDonough, GA)
  17. Robert Teal, Terminix (St Augustine, FL)
  18. Timothy Sherrer, Expest Exterminating (Snellville, GA)
  19. William Keesee, BB Pest Control (Lincoln Park, MI)
  20. Tim Jackson, Ace Exterminating (Clarksville, TN)
  21. Michael Spry, Precision Services Management (Valley Grove, WV)
  22. Peter Schonemann, Russ Pest Control (Winterville, NC)
  23. Chad Cain, Webster Exterminators (McDonough, GA)
  24. David Mante, Homak Exterminating (Norcross, GA)
  25. Jim Orr, Univar (Soddy Daisy, TN)
*  Mr Melville actually tested one day earlier than the rest on this list. One of the current requirements for ACE certification is that you are licensed in at least one of the 50 United States. ESA does allow non-US residents to take the exam, but they must hold a US license. Watch for future blog posts on this topic in the near future.

Additionally, we had two professionals test and pass their BCE exams in November. Congratulations to Allison Taisey of the Northeastern IPM Center (who was also one of our speakers for Under the Lens) and Kyle Jordan of BASF.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Under the Lens and ACE Prep Course a great success

Dr Mike Merchant, BCE (TAMU) and others during the Q&A session
On November 14, 2012 the Entomological Society of America (ESA) hosted a first-of-a-kind for the Society – a series of scientific presentations designed for the practicing pest management professional. Topics ranged from an Entomology 101 conversation to important changes in pyrethroid label changes to servicing multi-family low-income housing.

The post-meeting feedback was immediate and unanimous: this was a worthwhile endeavor and ESA should consider repeating this course in the coming years.  

On Thursday the 15th, many of the same attendees (and some new ones) participated in an ACE Prep Course. For 8 solid hours participants listened to the experts talk about entomological aspects of pest management and prepared to sit the following morning for the ACE exam. While we're still running numbers on the results, it seems that over 20 new ACEs will be minted as a result of this course. Watch for another post in the days to come with the names of our new ACEs.  Our congratulations to all who participated!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

North Carolina offers CEUs for "Under the Lens"

The state of North Carolina will grant CEUs for PMPs to attend the Entomological Society of America's training day, "Under the Lens: The Science of Urban Pest Management".

The day will consist of 8 sessions including breakfast and lunch. Attendees should expect fast-paced education. We're going to cram two days of learning into a single day, since we know how busy most PMPs are and understand how a day away from the office is a day's lost wages.

The following day ESA is offering an ACE Prep Course for those who are seeking certification as an Associate Certified Entomologist (ACE). This program, which has been featured in PCT and other industry publications, is rapidly becoming the mark of a true professional in this industry.

Click here for the PDF of the registration form for Under the Lens.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Just announced -- Georgia approves CEUs for ESA's Under the Lens course.

The state of Georgia will grant CEUs for PMPs to attend the Entomological Society of America's training day, "Under the Lens: The Science of Urban Pest Management".

The day will consist of 8 sessions including breakfast and lunch. Attendees should expect fast-paced education. We're going to cram two days of learning into a single day, since we know how busy most PMPs are and understand how a day away from the office is a day's lost wages.

The following day ESA is offering an ACE Prep Course for those who are seeking certification as an Associate Certified Entomologist (ACE). This program, which has been featured in PCT and other industry publications, is rapidly becoming the mark of a true professional in this industry.

Click here for the PDF of the registration form for Under the Lens.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Certification is like an umbrella

I just came back from a great week in Boston at NPMA's PestWorld. Shows like this are great for me as a way to get to know some of the names I see on ACE and BCE applications that come across my desk every week.

Working at the booth on the exhibit floor, so many people would come up to me and say "I'm a BCE (or ACE) and it's the best thing I've ever done for my business development" (or something like that). But what I found was that so few people actually had put their ACE or BCE moniker on their badges for the PestWorld show.

Earning your Certification is a tremendous professional achievement and I would encourage you to shout this from the highest mountaintops. ESA can help you promote your certification by sending you copies of logos, helping you to draft a press release to announce your certification, and more, but you have to do some of this yourself. Follow these simple tips to get the most professional marketing mileage out of your BCE or ACE:
  • Whenever you are interviewed by the media, whether the trade press or not, be sure to let the reporter know that you are a Board or Associate Certified Entomologist
  • Any conference you register for, be sure to put your certification beside your name (e.g., "Mrs. Jane Doe, ACE") 
  • Put the BCE or ACE logo on your work vehicle, your store window, your uniforms, your business card, your advertisements, your website .... and so on. Anywhere that you are promoting your business is an appropriate place to tell people that you are certified.
  • Ask ESA for help if you need it. My email is cstelzig [at] entocert [dot] org.
Certification is a bit like an umbrella. An umbrella is something you can carry with you daily and (at least if you have one of the small collapsible ones) it can provide a sense of security and nobody even knows that you have it. But an umbrella, much like your certification, only works if you use it. 

Take some time and review your materials. See if you're using your certification to its fullest advantage. And if not, email me and I'll help you out.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Under the Lens - Earlybird deadline is today

ESA's annual meeting has been known for literally decades as a source of great entomological training. There are dozens of symposia (almost 100 this year) and many of these focus on structural pest management. The Medical Urban and Veterinary Entomology Section (MUVE) has these Symposia planned:

• A Celebration of the Life and Scientific Contributions of Carl Jones
• Advances in Spatial Analysis of Global Disease Vectoring Arthropods
• Bed Bug Research: Catching Up With The Global Bed Bug Resurgence
• Highlights of Medical, Urban, and Veterinary Entomology
• If the Epi Triad is Host, Pathogen and Environment, Where Are the Vectors?
• Military Entomology: A Partner in Global Public Health
• The Return of Insurmountable Opportunities: More Novel Statistics for Entomologists

But even beyond the ESA meeting itself, the new educational program, Under the Lens, is a day of great information for anyone in the structural pest management industry. This is a new program offered by ESA. Attendees who add this meeting on to their ESA meeting experience get a tremendous discount.

The following day is the ACE Prep Course. A person does not need to be an ACE applicant to take this class, though most are. ACE certification is rapidly becoming the certification standard for the pest management professional.

Registration can be completed online if you have an ESA username and password. Or click here for the PDF form and fax it in to 410-741-3784. But hurry ... earlybird registration pricing ends today, October 15th. After that you can still register, but the rates go up.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

CEU filing season is here

For 70-some of BCEs who are fully certified by the Entomological Society of America, the tri-annual Professional Maintenance and Certification Report (PM&C) is coming due in another few weeks. This report unnecessarily strikes fear into the hearts of some otherwise very rational and intelligent men and women. Why? Because they do not keep up with documenting their CEUs earned until the report comes due. Just like any job, if you chip away a little bit at a time the workload is ever so much more manageable.  Here are some practical suggestions for easing the CEU documentation process:

1) If you are comfortable with Excel, use that version of the report. Formulas allow your CEUs entered to auto-flow to the cover sheet so that you can always have a quick snapshot as to where you stand on your CEU totals.

2) Keep a file folder with a ledger sheet in an easily-accessible location so that you may document any 'easy to forget' CEUs, like reading an article or a book related to your career or giving a talk to the public.  Lots of BCEs only focus on the big ticket items like attending meetings or giving presentations, but there are dozens of ways to earn CEUs.

3) Set a reminder for the 30th of every month in your Outlook calendar to remind you to update your CEUs earned for the month.

Emails go out today to all BCEs as to when their next PM&C report is due. Don't let a bookkeeping problem put your certification in jeopardy. Document monthly to simplify the PM&C reporting process.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Congratulations to the University of Florida-Gainesville team for another very successful ACE Prep Course. Today we welcome the following new individuals as ACEs -- all but one of whom took the Florida course.

  • James Scot Hodges (Ball Ground, GA)
  • Rick Hodnett (Daytona Beach, FL)
  • Victor Palermo (Canton, MA)
  • Joseph Scheffler (Sarasota, FL)
  • Joseph Weidman (Jacksonville, FL)
  • Clarence Johnson III (Mobile, AL)
  • Jon Stoddard (Port Orange, FL)
  • Jason Kirkland (Slocomb, AL)
  • Charles Dulicai (Sanford, FL)
  • Anthony DiPanni (Port St Lucie, FL)
  • Philip Maready (Smithfield, NC)
  • Christopher Sloane (Saugerties, NY)
  • Laurin Athey (Flushing, MI)
Most of the ACEs today went through a prep course at least once before passing their examination. If you are considering becoming Associate Certified Entomologist, bookmark this site where we promote any upcoming ACE Prep Courses that we know of.  If you want to host an ACE Prep Course, please contact me at and we can get you started.

Change in the ACE Code of Ethics

At their latest meeting the ESA Certification Board made a small change to the ACE Code of Ethics. And while the wording change is not huge, the overall impact is indicative of a new direction that the ACE is heading. Well, maybe even that is a little strong. I think that we've always been heading this way, but the wording change codifies it.

First off ... the full Code of Ethics is here for a reference point.

Section 2.1 had read this way:  "The Associate Certified Entomologist - Pest Control will have proper regard for the safety, health, and welfare of the public in performance of all his or her professional duties."  Two things to note:

1) An often-overlooked point is that the full name of the current ACE program is ACE-Pest Control. At some point in the future the program is likely to grow and include other areas of specialization. Anyone currently ACE certified by ESA is an ACE-Pest Control.
2) The referenced portion of the Code of Ethics did not explicitly mention anything about Integrated Pest Management, or IPM.

As discussed in previous posts, ESA believes that IPM is the present and future of pest management. It was decided that the Code of Ethics should reference this. Section 2.1 of the Code of Ethics now reads this way:  "The Associate Certified Entomologist – Pest Control will follow standard IPM guidelines in the performance 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."

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

ESA Enters a New Era ...

Under The Lens logo
OK, this is exciting. Well, at least for those of us who work with or for the urban pest management profession.

The Entomological Society of America (ESA) has long-hosted meetings that have become the standard bearer for academic conferences in entomology. A few months ago we started to wonder if we could apply that same rigor and level of expertise to the structural pest management industry. The result ....

Under the Lens: The Science of Urban Pest Management.

With unparalleled scientific credentials, ESA is proud to host two incredible learning opportunities targeted at the urban pest management industry. Timed to coincide with the ESA’s Annual Meeting in Knoxville, TN, this meeting is designed with the busy PMP in mind and is structured to allow participants to target their learning to fit their schedule.  Choose from a single-day session to a three-day session that includes testing to become ACE certified.

It all starts with Under The Lens: The Science of Urban Pest Management. The day will be full of educational sessions on emergent topics such as Invasive Urban Pests, Impacts of Recent Label Changes, New Developments in Bed Bug Management, and Entomology 101. ESA will seek CEU credit in the states of Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Georgia, Mississippi (and possibly others). At no extra charge, attendees will have the opportunity to peruse the ESA’s Annual Meeting Exhibit Hall during breaks and at lunch to see some of the latest products and services in the field.

The following day will be a series of sessions designed to review the material that is on the ACE Exam. Attendees will hear industry professionals give instruction in entomology, biology, pest management, and more. An ACE Prep Course is designed to review materials that the applicant has already studied and truly hone their knowledge. ACE professionals combine the best talents of entomologists, pest control, and IPM practitioners.

For those who are ready for the challenge, ESA will host two mornings of testing in a proctored environment for the ACE exam. Successful candidates will be able to receive their new ACE materials as soon as they complete the exam.

We hope to see you there! Registration will be online soon.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Double Specialty

It does not happen that often, but my congratulations go out to Dr Andrew Mason Sutherland, our newest BCE who passed not just one, but two specialty exams.  Well done. Andy.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Newest ACE and BCE

Welcome to the program, gentlemen: Our congratulations go out to John Joseph Kane IV (Western Pest Services) the newest person to become a BCE and also to Blake Harston (Northwest Exterminating), our newest ACE. Jersey City, NJ and Sugar Hill, GA (respectively) just became a slightly more dangerous place to be an insect.

IPM and the PMP

I've been reading a great page from the folks over at that teaches managers of multi-family housing how to shop for a pest management professional.  My two favorite takeaways:

1) Know the difference between IPM and green technologies. Green more often than not refers to carbon impact. Green can be recycling office materials, fuel-efficient vehicles, or using energy-efficient light bulbs. And while it can also mean using lower-impact chemicals, that does not translate into being green per se.  Remember, if it kills insects, it is toxic.

2) Identifying the insect is critical to proper treatment. This is why entomology is such an important part of being a PMP.

And that is the real value of the BCE and ACE programs. We exist so that the public can rely on the fact that their PMP knows what the creature is and can treat it effectively and as safely as possible.

Monday, June 4, 2012

PCT's Top 100 list

I found it interesting to review the PCT Top 100 list this year. So many of the businesses who made the list are also the same businesses that either hire certified PMPs or help their employees become certified. Termix, Rollins, Ecolab, Ehrlich, Massey, Steritech, Cook's, Arrow, Clark, Western Exterminator, Truly Nolen, Abell, and on and on and on.

Encouraging employees and managers to become certified as either an ACE or a BCE does not make a business successful. But what it does do is show customers and competitors that you are serious about this industry. It shows that you care enough to be the best and to hire the best.

So congratulations to all ACEs and BCEs who work for firms that made the Top 100. And to the firms that hired them or encouraged them.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Walking the Walk

Yesterday I spent the day walking the walk of an ACE aspirant, attending an ACE Prep course hosted by the Virginia Pest Management Association. This was a great way to get a real hands-on feel for the daily needs of a PMP. I've made no secret of the fact that I'm not an entomologist (I don't even play one on TV -- though I have been known to be a little less than forthcoming about my job when I speak for Career Day at my boys' schools).

From what I can see, a PMP has a fascinating job, dealing with biology, math, chemistry, structural knowledge, entomology, history, and even a dash of psychology now and then.

The class was taught by Dr Dini Miller (Virginia Tech) and Jim Fredericks, BCE of the National Pest Management Association. The first section was led by David Townsend of the Virginia Dept of Agriculture and Consumer Services.  All were outstanding and did an excellent job of preparing the class for their recertification credits as well as prepping 7 of the 20+ students to take the ACE Exam the next morning.

All seven who took the exam passed!  My congratulations to our seven newest ACEs:  James Bruckelmeyer, Nicole French, Mark Male, Nicholas Castaldo, Jason Ferrell, Mark Davis, and Kristi Crutchfield.

VPMA President Jeff Johnson, ACE has said that he would like to double the number of ACEs in Virginia by the end of his tenure. Based on today's results, it will only take a few more prep courses and he'll more than meet his goal.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Envy ...

I'm envious of Neil Parker, ACE. A man who is running a respected pest control company and still managed to study for and pass his ACE exam this year. As noted in PCT, he and some friends are now going to bicycle from Canada to Louisiana. What a great opportunity to see the States and share some time with friends. All from the saddle of a bicycle.  Neil, you're who I want to be when I grow up.  Ride safely.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Prep Course Prep

I'm looking forward to a drive to Richmond, VA this week. The Virginia Pest Management Association is hosting a prep course for the ACE program. After years of working with the program and talking to applicants about the learning process, it will be a great opportunity to see first-hand exactly what the applicants go through as they spend a day recapping their knowledge on Wednesday and then taking the exam on Thursday morning.  This will be my first ACE prep course. Best wishes to those taking participating!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Our congratulations go out to seven pest control professionals who became certified as Associate Certified Entomologists (ACE) in the month of April, 2012. This brings the number of new ACEs to 48 so far for the year 2012. Our new ACEs are (in no particular order):

  • Stephen Dexter Forrester – Ball Ground, GA (Daniel and Lawson Pest Control)
  • Keith A Lee – Cumby, TX (Campbell Soup Company)
  • Jerry English – Chicago, IL (Jesse Brown VA Medical Center)
  • Todd Andrew Johnson – Mooresville, NC (Dodson Brothers Exterminating)
  • Timothy P Baumgarten, Sr., Donald Joe Foster, and Derek L Johnson – Greenville, SC (Gregory Pest Solutions)

Well done gentlemen!
Welcome to the new blog for the Entomological Society of America Certification Corporation. We will use this space to focus on the good work that BCEs and ACEs are doing in the communities that they serve and post information that is relevant to the certified entomologist community.  And we'll hope to have some fun as we do it!  If there are topics that you think would be of interest to our readers, please send them to me.  So let's get started ...