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!