Wednesday, December 18, 2013

IPM saves the world

I've talked a little bit before about podcasts that intersect with entomology. Last night I came across a great one from Story Collider. They offer podcasts of people telling stories live in front of an audience about how science has impacted their lives. There are many great ones that I have listened to over the past year, but one that stands out is this one by Harvard entomologist Richard Pollack who relates the story of a huge fly problem near the Jordan and Israeli border. I won't spoil the story, but suffice it to say the application of IPM principles rather than a "chemical solution-first" mindset really saved the day.

Another win for IPM.

Check out the story ...

Monday, December 16, 2013

ACEs and BCEs from November 2013

There are 744 ACEs and 430 BCEs as of a few days ago. The list of our newest certified individuals is below:

New ACEs:
Mrs. Kathy Burnard, ACE, (Compass Pest Management), Riverside, CA  USA.  Certified on 11/19/2013.
Mr. John Burnard, ACE, (Compass Pest Management), Riverside, CA  USA.  Certified on 11/19/2013.
Mr. Timothy Arthur Palmatier, ACE, (Pest RX), Riverside, CA  USA.  Certified on 11/19/2013.
Mrs. Dawna Lee Galvin, ACE, (Western Exterminator Company), El Monte, CA  USA.  Certified on 11/21/2013.
Mr. Chris Kalsbeek, ACE, (Advanced IPM), Roseville, CA  USA.  Certified on 11/22/2013.
Mr. Joey Hoke, ACE, (American Pest Management), Manhattan, KS  USA.  Certified on 11/25/2013.
Mr. John Morin, ACE, (Ribbit Pest Control), El Cajon, CA  USA.  Certified on 12/3/2013.
Mr. Aaron C. Eubank, ACE, (Titan Pest Control), Anthem, AZ  USA.  Certified on 12/5/2013.
Mr. Robert Anthony Durham, ACE, (Clients 1st Termite and Pest Control), Oceanside, CA  USA.  Certified on 12/5/2013.
Mr. Robert F. McGee, ACE, (A1/Able Pest Doctors), Dayton, OH  USA.  Certified on 12/6/2013.
Mr. Joseph Randy Martin, ACE, (Hometec Exterminating), Alpharetta, GA  USA.  Certified on 12/6/2013.
Mr. Jeremy H. Miller, ACE, (Advanced Services for Pest Control), Augusta, GA  USA.  Certified on 12/6/2013.
Mr. Samuel Soto, ACE, (First Rate Solutions Inc.), New Windsor, NY  USA.  Certified on 12/7/2013.
Mr. Lloyd Garten, ACE, (Select Exterminating), Franklin Square, NY  USA.  Certified on 12/7/2013.
Mr. Isaac M. Gibson, ACE, (Assured Environments), New York, NY  USA.  Certified on 12/7/2013.
Mr. Eric John Rowan, ACE, (Banzai De Bug Pest Management), New York, NY  USA.  Certified on 12/7/2013.
Mr. George T. Ladd III, ACE, (Banzai De Bug Pest Management), Syosset, NY  USA.  Certified on 12/7/2013.
Mr. William Clark, Jr, ACE, (Thomas Pest Services), Albany, NY  USA.  Certified on 12/7/2013.
Mr. Christopher M. Sackett, ACE, (Orkin Pest Control), Henrietta, NY  USA.  Certified on 12/7/2013.
Mr. Paul M. Trisket, ACE, (Southern Tier Pest Control), Binghamton, NY  USA.  Certified on 12/7/2013.
Mr. Mark Gilbert Moser, ACE, (Orkin Pest Control), Amherst, NY  USA.  Certified on 12/7/2013.
Mr. Brian Mongillo, ACE, (Parkway Pest Services), New Hyde Park, NY  USA.  Certified on 12/7/2013.
Mr. Joseph Ferrandino, ACE, (TNR Exterminators, Inc.), Brooklyn, NY  USA.  Certified on 12/7/2013.
Mr. Donald R Bergquist, ACE, (Select Exterminating Company), Franklin Square, NY  USA.  Certified on 12/7/2013.
Mr. Patsy L. Sposato, ACE, (Parkway Exterminating Co. Inc.), New Hyde Park, NY  USA.  Certified on 12/7/2013.
Mr. Edward J. Sheehan, ACE, (Colony Pest Control), Rockaway Point, NY  USA.  Certified on 12/7/2013.
Mr. Garry G. Milsom, ACE, (Delsea Termite and Pest Control), Kenvil, NJ  USA.  Certified on 12/7/2013.
Mr. Vincent A. Masi, Jr., ACE, (Orkin Pest Control), New Hyde Park, NY  USA.  Certified on 12/7/2013.
Mr. Joel Nolasco, ACE, (Nuborn Pest Control LLC), Mamaroneck, NY  USA.  Certified on 12/7/2013.
Mr. Gary C Blossick, ACE, (Nardy Pest Control, Inc.), Southampton, NY  USA.  Certified on 12/7/2013.
Mr. Andrew Witcher, ACE, (ScorpionTech Termite & Pest Control, Inc.), Mesa, AZ  USA.  Certified on 12/10/2013.
Mr. Michael H. Rogers, ACE, (America Pest Management), Fulton, MD  USA.  Certified on 12/10/2013.

New BCE:
Dr. Freder Medina, BCE, (BASF Corporation), Phoenix, AZ  USA.  Certified on 12/6/2013.

ACE changes - Action needed

An open letter to all ACEs,
This note was emailed to all ACEs on December 12, 2013. If you did not get it, please contact ESA and update your email address.

As you have likely heard, there is a lot changing about the ACE-Pest Control program. As a current ACE, you may have been wondering how this affects you. This letter (and this blog post) should answer some of those questions.

Volunteer opportunity:
As we prepare to launch the new ACE exam on January 1st, we need 50-100 current ACEs to voluntarily (and at no fee) take the new ACE exam in the next two weeks. This will allow us to test for proper exam question flow, perform final “level of difficulty” assessments, and look for any other last minute and minor problems.  If you are willing to take the new exam, please contact ESA’s Certification Director (Chris Stelzig) at

Update 1/9/2014: This volunteer opportunity ended on December 31, 2013. If you would like to volunteer for other ACE-ESA ventures, please contact
There are basically two changes that affect you – a new content outline and a new renewal structure.

New Content Outline:
The new content outline for ACE will debut on January 1, 2014. A copy of the new outline is onlinehere. As an ACE it is your obligation to stay current on industry developments. As such, you will need to read and review the new content outline. You will not be required to retest on the new standards, but you will be asked to affirm that you have read and understand them. This will be true of anyone who passes their ACE exam any time prior to January 1, 2014. Once you have read the new content outline, please either:
  • Email this note back to with your name filled in below.
    I (__________________) do hereby affirm that I have read and understand the new ACE Content Outline that will debut on 1/1/2014.) , or
  • Print this email and send it back to us at ESA; 3 Park Place, #307; Annapolis, MD 21401
New Renewal Structure:
If you have not renewed already for 2014 a renewal form was mailed earlier this week to you (It is the same form you can find online here). You will see that you have two options when you renew 1- year or 3-years:
  1. You can renew for just 2014 by submitting:
      a. A photocopy of your applicator’s license,
      b. Signing the ACE Code of Ethics, and
      c. Submitting the form with payment.
  2. You can renew for 2014-2016 by submitting:
      a. Documentation of at least 18 CEUs earned during 2011-2013),
      b. A photocopy of your applicator’s license,
      c. Signing the ACE Code of Ethics, and
      d. Submitting the form with payment.
Further, you will need to choose to renew as a member or a non-ESA member. Please know that ESA membership is different from ACE certification.

If you have any questions about this process, please email us back at We’ll start mailing ACE wallet cards in early January for those who are renewed. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

How do the ACE changes affect current ACEs?

We've been talking for a bit about the changes coming to the ACE program. And we've talked a little bit about how these changes affect current ACE applicants.

This post discusses how the coming changes affect current ACEs.

As a short recap, these are the primary and recent improvements to ACE:

1) New content outline
2) 3-year renewal structure
3) 3-year application
4) CEUs required with renewal
5) Retired ACE option for those who have been an ACE for at least 7 years

All ACEs should familiarize themselves with the new content outline. In truth it is not dramatically different from the old content, it is just presented in a different and more logical structure. The content will quite likely evolve over time even further, so ACEs must stay aware and conscious of the changes that occur. This is why the addition of CEUs to renewal is so important. It will require ACEs to continue to further their education.

Being an ACE is more than just passing a test. It is an affirmation that you are a professional associate certified entomologist who is dedicated to furthering their knowledge of urban entomology.

You will not need to retest on the new content, but we do insist that you review it (**see the new content outline here **) and understand it. Part of being an ACE is staying current. At some point in the near future you may be asked to sign a notice that you have read and understand the new content outline.

Starting on January 1, 2015 all ACEs will be required to renew with documentation of continuing education (or CEUs). This will not be very different from what you have to turn in to recertify with your state regulators. In fact, ESA gives credit for many activities that further your knowledge most states do not acknowledge (e.g., we grant up to 2 hours per year for reading industry-related publications like PCT, Pest Management Professional, or International Pest Control). ACEs will need to submit an average of 6 CEUs per year for a 3-year period. Those who have good records from 2011-2013 can renew now for the 3-year period. Just use this form.

If you don't have good documentation from the past couple of years, then (a) start saving it for future years, and (b) renew just for 2014. Use the same form as the 3-year option.

Bear in mind that this is a requirement going forward. All ACEs will renew for 3 year period starting on January 1st, 2015. 2014 is a phase-in year.

You do not need to submit back-up documentation with your CEUs at this time. We'll randomly select a percentage of the renewals for audit and you might need back-up at that time, but not initially.

Students -- Getting Certified

I came across a good post by James Mignano recently on 5 Reasons College Students Should Be in Professional Organizations. In the article, these five reasons are given as good reasons for joining organizations like ESA:

1. Test the Water (make sure your major is a good fit)
2. Add to Your Education (via association-sponsored events like roundtable discussions)
3. Experience the City (association-sponsored events can take you to new venues)
4. Build a Portfolio (by making presentations, committee service, and more)
5. Network (meet people that can help you shape your career)

Mignano's post got me thinking about reasons that a young person should choose to become certified -- particularly a young entomologist.

So these are my top 5 reasons that college students and young professionals should become a BCE Intern.

1. Stand out
Student membership in ESA is at an all-time high. There are nearly as many student members as there are full members. As you look through the membership roster, you can view all of those other student names as competition. These are the people that you are going up against for entry to PhD programs, post-doc slots, career jobs, etc.  One great way to differentiate yourself from the competition is by becoming a BCE Intern.

BCE Interns have shown an early and strong commitment to their profession by choosing to become certified. Think about it from the perspective of the person making the hiring decision. If you are the recruiter and have two qualified candidates (both with strong GPAs, good communication skills, strong research ability) but one of them has shown the personal drive to become certified and the other has not, which one would YOU hire to get the open slot?

2. Get smarter
BCEs and BCE Interns both take at least two exams. In some places (like the University of Nebraska) the exams can double for taking and passing the entomology graduate exam. All BCEs must pass a General Qualifying exam and at least one specialty exam that focuses on their area of expertise. The exams are tough, but fair. Studying for them is a great way to keep those brain cells firing. Many have found that taking the exams while still in a "studying mindset" makes good sense.

3. Save money
If you feel that certification is eventually in your future, then it only makes sense to do it while a student. The fees are lower by far. Under current rates, the BCE Intern application is $20 for ESA members. If you wait until you are applying for BCE-full, the fee goes up to $180.

As a special bonus for you Nebraska students, Dr Shripat Kamble has offered to pay the application fee for the first 10 applicants to BCE Intern from UNL.

4. Build your credentials
The family of certification is a small (but growing) group of professionals who tirelessly work to improve not just the certification program, but by extension, the profession itself. The stronger the BCE is, the stronger entomology is. There are many ways to build your skills set when you become a BCE. There are leadership opportunities, committee service positions, be a proctor for someone else's exam, and more.

5. Expand your network
People recognize the importance of a BCE -- especially those that have gone through the process themselves. Becoming a BCE Intern is a great way to network with some of the best and brightest professional entomologists in the world.

You convinced me!  Now what do I do?
The BCE Intern application process is simple. You need to fill out the form, get two letters of professional reference, provide a copy of your transcripts, sign the BCE Code of Ethics, and pay the application fee (unless you're one of the UNL students sponsored by Dr Kamble).  Take the sample BCE Qualifying Exam to see what you are in for (the login and password are both BCEQ).

Guest post - Dale Bauerkemper, ACE

October 18, 2013

Mr. Chris Stelzig
Director of Certification
Entomological Society of America
3 Park Place, Suite 307
Annapolis, MD 21401

Dear Chris,

I am writing you to express my sincere appreciation regarding the development of the Associate Certified Entomologist program.

A few years have now passed this valuable program was first launched. As the old adage goes “Better late than never” is so true in this case as I have been meaning to write to you for some time now to express my sincerest gratitude for bringing this program to fruition for our industry.

First of all I believe this certification means a lot to the individuals who have learned Entomology on the go during their tenure in the pest management industry not unlike me. It gives pest management professionals a true and meaningful opportunity to accredit their knowledge that may go otherwise unnoticed to their clients and colleagues. Bravo to you and the E.S.A. for the foresight to recognize the need.

In closing, I want you to know that Wil-Kil Pest Control and Holder’s Pest Solutions have gained great recognition from the clients we serve regarding the number of ACE’s we have on staff. It certainly has raised awareness of the ability of our team members. It also has served to garner greater confidence from our clientele that they have truly partnered with professionals that care about them and their business.


Dale L Bauerkemper

Dale L. Bauerkemper, ACE
Vice President
Holders Pest Solutions

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Certified Science - November 2013

Certified Science
A Periodic ESA Service for ACEs and Urban-Industrial BCEs
November, 2013
The Entomological Society of America is the #1 source of scientific information for the urban entomologist. This email is a service of the Entomological Society of America for all Associate Certified Entomologists (ACEs) and Board Certified Entomologists (BCEs) who hold a specialty in urban and industrial entomology.

Before we get into the science, though, I want to remind everyone that this is "renewal season" for ACEs and BCEs. Forms were mailed to everyone recently and a second set of forms will mail in early December for those whose renewal has not yet been processed. We are phasing in a change for all renewing ACEs -- in 2014 this is optional and starting in 2015 the change is mandatory. All changes are detailed on the ACE renewal form but are essentially two things (a) CEUs are required, and (b) the renewal period is moving to a 3-year term. Don't forget to submit your PCO license and sign the code of ethics too. If you are a BCE, please either renew your BCE with your ESA membership or use the BCE renewal form.

And now, on with the science ...

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 member in the Entomological Society of America, in addition to your certification.

Pesticide-Induced Release From Competition Among Competing Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae)
Abstract: Competitive interactions between mosquitoes Aedes aegypti (L.) and Aedes albopictus (Skuse) may depend on environmental conditions. Pesticides may alleviate density-dependent competition for limited food, and a differential species response to sublethal concentrations may modify interspecific competition. We tested the hypothesis that exposure to malathion alters interspecific resource competition between these two species. In the absence of malathion, Ae. aegypti survivorship and per capita rate of population change were negatively affected by increasing densities of Ae. albopictus. (Full abstract here)
Authors: Alto, Barry W.; Lampman, Richard L.; Kesavaraju, Banugopan; Muturi, Ephantus J.
SourceJournal of Medical Entomology, Volume 50, Number 6

DNA Barcoding Distinguishes Pest Species of the Black Fly Genus Cnephia (Diptera: Simuliidae)
Abstract: Accurate species identification is essential for cost-effective pest control strategies. We tested the utility of COI barcodes for identifying members of the black fly genus Cnephia Enderlein (Diptera: Simuliidae). Our efforts focus on four Nearctic Cnephia species—Cnephia dacotensis (Dyar & Shannon), Cnephia eremities Shewell, Cnephia ornithophilia (Davies, Peterson & Wood), and Cnephia pecuarum (Riley)—the latter two being current or potential targets of biological control programs. We also analyzed one Palearctic species, Cnephia pallipes (Fries). Although Cnephia adults can be identified anatomically to species, control programs target the larval stage, which is difficult or impossible to distinguish morphologically. (Full abstract here)
Authors: Conflitti, I. M.; Pruess, K. P.; Cywinska, A.; Powers, T. O.; Currie, D. C.
SourceJournal of Medical Entomology, Volume 50, Number 6

Biting Deterrence, Repellency, and Larvicidal Activity of Ruta chalepensis (Sapindales: Rutaceae) Essential Oil and Its Major Individual Constituents Against Mosquitoes
Abstract: … This study revealed that R. chalepensis essential oil and its major compounds were active biting deterrents against Ae. Aegypti at higher application rates whereas only the essential oil showed activity similar to DEET against An. Quadrimaculatus. 2-undecanone was the most active compound in in vivo repellency bioassay against Ae. aegypti. Chemical composition of R. chalepensis essential oil varies because of plant production and harvest practices, and the activity level of the essential oil may depend on the source of the sample... (Full abstract here)
Authors: Ali, Abbas; Demirci, Betul; Kiyan, Hulya Tuba; Bernier, Ulrich R.; Tsikolia, Maia; Wedge, David E.; Khan, Ikhlas A.; BaÅŸer, Kemal Husnu Can; Tabanca, Nurhayat
SourceJournal of Medical Entomology, Volume 50, Number 6

Efficacy of ACTELLIC 300 CS, Pirimiphos Methyl, for Indoor Residual Spraying in Areas of High Vector Resistance to Pyrethroids and Carbamates in Zambia
Abstract: The selection of insecticide resistance in malaria vectors has the potential to compromise any insecticide-based malaria vector control program. To ensure that transmission-interrupting tools remain effective, and their choice is evidence based, insecticide surveillance and monitoring is essential. This study assessed and compared the residual efficacy of an organophosphate insecticide pirimiphos methyl (ACTELLIC 300 CS, 0-2-diethylamino-6-methylpyrimidin-4-yl 0, 0-dimethylphosphorothioate) at 1 g/m2 and the pyrethroid deltamethrin (K-Othrine WG 250, (S)-α-cyano-3-phenoxybenzyl (1R, 3R)-3-(2,2-dibromovinyl)-2,2-dimethylcyclopropane carboxylate) at 20 mg/m2 for indoor residual spraying on cement and mud-rendered walls inside houses. Insecticide susceptibility profiles of local malaria vectors were also assessed using World Health Organization standard protocols. (Full abstract here)
Authors: Chanda, Emmanuel; Chanda, Javan; Kandyata, Alister; Phiri, Faustina N.; Muzia, Lucy; Haque, Ubydul; Baboo, Kumar S.
SourceJournal of Medical Entomology, Volume 50, Number 6

Q&A about the new ACE exam

We're just over a month away from the launch of the new ACE exam. Here at ESA HQ we are getting near daily inquiries about the exam. The new items have been written and are being input to the testing software now in preparation for the debut of the new test on January 1st. Below you'll find answers to some of the more common questions we're hearing about the new exam and structure. If you have other questions, please direct them to

Q1 - Who came up with the new exam questions?
A committee of subject matter experts (SME) have spent much of the past year editing existing questions, writing new questions, and then editing and editing and editing them until they are fair and representative. The SMEs are all BCEs and come from across the United States so the knowledge pool is not regionally biased.

Q2 - Will the new exam be harder?
That is not the intent. The goal of the new exam (as it was with the old exam) is to make it representative of the subject matter being tested. The average score on the old exam is currently about 74%. Our goal would be to have a similar pass rate on the new exam.

Q3 - Will there be rodent (and other non-arthropod) questions on the new exam?
Yes -- some. Animals can often harbor insects and other arthropods and carry them into the home or other urban structure. As such, to control the arthropods you need to know how to control the non-arthropods. However the main thrust of the exam is entomology and a passing score earns you the title of Associate Certified Entomologist. Our SMEs are experts in entomology and while some may also have substantial non-arthropod knowledge, that is not what we are testing or certifying.

Q4 - What should I be studying in order to take and pass the new exam?
A list of suggested study materials remains on the ESA website and is mostly unchanged from what you should have been studying for the old exam (click here to see the suggested study materials).

Of the recommended materials, the two books that many students have been finding to be of great help are these two (both of which can be purchased through the link above):
(a) The Handbook of Household and Structural Insect Pests
(b) General Household Pest Control

The new exam is just four main topics to study. They are:
(a) Inspection and Identification (45% of the exam)
(b) Monitoring (12% of the exam)
(c) Selection and Implementation of Control Methods (28% of the exam)
(d) Evaluation (15% of the exam)

Q5 - Is there a study guide?
A new study guide is being written now. A publishing date is not yet available.

Q6 - If I'm already an ACE, do I need to take the new exam in order to stay current?
No, but you will be required to watch a free webinar to ensure that all ACEs (existing and new) understand the concepts covered in the content outline. The webinar is being devised now and details will be published as soon as they are available.
The answer to this question changed from how it was originally posted. Current ACEs will not need to watch a webinar. They will, however, be required to review the new content outline and affirm with ESA that they have done so. See this post to learn how to do this if you became an ACE before 12.31.2013.

Q7 - Did the fees go up?
No. The structure of the application did change, however. Starting on January 1 all applications have a 3-year lifespan. The application fee is $395 for non-ESA members (ESA members save $40 -- their fee is $355). Once a person takes and passes the exam, however, they are ACE certified until the end of the initial 3-year term. ESA operates on a calendar year basis so some "rounding" will be involved with some initial terms lasting a little longer than 3 years and some lasting a little less than 3 years. 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.

(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.

Q8 - I still don't get it. Can you tell me more about this new "lifespan" for my application?
You will have up to 3 years to pass your exam once your application is approved. The VAST majority of all ACE applicants pass their exam in FAR less than this amount of time. This change arose because the SMEs felt that the application process should not be indefinite, but that we also did not want to force the process too fast.

The timeline rules are these:
(a) All applicants must take their exam within 1 year of the application's acceptance
(b) If unsuccessful, the applicant must wait at least 3 months but not more than 1 year from their earlier attempt
(c) All applicants must ultimately pass the ACE exam within 3 years of application acceptance or the application will expire
(c1) If your application is accepted in the first half of the year it will expire on December 31st, two years hence
(c2) If your application is accepted in the second half of the year it will expire on December 31st, three years hence

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

New ACE and BCE list

Congratulations to our newest Associate and Board Certified Entomologists!

Ms. Sylvia Kenmuir, BCE, (Target Specialty Products), Cypress, CA  USA.  Certified on 10/9/2013.
Mr. Ronald T. Schwalb, BCE, ACE, (Nisus Corporation), Rockford, TN  USA.  Certified on 10/15/2013.

Ms. Melinda Adele Baker, ACE, (Arizona Exterminating Company), Phoenix, AZ  USA.  Certified on 10/25/2013.
Mr. Thomas R. Olschewske, ACE, (Arrow Exterminators), Woodstock, GA  USA.  Certified on 11/8/2013.
Mr. Shephard H. Patton, Jr., ACE, (Arrow Exterminators), Vaiden, MS  USA.  Certified on 11/8/2013.
Mr. Robert James Ringler, ACE, (Arrow Exterminators), Sarasota, FL  USA.  Certified on 11/8/2013.
Mr. Richard Dean Spencer, ACE, (Arrow Exterminators), Woodstock, GA  USA.  Certified on 11/8/2013.
Mr. Raymond Flores, ACE, (Western Exterminator Co.), Anaheim, CA  USA.  Certified on 10/31/2013.
Mr. Raymond A Hess, ACE, (Arrow Exterminators), Bonaire, GA  USA.  Certified on 11/8/2013.
Mr. Noah Andrew Krikstan, ACE, (Innovative Pest Management, Inc), Columbia, MD  USA.  Certified on 11/12/2013.
Mr. Michael Seth McGill, ACE, (Cook's Pest Control, Inc.), Decatur, AL  USA.  Certified on 10/24/2013.
Mr. Marty L Lynch, ACE, (Arrow Exterminators), Nashville, TN  USA.  Certified on 11/8/2013.
Mr. Jason LaMarca, ACE, (Arrow Exterminators), Woodstock, GA  USA.  Certified on 11/8/2013.
Mr. Jarrell R. Jarrett III, ACE, (Arrow Exterminators), Athens, GA  USA.  Certified on 11/8/2013.
Mr. Edward F Schwartz, ACE, (Paladin Pest Control), Colorado Springs, CO  USA.  Certified on 11/15/2013.
Mr. Danny Lee Gross, ACE, (Arrow Exterminators), Ponte Vedra, FL  USA.  Certified on 11/8/2013.
 Lisa A Fowler, ACE, (OPC Pest Control), Louisville, KY  USA.  Certified on 11/16/2013.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What makes an entomologist?

According to ESA member and Pulitzer Prize winner Dr. E.O. Wilson of Harvard University, there are nearly 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 (10 quintillion) insects in the world. More than one million different species of insects have been identified, but some experts believe that there may be as many as 30 million insect species in the world that have yet to be discovered and identified.

With that many insects it is a huge understatement that it takes a LOT of knowledge, training, and preparation to become an entomologist.  At a minimum, an entomologist is someone who has at least a 4-year degree in entomology. Most have earned a master's or PhD as well (over 70% of full ESA members (i.e., non-students) have earned a doctorate degree).

So the question becomes ... if a pest control professional wants to become an entomologist, how do they go about it?

The easy answer is to go to college. But -- with the daunting prospect of perhaps 12 years of education and many many thousands of dollars in tuition -- that's kind of a hard answer too.

Another path is to consider becoming an Associate Certified Entomologist (ACE). While you would not become a full entomologist, this may well be the next best thing. An ACE is someone who has documented their learning and knowledge of structural pest control by:

  • meeting the minimum qualifications of seven (five) years's experience*,
  • being a licensed applicator,
  • proving their mettle by agreeing to abide by the ACE Code of Ethics,  and
  • passing an examination of their knowledge of insects as it relates to urban pest management
  • Starting in 2014 an ACE is also going to have to start earning CEUs annually to maintain their certification.
I want to be clear that earning your ACE does not make you an entomologist. It makes you an Associate Certified Entomologist.This is not a degree equivalency, but it is a practical and proven way for a person to showcase their knowledge in pest control.

ACE is designed for those whose life path has led them down a more hands-on approach to education rather than a classroom setting. It is the future of pest management and any career professional who wants to meet the mark should be looking into it closely.

*  Post updated:  In October 2014 the Certification Board changed the requirement to five years' experience and added a new requirement for 2 letters of reference. Find the current requirements at

Friday, October 18, 2013

New ACE exam content outline dissected: I&I - (Part 1 of 4)

Anyone who has been paying attention should know by now that the ACE exam is undergoing some improvements and the content outline is being updated. So far we've discussed (a) how the changes affect applicants, (b) what is a content outline, and (c) how to study for the new exam.

I thought it might be appropriate to dig in a bit on how the content outline is built.

There are 4 Knowledge Domains on the new exam. The first is Inspection and Identification which will make up 45% of the questions on the exam.

Under the I&I Domain there are four skills that a person should be able to perform if they are to become an ACE. Those are:

  • Inspect for evidence of pests
  • Inspect for conditions conducive to pests
  • Identify pests
  • Document and communicate findings of pest inspection and identification
Analyzed further for each skill ...

Inspect for evidence of pests - In order to perform this skill, a person would need this knowledge:
  • Tools available for inspection and appropriate uses  (e.g., flashlight, moisture meter, flushing agents)
  • Probable locations of pests
  • Types of evidence of pest presence (e.g., damage caused, egg types, frass)
  • Safety precautions (e.g., equipment, personnel)
Inspect for conditions conducive to pests - In order to perform this skill, a person would need this knowledge:
  • Tools available for inspection and appropriate uses  (e.g., flashlight, moisture meter, flushing agents)
  • Conditions conducive to pests (e.g., site, weather, ambient conditions)
  • Safety precautions (e.g., equipment, personnel)
Identify pests - In order to perform this skill, a person would need this knowledge:
  • Taxonomy and classification
  • Morphology
  • Biology (basic physiology, behavior, habitat, life cycle, reproduction potential)
  • Damage caused
Document and communicate findings of pest inspection and identification - In order to perform this skill, a person would need this knowledge:
  • How to explain pest thresholds and respond to customer expectations
  • Use, limitations and types of pest thresholds
  • What to document
  • How to document
  • Where to document
  • To whom to communicate findings
  • Adherence to ACE Code of Ethics

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Certified Science - October 2013

Certified Science
A Periodic ESA E-mail Service (and blog post) directed at ACEs and Urban-Industrial BCEs
October, 2013

The Entomological Society of America is the #1 source of scientific information for the urban entomologist. This email is a service of the Entomological Society of America for all Associate Certified Entomologists (ACEs) and Board Certified Entomologists (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 member in the Entomological Society of America, in addition to your certification.

The Influence of Fipronil on Reticulitermes flavipes (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) Feeding Beyond Treated Plots
Abstract: A small-plot field trial was conducted to examine the area of influence of fipronil at incremental distances away from treated plots on the Harrison Experimental Forest near Saucier, MS. Small treated (water and fipronil) plots were surrounded by untreated wooden boards in an eight-point radial pattern, and examined for evidence of termite feeding every 60 d for 1 yr after treatment. Circular areas of 0, 0.28, 1.13, 2.55, 4.52, 7.07, and 10.18 m2 around the treated plots were installed to evaluate feeding damage by termites on the boards. (Full abstract here)
Authors: Shelton, Thomas G
SourceJournal of Economic Entomology, Volume 106, Number 5

Detection of the A302S Rdl Mutation in Fipronil Bait-Selected Strains of the German Cockroach (Dictyoptera: Blattellidae)
Abstract: Extensive usage and heavy reliance on insecticides have led to the development of insecticide resistance in the German cockroach, Blattella germanica (L.). Six field-collected strains of B. germanica from Singapore were used to investigate resistance to fipronil and dieldrin. The three strains (Boat Quay, Cavenagh Road, and Ghimmoh Road) with greatest resistance to fipronil were subjected to selection with fipronil bait up to the F5 generation. Synergism assay and molecular detection of a target site mutation were used to elucidate the mechanism of fipronil resistance in these strains. With the exception of the Cavenagh Road strain, all parental strains were susceptible to dieldrin. This strain exhibited resistance to dieldrin and fipronil ... (Full abstract here)
Authors: Ang, Ling-Hui; Nazni, Wasi Ahmad; Kuah, Meng-Kiat; Shu-Chien, Alexander Chong; Lee, Chow-Yang
SourceJournal of Economic Entomology, Volume 106, Number 5

Colony Breeding Structure of the Invasive Termite Reticulitermes urbis (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)
Abstract: Invasive species cause severe environmental and economic problems. The invasive success of social insects often appears to be related to their ability to adjust their social organization to new environments. To gain a better understanding of the biology of invasive termites, this study investigated the social organization of the subterranean termite, Reticulitermes urbis, analyzing the breeding structure and the number of reproductives within colonies from three introduced populations. By using eight microsatellite loci to determine the genetic structure, it was found that all the colonies from the three populations were headed by both primary reproductives (kings and queens) and secondary reproductives (neotenics) to form extended-family colonies (Full abstract here)
Authors: Perdereau, Elfie; Velonà Alessandro; Dupont, Simon; Labédan, Marjorie; Luchetti, Andrea; Mantovani, Barbara; Bagnères, Anne-Genevieve
SourceJournal of Economic Entomology, Volume 106, Number 5

Models to Predict Mortality of Tribolium castaneum (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) Exposed to Elevated Temperatures During Structural Heat Treatments
Abstract: Novel thermal death models were developed with certain assumptions, and these models were validated by using actual heat treatment data collected under laboratory conditions at constant temperatures over time and in commercial food-processing facilities where temperatures were dynamically changing over time. The predicted mortalities of both young larvae and adults of the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum (Herbst), were within 92‐99% of actual measured insect mortalities. (Full abstract here)
Authors: Jian, Fuji; Subramanyam, Bhadriraju; Jayas, Digvir S.; White, Noel D. G.
SourceJournal of Economic Entomology, Volume 106, Number 5

Molting Process in the Formosan Subterranean Termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)
Abstract: This study describes the behavioral and histological changes that take place during ecdysis in the Formosan subterranean termite. The molting process was described in four distinct phases, starting with the peristaltic contraction of the abdomen to the complete shedding of the exuvium. Although individual termites still managed to go through the molting process when isolated from their nestmates, it required more time for the molting individual to complete the process than when aided by its nestmates. Histological observations were made on termites during the intermolt period, the premolting or fasting period, the pre-ecdysis and the ecdysis periods, and on newly molted individuals. Symbiotic protozoans were voided at the beginning of the premolting/fasting period. (Full abstract here)
Authors: Xing, Lin; Chouvenc, Thomas; Su, Nan-Yao
Source Annals of the Entomological Society of America, Volume 106, Number 5

American Entomologist
ACEs have full access to the online edition of this publication by logging into the ESA website. Some of the pest-management-related articles in the latest edition are:
  • A Summer Without Monarchs - Gene Kritsky's short review of where all the monarch butterflies are this year
  • This Study Sucks! - Gerry Wegner, BCE examines bed bug control using vacuum technology
  • Arachnophobic Entomologists: When Two More Legs Makes a Big Difference - Rick Vetter and a great article on entomologists who just don't like spiders

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A very good month for pest control certification

There were several big ACE Prep Courses last month with over 50 PMPs testing for their ACE. As a result of these classes and those who tested without a prep course, more than 30 new people are now ACE-certified.

I'm often asked if you need to go to a prep course to take your ACE. The short answer is "no", but many people find that it is a good way to hone their knowledge and get them into a "test-taking mindset".

It worked well for Clark who now has 14 new ACEs on the books. ACE certification is a personal designation, but we like to list the company that the PMP is affiliated with as well.

Here are the names of all who passed their ACE in the past month. Our congratulations to all (and their employers for having such talented PMPs on staff)!

The Bug Man, Inc. in Little Rock, AR. Both were certified on 10/2/2013
Mr. Dwight Howard, ACE
Mr. Gerard Laborde, ACE

J&J Exterminating Co, Inc. in DeRidder, LA.  Both were certified on 10/2/2013
Mr. Adam D. Woodard, ACE
Mr. Bryan D. Gaspard, ACE

Clark Pest Control in Lodi, CA.  All were certified on 10/2/2013
Mr. Ethan Bechtel, ACE
ESA mailed out over 30 new ACE packets this month!
Mr. Ryan Cowler, ACE
Mr. Gerry Delabra, ACE
Mr. Chuck Ehmann, ACE
Mr. Bill Haga, ACE
Mr. Jerry Hauser, ACE
Mr. Bill Houdashell, ACE
Mr. Eric Howell, ACE
Mr. Gary Koeppen, ACE
Mr. Matthew Kolb, ACE
Mr. Douglas Lipsie, ACE
Mr. Fred McCarn, ACE
Mr. Rob Roy McGregor, ACE
Mr. Michael Parker, ACE

Lady-Bug Services, Inc. of Amarillo, TX. All were certified on 9/24/2013
Mr. Brent Guy Berg, ACE
Mr. Brad Turner, ACE
Mr. Bradley Logan Weiss

All were certified on 10/2/2013
Mr. Jeffery G Hargrave, ACE, (Orkin LLC), Scott, LA
Mr. Richard Rainey, ACE, (SPLAT Pest Control of Baton Rouge, LLC), Baton Rouge, LA
Mr. Jarrod Wayne Horton, ACE, (Anti-Pest Company, Inc.), Shreveport, LA
Mr. Kevin Viator, ACE, (Kevin's Pest Control Inc.), New Iberia, LA

All were certified on 9/24/2013
Mr. Chris Landry, ACE, (Orkin Pest Control), Odessa, TX
Mr. Victor L. Markle, ACE, (Markle Pest Management & Tree Service), Mesquite, TX
Mr. Ron Dawson, Jr., ACE, (Dallas Ft. Worth Pest Control), Dallas, TX
Mr. Warren T Remmey, Jr, ACE, (Spider Man Pest Control, Inc), San Antonio, TX
Mr. Jared Chrestman, ACE, (J.C.'s Terminix), Lubbock, TX

Was certified on 9/20/2013
Mr. Robert M Ward, ACE, (Rose Pest Solutions), Lansing, MI

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

How to study for the new ACE exam

Does this sound like you:  You're thinking about applying to become an ACE and then you heard that the content is changing. Arrrgh!  What do I study now?

First ... relax. We think that you'll find the new exam content is not substantially different from the current exam content. What changed is a move to a more logical structure and one that has been validated by interviews with and survey responses from hundreds of pest management professionals across the United States.  Essentially, there are just four main areas now. They are (in no particular order):

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

Within each of these "domains" there are skills that a person should be able to competently perform if they are to become ACE certified. This is what you are going to test on. For example, under the Domain "Inspection and Identification", the skills needed are:
  • Inspect for evidence of pests
  • Inspect for conditions conducive to pests
  • Identify pests
  • Document and communicate findings of pest inspection and identification

Remember, the full content outline of what you need to study to pass the new ACE exam is on the ESA website. 

What pests are on the exam?
The structure for the new exam is that you'll find the pests covered are discussed within the Domains outlined above. In other words, you might find a question about bed bugs in a Monitoring question or an Evaluation question. But you would not find a question about bed bugs that does not relate to one of the 4 Domains. The pests covered are (in no particular order):

On the new content outline (found by following the hyperlinks above) you'll find these topics broken down further. The list of actual creatures covered is on the content outline in order of decreasing likelihood of occurrence on the exam. If an insect or arthropod is not listed it should not appear on the exam as the main subject of a question.

Regarding non-arthropod pests, you'll only find them on the exam to the extent that they intersect with entomology. In other words, though a competent PMP should know a lot about the biology of rats, the focus of the ACE program is going to be more on the fact that a rat can harbor a variety of pests and introduce them into the house.

Study Resources:
But you want a book, don't you?  Many of the current books that people have been using to study for the ACE will still be relevant. Of these, the Handbook of Household and Structural Insect Pests is perhaps one of the better tools. As of this writing, the full list of currently recommended study materials is this:
ESA is currently working on a single resource which will become the official study guide for the new ACE exam. No release date is yet known*. In the meantime, read the content outline, study the resources you have, and maybe attend an ACE Prep Course.

* This section of the post has been updated. The study guide which was originally expected to be ready by 2014 has been delayed.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Certification Board actions

The ESA Certification Board is a hard-working group of volunteers who give considerably of their time to support the programs offered by ESA. The board meets quarterly with three of the meetings being teleconferences and one in person (held in conjunction with the ESA Annual Meeting). Board meetings are generally closed, though visitors are occasionally invited by the Certification Board Director or the staff Director of Certification.

The most recent board meeting was held on the phone on September 10th. Actions of note taken by the board recently include:

  • The fees for retesting on a BCE exam will be set to match the ACE retesting fees.
  • The bylaws for service on the Certification Board are going to be revised in an attempt to simplify the structure of the Board. 
  • The Board authorized additional four CEUs to be offered to those BCEs who attend the annual BCE symposia
  • Other recent Board actions were covered in an earlier post.
The next meeting of the Certification Board is set for November 10th, 2013 in Austin, TX from 2-5pm. ACEs and BCEs who have business before the board are encouraged to submit requests for adding to the agenda prior to the 25th of October.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Newest ACEs and BCEs

Our congratulations to those professionals who earned their ACE or BCE in the past month ...

Ms. Dena Lynette Berg-Castaño, ACE, (Northwest Exterminating), Tucson, AZ  USA.  Certified on 8/21/2013.
Mr. Timothy P. Best, ACE, (Arrow Environmental Services), Port Monmouth, NJ  USA.  Certified on 8/24/2013.
Mr. Paul E Brissette, ACE, (Batzner Pest Management, Inc.), New Berlin, WI  USA.  Certified on 8/12/2013.
Mr. Kent Smith, ACE, (Rentokil / Presto-X), Oskaloosa, IA  USA.  Certified on 8/21/2013.
Mr. Jerry D. Kerce, ACE, (Florida Army National Guard), Starke, FL  USA.  Certified on 8/23/2013.
Mr. Jeffrey A. Scharp, ACE, (Holders Pest Solutions), Houston, TX  USA.  Certified on 9/5/2013.
Mr. James Rodriguez, ACE, (J.T. Eaton Co., Inc.), Valencia, CA  USA.  Certified on 8/29/2013.
Mr. Daniel Rao, ACE, (Arrest A Pest, Inc.), Braintree, MA  USA.  Certified on 9/10/2013.
Mr. Christopher William Evans, ACE, (Schendel Pest Services), Joplin, MO  USA.  Certified on 8/19/2013.
Mr. Charles E. Ford, ACE, (Holders Pest Solutions), Houston, TX  USA.  Certified on 9/5/2013.
Mr. Anthony J Rithman, ACE, (Stout Pest Control), San Antonio, TX  USA.  Certified on 8/21/2013.
Mr. Andrew Seth Taylor, BCE, (Clegg's Termite and Pest Control LLC), Durham, NC  USA.  Certified on 9/3/2013.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Certified Science - Sept 2013

Certified Science

September, 2013

The Entomological Society of America is the #1 source of scientific information for the urban entomologist. This email is a service of the Entomological Society of America for all Associate Certified Entomologists (ACEs) and Board Certified Entomologists (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 member in the Entomological Society of America, in addition to your certification.

Delayed Toxicity of Two Chitinolytic Enzyme Inhibitors (Psammaplin A and Pentoxifylline) Against Eastern Subterranean Termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)
Abstract: By using a no-choice feeding bioassay, delayed toxicity and concentration-dependent mortality of two chitinolytic enzyme inhibitors, pentoxifylline and psammaplin A, were evaluated by determining LT50, LT90, and LT99 (lethal time) against the economically important eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar). Pentoxifylline- and psammaplin A-incorporated diets (filter paper) were assayed at 0.01, 0.02, 0.04, 0.08, and 0.21% and 0.0375, 0.075, 0.15, and 0.3% active ingredient (wt:wt), respectively. Acetone-only treated filter paper served as diet for the control treatments. Termite workers were allowed to feed on diet until 100% test population mortality occurred (80-95 d). Both chitinase inhibitors were shown to be toxic to R. flavipes...(Full abstract here)
Authors: Husen, Timothy J.; Kamble, Shripat T.
SourceJournal of Economic Entomology, Volume 106, Number 4

Feeding Response of Subterranean Termites Coptotermes curvignathus and Coptotermes gestroi (Blattodea: Rhinotermitidae) to Baits Supplemented With Sugars, Amino Acids, and Cassava
Abstract: Feeding responses of subterranean termites Coptotermes curvignathus (Holmgren) and Coptotermes gestroi (Wasmann) (Blattodea: Rhinotermitidae) to bait matrices supplemented with various sugars, amino acids, and cassava were evaluated both in the laboratory and field. The results indicated that the two termite species consumed significantly different amount of filter papers that had been treated with various types and concentrations of sugars and amino acids. Based on consumption and survival data, filter papers with 3% glucose and 3% xylose were among the most consumed by C. curvignathus and C. gestroi, respectively. Both termite species consumed more of the filter papers treated with 3% casein than filter papers treated with l-alanine... (Full abstract here)
Authors: Castillo, Venite Pesigan; Sajap, Ahmad Said; Sahri, Mohd Hamami
SourceJournal of Economic Entomology, Volume 106, Number 4

Effect of Trap Design, Chemical Lure, Carbon Dioxide Release Rate, and Source of Carbon Dioxide on Efficacy of Bed Bug Monitors
Abstract: Bed bugs, (Cimex lectularius L.), are difficult to find because of their nocturnal and secretive behavior. In recent years, a number of monitors containing carbon dioxide (CO2), chemical lures, heat, or both, to attract bed bugs have been developed for detecting bed bugs. Ineffective trap design, lack of attraction of chemical lures, high cost of the CO2 delivery system, or insufficient CO2 release rates are some factors that limited the wide adoption of these monitors. To develop an affordable and effective monitor, we conducted a series of laboratory and field tests. Specifically, we tested a new pitfall trap design, a chemical lure mixture, different CO2 release rates, and a sugar and yeast mixture as CO2 source. Results show the new pitfall trap design was significantly more effective than Climbup insect interceptor, the most effective passive monitor available in the market for bed bugs. (Full abstract here)
Authors: Singh, Narinderpal; Wang, Changlu; Cooper, Richard
SourceJournal of Economic Entomology, Volume 106, Number 4

Lufenuron Suppresses the Resistance of Formosan Subterranean Termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) to Entomopathogenic Bacteria
Abstract: Pesticides can negatively affect insect immunity. Although studies show that Formosan subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, are resistant to microbial infections, the effects of pesticides on disease resistance is not well studied. In this study, C. formosanus previously fed lufenuron was exposed to each of the three entomopathogenic bacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Schroeter) Migula, Serratia marcescens Bizio, and Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner subsp. israelensis. We found that termite mortality was significantly higher and synergistic in the combination of lufenuron and P. aeruginosa compared with treatment of lufenuron or P. aeruginosa alone... (Full abstract here)
Authors: Wang, Cai; Henderson, Gregg; Gautam, Bal K.
SourceJournal of Economic Entomology, Volume 106, Number 4

Evidence of Formosan Subterranean Termite Group Size and Associated Bacteria in the Suppression of Entomopathogenic Bacteria, Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis and thuringiensis
Abstract: The Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, was studied for its ability to suppress two entomopathogenic bacteria, Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis (Bti) and thuringiensis (Btt). Different group sizes (50, 25, 10, and no termites [control]) of C. formosanus were placed on well-grown Bti or Btt agar plates. On day 1, the diameters of Bti and Btt colonies in the three treatments containing termites were significantly smaller than in the controls. The diameters of Bti and Btt colonies in the 50-termite treatment were significantly smaller than in the 10-termite treatment. However, neither was significantly different from the 25-termite treatment.... (Full abstract here)
Authors: Wang, Cai; Henderson, Gregg
SourceAnnals of the ESA, Volume 106, Number 4

The Deployed Warfighter Protection (DWFP) Research Program: Developing New Public Health Pesticides, Application Technologies, and Repellent Systems
Abstract: The Research Program for Deployed Warfighter Protection (DWFP) against disease-carrying insects is an initiative by the United States Department of Defense to develop, validate and use novel materials and technologies to protect deployed military personnel from vector-borne diseases, especially those transmitted by mosquitoes and sand flies. Launched in 2004 and administered by the U.S. Armed Forces Pest Management Board, the program is funded at US$5 million annually. The DWFP research portfolio is concentrated in three areas: novel insecticide chemistries/formulations, application technologies, and personal protective measures. (Full abstract here)
Authors: Burkett, Douglas A.; Cope, Stanton E.; Strickman, Daniel A.; White, Graham B.
SourceJournal of Integrated Pest Management, Volume 4, Number 2

Environmental Forcing Shapes Regional House Mosquito Synchrony in a Warming Temperate Island
Abstract: Seasonal changes in the abundance of exothermic organisms can be expected with climate change if warmer temperatures can induce changes in their phenology. Given the increased time for ectothermic organism development at lower temperatures, we asked whether population dynamics of the house mosquito, Culex pipiens s.l. (L.) (Diptera: Culicidae), in Jeju-do (South Korea), an island with a gradient of warming temperatures from north to south, showed differences in sensitivity to changes in temperature along the warming gradient. In addition, we asked whether synchrony, that is, the degree of concerted fluctuations in mosquito abundance across locations, was affected by the temperature gradient. We found the association of mosquito abundance with temperature to be delayed by 2 wk in the north when compared with the south. (Full abstract here)
Authors: Chaves, Luis Fernando; Higa, Yukiko; Lee, Su Hyun; Jeong, Ji Yeon; Heo, Sang Taek; Kim, Miok; Minakawa, Noboru; Lee, Keun Hwa
SourceEnvironmental Entomology, Volume 42, Number 4

Review of the Biology, Ecology, and Management of Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) in China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea
Abstract: Native to China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, the brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) was first detected in the United States in the mid-1990s. Since establishing in the United States, this invasive species has caused significant economic losses in agriculture and created major nuisance problems for home and business owners, especially in the mid-Atlantic region. Basic and applied questions on H. halys have been addressed in its native range in Asia since the mid-1900s and the research outcomes have been published in at least 216 articles from China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea. In Asia, H. halys is described as an occasional or outbreak pest of a number of crops such as apple, pear, persimmon, and soybeans. This species is considered a nuisance pest as well...(Full abstract here)
Authors: Lee, Doo-Hyung; Short, Brent D.; Joseph, Shimat V.; Bergh, J. Christopher; Leskey, Tracy C.
SourceEnvironmental Entomology, Volume 42, Number 4

Overwintering Biology of Culex (Diptera: Culicidae) Mosquitoes in the Sacramento Valley of California
Abstract: At temperate latitudes, Culex (Diptera: Culicidae) mosquitoes typically overwinter as adult females in reproductive arrest and also may serve as reservoir hosts for arboviruses when cold temperatures arrest viral replication. To evaluate their role in the persistence of West Nile virus (WNV) in the Sacramento Valley of California, the induction and termination of diapause were investigated for members of the Culex pipiens (L.) complex, Culex tarsalis Coquillett, and Culex stigmatosoma Dyar under field, seminatural, and experimental conditions. All Culex spp. remained vagile throughout winter, enabling the collection of 3,174 females and 1,706 males from diverse habitats during the winters of 2010-2012. Overwintering strategies included both quiescence and diapause. In addition, Cx. pipiens form molestus Forskäl females remained reproductively active in both underground and above ground habitats... (Full abstract here)
Authors: Nelms, Brittany M.; Macedo, Paula A.; Kothera, Linda; Savage, Harry M.; Reisen, William K.
SourceJournal of Medical Entomology, Volume 50, Number 4

If there are articles that you would like to see included in future editions of Certified Science, please email Thank you for keeping your certification current.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

How do I earn CEUs?

We've started fielding additional questions from PMPs about how they are supposed to maintain CEUs. "Does (insert activity here) count? ... what about (insert different activity)?"

The Maintain my ACE page lists all of the eligible activities that can earn you CEUs. There really are a lot of options and any PMP who is earning CEUs to maintain a state license should be able to earn their 18 CEUs during the 3-year period.

All ACEs are encouraged to document their activities as they occur so that you don't need to go back and recreate them later. A small percentage of all reports will be audited (random selection) so you are strongly encouraged to maintain back-up proof of your activities.  A spreadsheet is a simple way to keep track of your CEUs. A sample sheet might look something like this:

DateDescriptionLocationHours (total)Hours to claimBackup
ExamplePurdue Pest Management Conf 2013West Lafayette, IN166Program, receipt, and name badge

For 2014 ACEs will have the option to renew for just 2014 and not submit CEUs or to renew for 2014-2016 and submit a CEU report. We cannot accept a 3-year renewal without a CEU report. Look back through your records for training you attended from 2011-2013. If you can come up with 18 hours, renew for 3 years.  Some examples of how a PMP might earn credits are below.

Example #1:
Jane Doe, ACE rarely makes it to any of the big pest management conferences, but did attend a 1-day short course one year. She attends quarterly hour-long training sessions with her firm, though was unable to attend them at all one year. Every three years her job administers a competency exam. She spends about a half hour a month reading PCT Online. Assuming nothing else, she can claim 20 CEUs:

  • Year #1 -- (4 CEUs for Training Attended) + (2 CEUs for Reading) = 6 CEUs
  • Year #2 -- (2 CEUs for Reading) + (3 CEUs for Job Related Exams) = 5 CEUs
  • Year #3 -- (4 CEUs for Training Attended) + (2 CEUs for Reading) + (3 CEUs for Professional conferences) = 9 CEUs
Training Attended is a broad category that would include inter-company training as long as it is conducted by a trained professional (ideally this would be an ACE or BCE). Reading is a little ambiguous, but ESA recognizes that a lot of good information comes out monthly in the trade publications. If you claim hours for reading, you'll want to document extensively (e.g., "What's in a Name?", Pest Control Technology, May 2013, pp 70-74, 20 minutes). Note that in many categories you can only claim a certain number of CEUs per year, regardless of how much time you spent on that activity.

Example #2:
John Doe, ACE is a regular at NPMA's PestWorld conference. Assuming nothing else, he can claim 18 CEUs.
  • Year #1 -- (3 CEUs per day for Conferences Attended) x 2 days = 6 CEUs
  • Year #2 -- (3 CEUs per day for Conferences Attended) x 2 days = 6 CEUs
  • Year #3 -- (3 CEUs per day for Conferences Attended) x 2 days = 6 CEUs
The large pest management conferences are a wealth of information and a person can learn a lot by attending. Documentation for CEUs like this should be as detailed as possible. You may want to maintain your receipt, program that indicates which sessions you attended, and perhaps your name badge.

Example #3:
Jean Doe, ACE maintains the pest management blog for her company (spending about an hour a month on it), served on the board of her state pest management association for two years (she attended 6 hour long conference calls per year), and watches the occasional hour-long pest management webinars. Assuming nothing else, she can claim 18 CEUs.
  • Year #1 -- (2 CEUs for Pest Control Blogging) +  (4 CEUs Committee Service) = 6 CEUs
  • Year #2 -- (2 CEUs for Pest Control Blogging) +  (4 CEUs Committee Service) + (1 CEU for webinars) = 7 CEUs
  • Year #3 -- (2 CEUs for Pest Control Blogging) +  (3 CEUs Webinars) = 5 CEUs
Pest management training has changed over the years and there are now lots of opportunities to earn CEUs over the internet. In addition to those listed in Example #3, a PMP could also earn ACE CEUs by taking distance learning courses toward a biology degree.

These quick examples should highlight that attaining the 18 required CEUs is not hard and should be a part of every PMPs training regimen. The list of CEU activities was designed by the ACE Support Committee in the Spring of 2013. The committee presented their suggestions to the ESA Certification Board and they approved the list of CEUs in June 2013

The last category in the list is "special activities" and we've had some people wondering what that might be. The truth is that we don't yet know. But we know that our ACEs are an innovative group of professionals who will continually be pushing the known boundaries. We want to have a way to recognize that effort and award CEUs as appropriate.

What doesn't count?
A rule of thumb could be this ... Does this activity help me do my job better?  If it does and is not a part of your regular daily duties, then it will likely count in at least one category. If it doesn't, then you may need to look elsewhere for more credits. This statement is overly broad, but it will mostly hold true.  Some examples of activities that may not count for hours would include

  • attending webinars that are unrelated to pest management
  • reading articles that are unrelated to pest management
  • hours spent at conferences where you are not actually in training sessions (remember that one hour of activity equates to one CEU. You won't earn CEUs by sitting in the hotel bar!)
  • standard job-related activities (filling out service reports, making calls on clients, etc) that don't meet one of the criteria on the creditable hours table.
  • community service that is not related to your job. For example, if you volunteer at your daughter's school as a playground monitor that would not count. But if you do a volunteer inspection at her school or if you give an hour-long talk for Career Day, that might be a creditable hour.

Who decides what counts?
ESA headquarters will initially review the CEU reports. Additionally, a percentage of all reports received will be randomly selected for an audit and those will be bumped up to the ACE Support Committee for a deeper review and backup documentation may be required at that time. If your report is selected for an audit, you will be notified, but there may be nothing further required of you if your report is found to be in good order. It will be up to the reviewer to determine if any additional documentation would be required.

If you have any questions about what qualifies, please first consult this list of creditable hours, and then contact if you still have questions.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Newest certified ...

Every month or so we try to list the newest BCEs and ACEs. Please join ESA in congratulating these professionals for earning their certification.
  • Daniel Kuzma, ACE, (Industrial Fumigant Company), Woodhaven, MI  USA.  Certified on 1/24/13. 
  • Ronald Dean Mann, ACE, (Mann vs Pest Inc), San Diego, CA  USA.  Certified on 1/30/13. 
  • Robert Glenn Greer, ACE, (Rove Pest Control), Woodbury, MN  USA.  Certified on 6/28/13. 
  • Ricky Roberts, ACE, (Orkin Commercial Services), Houston, TX  USA.  Certified on 7/11/13. 
  • David Lynn Rice, ACE, (EnviroCon Termite & Pest, Inc.), Hockley, TX  USA.  Certified on 7/11/13. 
  • David Lee Henderson, ACE, (Spring Independent School District), Houston, TX  USA.  Certified on 7/11/13. 
  • Scott Robert Lupo, ACE, (Batzner Pest Management, Inc.), New Berlin, WI  USA.  Certified on 7/16/13. 
  • Cindy L Lambert, ACE, (Sprays Termite Control & Insulation), Hazel Green, AL  USA.  Certified on 7/23/13. 
  • William Richard Chandler, ACE, (Ecolab Pest Elimination), Murfreesboro, TN  USA.  Certified on 7/23/13. 
  • Steven B Shepherd, ACE, (Interstate Exterminators), Pittsburg, KS  USA.  Certified on 7/23/13. 
  • John Paul Myers, ACE, (Gunter Pest Mgmt), Lees Summit, MO  USA.  Certified on 7/23/13. 
  • Jeremy Matthew Schultz, ACE, (Enviro-Tech Pest Services), Brunswick, MD  USA.  Certified on 7/23/13. 
  • Jeffry K Schnelting, ACE, (Rottler Pest and Lawn Services), Saint Charles, MO  USA.  Certified on 7/23/13. 
  • Glen Sweikata, ACE, (Massey Services), Jacksonville, FL  USA.  Certified on 7/23/13. 
  • Russell James Anderson, ACE, (Western Exterminator), Anaheim, CA  USA.  Certified on 7/30/13. 
  • Thomas R. Estill, ACE, (Ensystex), San Diego, CA  USA.  Certified on 7/31/13. 
  • Stephen Adrian Tanksley, Sr., ACE, (Pinpoint Pest Control), Oceanside, CA  USA.  Certified on 7/31/13. 
  • Shane D. Lopez, ACE, (Western Exterminator Co.), Huntington Beach, CA  USA.  Certified on 7/31/13. 
  • Jason M. Bennett, ACE, (Western Exterminator Co.), Anaheim, CA  USA.  Certified on 7/31/13. 
  • John Samuel Bell III, BCE, ACE, (Scotts Lawn Service), Orlando, FL  USA.  Certified on 7/17/13.
    (John has been ACE certified for some time and now joins a very small group of individuals who are both ACE and BCE certified)
Your co-workers are getting certified. Your competition is getting certified. Your boss is getting certified. When are YOU going to take the plunge and advance your career?

Applying to become an ACE is easy.