COLUMBIA, S.C. — Formosan termites were confirmed for the first time in Lexington County, S.C., in June.
Rodney Dorn, an inspector with Modern Exterminating, Columbia, S.C., made the discovery during a termite inspection of a residential location on June 20. The homeowner called with suspicions of termite swarming activity, and when Dorn arrived, he noticed that the termites did not look like the eastern subterranean termite typically found in the Midlands. “The characteristics of the insect and situation did not match the termite we are used to seeing, so I submitted my findings to Clemson University’s [entomology program] right away,” said Dorn.
Dr. Eric Benson, urban entomologist at Clemson University’s Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, confirmed that the termites found were, in fact, Formosan termites. While Dorn’s sample was the first confirmed findings, Benson noted that he has since received another sample of Formosan termites from Lexington County that were collected and saved by a homeowner last year.
Benson said that Formosan subterranean termites have been in the Charleston area for 60 years, and have been in Orangeburg since the 1990s. “We found them in York County around 2000 and in Pickens County around 2010, but we believe the infestations in those counties were eliminated. We know they are established in Charleston, Beaufort, Dorchester, Berkeley, Colleton and Orangeburg Counties. It appears that this year, Bamberg and Lexington Counties now have them.”
Benson shared the news with Modern Exterminating President Glenn Matthews III. “We are very proud of Rodney and our team here at Modern Exterminating,” Matthews said. “Our family continuously strives to be the best in pest control and stay ahead of the curve in our industry. This discovery is definitely something we are excited and anxious to share with the community.”
Benson noted that this discovery does not mean Formosan subterranean termites are found uniformly throughout any particular county; rather, it just means locations in this county have been found to have established infestations at some locations. “It really isn’t unexpected to find the range of Formosan termites in South Carolina has increased over time. Eventually, they may spread to other areas of the state, but it is impossible to predict exactly when or where,” he said. — Brad Harbison
Target Specialty Products Raises Funds for PCOC Defense Fund
SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. — Target Specialty Products, along with co-sponsor Bell Laboratories, raised $16,396 through the annual silent auction at the recent Pest Control Operators of California (PCOC) Expo in Lake Tahoe, Calif. The funds will support the PCOC Defense Fund, which supports public education throughout the state.
The distributor is an active supporter of PCOC, a trade association and advocacy group based in West Sacramento, Calif., that deals with critical issues facing pest control operators in the state.
“We’re proud to support the invaluable work PCOC does to improve industry standards and benefit pest management professionals throughout California,” said David Helt, president of Target Specialty Products. “This annual fundraiser is a great way to support their work dealing with critical issues that affect our industry.”
In addition to the fundraiser, Sylvia Kenmuir, Target Specialty Products’ director of technical training, was elected to PCOC’s board of directors. Kenmuir is a widely respected expert within the pest management industry and has been with the company for more than 30 years. Prior to her election to the board of directors, she served as chair of PCOC’s Rodent Management Stewardship Committee and is currently the chair of the West Coast Rodent Academy, which supports PCOC’s efforts in rodent management stewardship.
“Sylvia is well respected in the pest control industry and her depth of knowledge and experience will be important as we continue to face significant legislative and regulatory challenges in California,” said Chris Reardon, executive vice president of PCOC.
In Memoriam: Philip Hamman
KERRVILLE, Texas — Dr. Philip Hamman, a leading pest control industry educator, passed away on May 31, in Kerrville, Texas. He was 86.
Hamman’s pest control career included leading Texas A&M’s extension entomology program and working for the National Pest Control Association (now NPMA) as technical director. He was a PCT/Syngenta Crown Leadership winner, class of 1996.
A 1953 Texas A&M graduate, Hamman returned to his alma mater in 1964 as an extension entomologist, providing insect management information and control assistance to the state’s cotton, grain sorghum, rice and peanut-growing industries. As Texas grew in urban population, so did problems with insects in urban settings. As a result, Hamman began focusing his efforts on urban entomology, developing programs that aided individual citizens, pest control companies and pesticide suppliers.
After a two-year stint with NPCA, Hamman returned to his previous position with the Texas Agricultural Extension Service as urban entomologist. In 1981, Hamman officially became the first extension urban entomologist in Texas. He served as department head for extension from 1985 until his retirement in 1996.
One of his great contributions in Texas was the development of the Phillip J. Hamman Termite Training School in College Station. As his successor, Mike Merchant, noted in his Insects in the City blog, “It was Phil’s vision to establish a hands-on training facility near the A&M campus to provide a first-class training venue for termite technicians around the state.”
Public Health Pests a Major Focus of Global Pest Summit
Editor’s note: Delegates from 34 countries were represented at the third Global Summit of Pest Management Services for Public Health and Food Safety in Portugal. Helen Riby, associate editor and publisher of UK-based Pest magazine provided the following recap for PCT.
CASCAIS, Portugal — The third Global Summit of Pest Management Services for Public Health & Food Safety, which took place June 4-6, attracted its largest audience ever. A total of 300 attendees made their way to the Portuguese resort of Cascais, just 25 minutes around the coast from the capital, Lisbon. There were delegates from six continents — Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and the Americas. In total 34 countries were represented.
The North American contingent comprised 33 delegates, including new NPMA President Dennis Jenkins, ABC Home & Commercial Services, Dallas, Texas, and Bryan Cooksey, immediate past-president of NPMA. There was a Chinese delegation of about 20 strong. As might be expected, the majority of the audience was from Europe, with 188 delegates.
Previous events — in New York in 2017 and in France in 2015 — have focused on pest management and food safety, but this conference placed much more emphasis on public health; in particular, a lot of time was spent discussing mosquitoes.
That’s not to say that food safety was ignored. Frank Varga from Nestle and Justyna Kostarczyk from the Metro Group, an international wholesale “cash and carry” business based in Germany, kicked off proceedings. Both presentations examined how their respective companies manage their businesses with the aim of achieving zero pests. Both advocated strong relationships between PMPs and their food industry customers as key, and both would welcome more consistent global pest management servicing standards to support food safety.
Dr. Jim Fredericks, vice president of technical and regulatory affairs for the National Pest Management Association, kept things moving throughout by introducing speakers and making sure questions from the floor were answered. He explained that, in addition to public health, the second focus of the meeting was innovation.
Among the many speakers on mosquitoes and the vector-borne diseases they spread was Fedros Okumu from the Ifakara Health Institute in Tanzania. He asked a fundamental question: How innovative is malaria mosquito control? The answer he concluded was not very innovative. Bed nets have been used for as long as humans have lived in closed dwellings, and in Africa, they are still the best defense. Nets are good, but new tools are needed. His institute is working on many simple innovative techniques including, for example, insecticide-impregnated sandals to protect people when they are not under bed nets. The prototypes have had great results, but investment is needed. “We are looking for partners to invest,” he said.
With an eye towards innovation, Rueben Benno from Lokimica Laboratories looked at the potential for unmanned vehicles — drones — for pest mapping and control. Alfie Treleven, Sprague Pest Solutions, ran through the way his company uses technology in its training and motivational programs, as well as how Sprague is using remote sensoring and other technology. The company has its own social sharing network for employees to add field notes and share problems and solutions. “Millennials like to share on social media and record and upload podcasts. You have to allow them time to do it,” he said.
A session looking at how the industry needs to prepare for change included a paper by David Andreu from Goldservice, Spain. He highlighted the paradox that general public customers want to communicate in an impersonal way (e.g., email, text, social media) at a time to suit themselves, and yet they are demanding more personalized service. Commercial clients, on the other hand, fall into two groups: One group wants a low-cost, standardized, automated service; the other wants an increasingly personalized service.
Dennis Jenkins agreed that customers want service now. He said, “Amazon has taught people they should expect it now. Uberization of pest control means call today, get serviced today, every time; five minutes early is on time, one time is late and anything else is unacceptable.”
The final session of the first day took a much wider perspective. It examined the need for a harmonized global approach to pest management standards, looking at the politics and outside pressures on our industry and introducing the concept of soft legislation through public private partnerships.
Robert Madelin, now a consultant but formerly the director general of the European Commission’s Consumer & Health Directorate, explored the ways in which the pest management industry can work with allies, partners and sponsors to ensure it is not regulated out of business. His paper looked at the opportunities the industry has to be accepted as an ethical business and therefore subjected to a light regulatory touch. He highlighted the Global Sustainable Development goals as particularly fertile ground for legitimizing the industry.
On day two, as well as celebrating World Pest Day, there were fascinating insights into the possible impact of climate change from Dr. Roberto Pereira from the University of Florida. The bad news is (or is it good for the pest management industry?) insect pests are largely going to benefit as temperatures rise and weather-related disasters increase.
The final session went around the world in 80 minutes with representatives from South America, North America, Africa, Australia, China and Europe giving a summary of the challenges and opportunities they face. This revealed some similarities, such as the average number of employees in a pest management servicing company in South America is just 5 — and that’s very similar to Europe. The regulatory framework, however, is much more fragmented with each country in South America having its own regulation and much of this being very old. Training also varies, but every company must have a university-educated technical director. While this sounds good, the degree held is not specified. Only around 25 percent of companies are members of a trade association. This contrasts with Australia, where 85 percent are members. The Australian industry also works to a number of recognized Codes of Practice and customers are demanding an ever more professionalized service.
The U.S. market is probably the most developed, with great strides having been made in the last 20 years, resulting in the industry being recognized as providing a professional service and more people abandoning the DIY approach in favor of a service professional.In Europe, the production of the European Standard and the audited CEPA- certified system is gathering pace and now includes 456 companies. Bertrand Montmoreau pointed out that CEPA certified is open to all companies — not just those that operate in Europe.
The African and Chinese markets are both fast-growing but face a number of challenges, not least the low barrier to entry and, more especially in Africa, the complete lack of policing.
The Global Summit was jointly organized by the Confederation of European Pest Management Associations (CEPA) and the NPMA with generous sponsorship from key sponsors: silver sponsors Bayer and the BL Group; and bronze sponsors Babolna Bio, Edialux, IPM Square, Mylva and Plastdiversity. In a socially and environmentally responsible move, there were no giveaways for delegates. Instead, a donation was made on behalf of each attendee to UNICEF to support the thousands of babies with congenital defects caused by the Zika virus.
University of Kentucky Announces 48th Annual Short Course
Lexington, Ky. — The 48th annual University of Kentucky Pest Control Short Course will be held Nov. 6-8, in Lexington, Ky.
The conference includes a money-back satisfaction guarantee and features one of the strongest programs in the country. Topics include: a half-day workshop on building construction systems and exclusion; pesticides and the PCO; politics of pollinators; bed bugs and the bottom line; advanced inspections; pheromone use in everyday accounts; bugs and death (forensic entomology); and useful sessions on managing termites, flies, spiders, wasps, rodents, varmints, ticks and perimeter invaders.
Featured speakers include Nan-Yao Su, Dan and Mike Potter, Stoy Hedges, Gene White, Gerry Wegner, Ray Johnson, Donnie Blake, Matt Frye, Tom Mueller and Neal Haskell.
Details can be found at www.kyshortcourse.org or by contacting Dr. Michael F. Potter, Department of Entomology, S-225 Agricultural Science Center North, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546-0091; phone 859/257-7450; fax 859/323-1120; or email email@example.com
Rentokil Steritech Acquires Innovative Pest Management (N.C.)
DENVER, N.C. — Rentokil Steritech acquired Innovative Pest Management, a privately-held pest control business that services the Lake Norman area, north of Charlotte, N.C. The acquisition occurred in 2017 but was just announced by The Potomac Company.
Innovative Pest Management was founded by Ronnie and Rhonda Caldwell in 1999, and the company had grown to employ a staff of 20, focusing on the affluent residential market in the Lake Norman area.
Innovative Pest Management also grabbed headlines in 2010 when it unveiled an 11,000-pound, to-scale stainless steel sculpture of a widow spider that was created by local artist Dave Simpson (download PCT article).
In commenting on the transaction, Ronnie Caldwell noted, “Finding someone that would actually deliver on their promises was a huge concern. Payment being one of those, but making things better for our employees was a major concern. People make the difference and we wanted to make sure that they had future opportunities. Rentokil offered those opportunities to our staff and has delivered on its commitments. We appreciate Rentokil’s professionalism throughout the entire transaction.”
The Potomac Company acted as Innovative Pest Management’s exclusive financial advisor.
Goddard To Serve as Keynote Speaker of 2019 NCPMA School
Raleigh, N.C. — The North Carolina Pest Management Association (NCPMA) recently announced that Jerome Goddard will serve as the keynote speaker of the 2019 Pest Control Technician’s (PCT) School. Goddard’s presentation is titled “What Does the Future of Pest Control Look Like?”
Goddard is an extension professor of entomology at Mississippi State University, where he studies public health entomology, medical entomology, vector-borne diseases and the management and control of insects that can harm humans and animals. He received a doctoral degree from Mississippi State University and a master’s degree and bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi.
“We are thrilled to welcome Jerome Goddard to our 2019 PCT School as the keynote speaker. Jerome’s research and knowledge of entomology will kick off an exciting conference,” said Bruce Roberts, incoming NCPMA president (2018-2019). “The 2019 PCT School will include an unprecedented lineup of speakers, sessions and programs designed to create the best experience for our attendees.”
Now in its 69th year, the NCPMA PCT School will be held Jan. 27-31, at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center in Durham. In 2018, it attracted nearly 1,000 pest management technicians.
Registration for the 2019 NCPMA PCT School is now open. To register, visit the NCPMA website
NPMA Announces Changes to Public Policy Team
FAIRFAX, Va. — NPMA announced in its June 22 Policy in Progress e-newsletter that Andrew Bray, vice president of public policy, was leaving NPMA to become vice president of government affairs for the National Association of Landscape Professionals. His last day was June 29. Bray had been with NPMA for three years.
NPMA also announced that Jake Plevelich has been promoted to director of Public Policy. Plevelich has led NPMA’s SPAR program, implementing the association’s grassroots program, supporting the PAC program, drafting and submitting federal and state comments and being an integral member of the Public Policy Department. NPMA is in the process of finding Bray’s replacement.