Since 2004 the Entomological Society of America has offered a certification program for professionals in the pest control industry. The Associate Certified Entomologist (ACE) – Pest Control program currently has 623 ACEs-Pest Control and is offering new services and growing every month.
Now ESA is announcing its interest in starting a new certification for turf and ornamental professionals. The effort is just getting underway, according to a letter from the current Certification Board Director-Elect, Pat Copps, with Orkin. According to Copps, the “ESA is in the process of gathering market information to possibly expand the ACE-Pest Control program.”
If the Board determines that there is sufficient interest, “a similar certification and set of requirements would be developed for Turf and Ornamental professionals. The program would build on the foundation of the existing ACE certification and when complete would be managed by the ESA Director of Certification with the assistance of the ACE oversight committee.”
Insects are important pests of turfgrass and ornamental plants, and insect control is an essential component of landscape maintenance. Having certified professionals, well trained and knowledgeable about these pests and about safe management practices, could go a long way toward making outdoor pest management safer for people and the environment.
If you think this sounds like a good idea, ESA would like to hear from you. Interested persons should contact Chris Stelzig, ESA Director of Certification, firstname.lastname@example.org. Ideas and comments are welcome at this time.
This is a busy summer for the Certification Program under Stelzig’s guidance. Canadian readers may be interested to know that ESA is developing an ACE pest control certification for Canadian entomologists. And the ACE-Pest Control exam is undergoing review and updating this summer. A new exam, with many new questions, should be ready in a couple of months.
Mike Merchant serves as entomology specialist for Texas AgriLife Extension.