As a child, were you fascinated by or fearful of pests?
I wasn’t fascinated or fearful, but I was curious about how they can affect and cause discomfort in human lives. I was also equally curious about the substantial damage they cause to food crops.
When and why did you first become interested in this business?
As a junior in college when I started preparing for entomology exams. I learned more about biology of various pests and how they interfere with humans.
Which structural pest do you respect the most, and why?
I’m most impressed by cockroaches because they’re able to survive against the odds, whether it’s human intervention or natural catastrophes.
How do you define integrated pest management (IPM)?
It has everything to do with using multiple tactics to manage pests below a tolerable level.
Which three management technologies will expand significantly in the next 10 years?
➤ Baiting technology: Baits offer selective use of insecticides with maximum environmental and human safety, as well as reduced use of insecticides.
➤ New generation insecticides/pesticides with lowest risk to human health and the environment: Within the past few years, new chemistry of insecticides have been registered that have high LD50 values compared with some of the organophosphate and chlorinated hydrocarbon insecticides. These new generation insecticides are environmentally friendly. Manufacturers are always searching for new green technology.
➤ Biotechnology or “genetically modified products”: Scientists are making substantial progress on genomic research that includes DNA and RNA technology. There are RNA products being tested against various insect pests with promising data. These products are target specific and offer clean and
What are the top three obstacles facing the pest management industry?
➤ Formal education: To understand the holistic pest control concepts, it’s important to know the basic biology, ecology and behavior of target pests. Such knowledge is gained through formal education and interaction with professionals in the same field. The changing technology requires much more knowledge, and it is only going to come through education.
➤ Inadequate training: Newly hired technicians are asked to provide service too soon and sometimes with improper supervision. In general, the pest control industry has too much turnover, and it may be because of lack of training and not making the technician a part of company culture. Many company
owners or managers offer minimum time for training and education because they feel technicians must be making money for the company all the time. Many companies are more profitable when they invest in training and retaining employees for the long-term.
➤ Too much emphasis on profit driven services: At times, the technicians are overloaded [with
work], so they make the maximum amount of money possible. This minimizes quality and customer service. Often, customers are unhappy and cancel the service. Companies with thorough service and customer relationships keep the accounts for longer and get repeat customers resulting in a healthy bottom line.
What are the industry’s top three opportunities?
Structural pest control, public health pest control and stored product pests. All of these can be grouped together under one umbrella. There always are new invasive species arriving through imports and exports.
When is the next Nebraska Urban Pest Management (UPM) Conference?
The 2013 UPM Conference is scheduled for Feb. 12 and 13 in Lincoln. The conference provides a unique opportunity for pest management professionals (PMPs) to listen to nationally and internationally known speakers about current topics that are important to the success of the pest control
industry. We have laboratory sessions with hands-on identification of pests and their damage, which are unique. These sessions are offered only by Nebraska in the U.S. The conference is principally attended by PMPs from Nebraska, but PMPs from South Dakota, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and
California also attend. This year’s speakers include Dr. Roger Gold, Dr. Michael Rust, Dr. Michael
Scharf, Dr. James Campbell, Dr. Mustapha Debboun, Ms. Gail Getty, Dr. Stephen Kells, Dr. Bill Donahue, Dr. Justin Schmidt and Dr. Gary Braness.
At a Glance
Dr. Shripat T. Kamble, Professor, Urban Entomology, University of Nebraska
Years in pest management: 38
Industry mentors: Dr. Roger Gold, Dr. Gary Bennett, Dr. Michael Rust, Dr. Charles Wright and Dr. John Osmun
Top three industry achievements:
➤ Horizontal and vertical movement of termiticides in various soils
➤ Fate of termiticides in various soils under field conditions
➤ Insecticide resistance in cockroaches
PMP Jerry Mix was editor/publisher of PMP until his retirement in 2004. Contact Mix, a member of the PMP Hall of Fame (Class of 2005), at email@example.com.