The Virginia Pest Management Association (VPMA) has designated two new Master Technicians to a growing group of Virginia pest management professionals (PMPs), bringing the total number to 77.
Master Technicians have successfully completed at least four individual workshops focusing on different pest groups to qualify for this prestigious designation. By attending workshops on Rodents and Cockroaches, Ronnie Eroh with 1st Defense Termite & Pest Control in Powhatan, and Patrick Wallace with RichPro Pest Management in Richmond, met the criteria.
Realizing that consumers have many choices when selecting a professional pest management company, the VPMA created this hands-on training program as a way for pest management companies to educate their technicians in a way that sets them apart as experts. The Master Technician Program prepares PMPs to be the “problem solver” for their customers in all pest matters.
In October, VPMA hosted the Master Technician: Rodents and Master Technician: Coackroaches Courses in downtown Richmond. The Rodents course included discussions of biology and habits of commensal rodents, recent regulatory changes to rodenticide use, a hands-on demonstration of rodent elimination equipment, and exclusion techniques. In addition, the class embarked on a walking tour of downtown Richmond after dark to inspect for rodent evidence and harborage. The Cockroaches course included species identification using high-powered microscopes, as well as discussions of the biology and habits of cockroaches. Hands-on activities including baiting and monitoring for cockroaches, as well as a laboratory test of the efficacy of different baits were conducted.
The Master Technician Program provides technicians with in-depth, hands-on training in pest identification, biology and behavior; and inspection and treatment methods. Workshops are currently available for Pest Ants, Termites, Occasional Invaders (including Stink Bugs), Bed Bugs, Cockroaches, Rodents and Pest Flies. Once an individual has successfully completed all aspects of at least four pest group workshops, he or she receives the designation of Master Technician.
The Master Technician Program’s curriculum coordinator and lead trainer, Dr. Dini Miller from Virginia Tech, says, “Technicians rise to the challenge when given the opportunity to expertly identify and study insects that they commonly, or not so commonly, encounter in the field. The scientific laboratory setting of the Master Technician Program encourages them to explore the intricate facets of each insect group.”