Termite School Trains Pest Management Professionals on Latest Techniques

Professor and Endowed Chair in Structural Entomology Dr. Ed Vargo teaching a class

Professor and Endowed Chair in Structural Entomology Dr. Ed Vargo leading a classroom lecture on the basics of termites

COLLEGE STATION, Texas–Twenty-one pest management professionals convened at the Rollins Urban and Structural Entomology Center to learn the latest termite control techniques at the Philip Hamman Termite Control Training School on March 24-26.

The three-day-long event was held to allow pest control and other professionals interested in termite control to receive the proper training in the latest techniques on how to treat and control termites in structures.

Each session included various hands-on demonstrations and classroom lectures that allow the participants to learn how to properly apply the appropriate technologies and proven methods to protect structures from being infested by termites.

Chris Keefer demonstrating equipment to crowd

Chris Keefer demonstrating various equipment pest control professionals use to treat termites.

Some of the hands-on demonstrations included conducting a walkthrough of various structures that could be encountered in termite treatment and inspections, how to properly drill through different surfaces to treat termites, and proper applications of termiticide, baiting, as well as safety precautions.

Participants also had the chance to do a hands-on inspection walkthrough using various tools and learn how to properly report their findings with the right documentation. On Thursday afternoon, participants were then given a written exam and received a certificate of completion, along with several continuing education units upon completion.

Assistant Professor and Extension Entomologist Dr. Robert Puckett stressed the importance of having these trainings for the pest management industry.

“Termite treatment strategies and available termiticides are constantly evolving. Additionally, treatment strategies often involve very ‘invasive’ procedures that can be very stressful for property owners,” he said. “As a result, pest management professionals must be precise in their diagnosis of termite infestations, the identification of termite species involved, and in the implementation of control strategies. Additionally, they must operate with the safety of their clients, themselves, and non-target organisms in mind at all times.”

The trainings also allow pest management professionals the chance to see all aspects of how to properly manage termites and to ask questions if needed about changes, Puckett said. Also, the trainings satisfy the eight-hour minimum state requirements needed for termite technicians and helps people to prepare for the Texas state category exam.

“Our comprehensive training provides pest management professionals exposure to all aspects of termite management in an environment in which they are encouraged to communicate openly with instructors and colleagues,” Puckett said. “As a result, attendees build their level of competency and confidence with regards to the proper management of termite infestations.”

“Everything has been great and there are a lot of great hands on demonstrations,” said Alberto Gonzalez of Frio Pest Control and Landscaping in Leakey.

Puckett enjoyed working with the participants and said it is a great opportunity for both Extension and the Urban and Structural Entomology program.

“Teaching classes like this is one of the most satisfying components of my position with Texas AgriLife Extension and at the Rollins Urban and Structural Entomology Facility. This is an impactful course, and I know that the attendees leave with a refined knowledge of the safest and best termite management practices,” he said. “They begin to think of our laboratory and the Department of Entomology as a resource that they can depend on for information and assistance.”

Professor and Endowed Chair in Structural Entomology Dr. Ed Vargo was very pleased with this year’s turnout.

“Our first Philip J. Hamman Termite Control Training School at the new Rollins Urban and Structural Entomology Facility was a great success,” he said. “The new facility, with its stylish conference room and state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, provided a relaxed and stimulating environment for the participants to expand their knowledge and technical skills in subterranean termite management. We look forward to the next termite training school.”

For more information on the Philip Hamman Termite School, see http://termiteschool.tamu.edu

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