Melvin Knapp achieves ‘Associate Certified Entomologist International’ certification

Pest Control News speaks to Melvin Knapp, Killgerm’s Technical Manager (South), about achieving his Associate Certified Entomologist International certification.

I first heard about the ACE-I programme, in Birmingham UK, back in 2017 when attending the International Conference on Urban Pests. It was whilst attending a lecture on “Indoor arthropod communities and distributions in U.S. homes” delivered by Matt Bertone at ICUP 2017. Matt ended what was an interesting presentation by mentioning the Associate Certified Entomologist International qualification. The ACE-I is an international version of the Associate Certified Entomologist certification which has been available to Pest controllers (or Pest Management Professionals as they are known in the U.S.) since 2004. While it does not make you an entomologist (a degree from a University and relevant experience helps towards that) it is designed for pest controllers who do not have a higher degree in entomology. It is for those who wish to demonstrate a high level of achievement in education, training and learning within the pest control industry. The International version of the qualification became available to pest controllers around the world in 2014. After listening to Matt and always being up for a challenge I had it on my “bucket list”.

Fast forward to 2020 and a global pandemic. It is easy to become frustrated in a national lockdown when you cannot do all the things that you usually enjoy such as running face-to-face pest control training courses (plenty of online training of course!). However, the extra time at home gave me the opportunity I needed to tick that certificate off my bucket list. I contacted the Entomological Society of America who run the ACE-I programme and registered. There are several pre-requisites that are required before becoming an ACE-I including: a minimum of 5 years’ experience of working in the pest control industry, agree and abide to the ACE code of ethics, provide 2 letters of recommendation and reference and of course, pass the examinations.

There are 2 examinations which you must pass. The first exam is on pesticide safety (the ACE-International version omits any U.S. specific legislation and is generalised to suit pest controllers from around the world). The second tests four core knowledge domains which are: inspection and identification, selection and implementation of control methods, evaluation and monitoring. The list of pests covered in the exam is vast and although most of these are found around the world many are not typically found in the UK. However, I found learning about termites, (Order Isoptera) and spiders, (Order Araneae) most interesting. It also covers insects such has the brown marmorated stink bug, (Halyomorpha halys) which has been a pest in the U.S. for several years but is now starting to make appearances in the UK.

The ACE-I programme is well suited to anybody who is keen to expand their knowledge or has a senior or technical position within their company such as supervisors, field biologists and technical managers.
Further information on the ACE-I certification programme can be found on the ESA website: https://www.entocert.org/ACEI_overview

Dr Matthew Davies, Killgerm’s head of technical department, commented “It was a no-brainer for Killgerm to support someone of Melvin’s calibre through this highly relevant certification. His knowledge and enthusiasm led to a well-deserved success and this is further evidence of the high quality of our technical department. Congratulations Melvin!”