The Georgia Structural Pest Control Training Facility

Summary

The Georgia Structural Pest Control Training Facility was built to train and educate termite control companies on the proper treatment of homes and businesses against termites. An addition to the facility was made in 2007, allowing termite control training programs to be expanded. In 2013 the facility's size and scope doubled. In addition to existing termite control programs, components were added that will allow us to provide programs in: Commercial Pest Control, School IPM, Bed Bugs (a full bedroom has been added), and Residential Pest Control (a full home kitchen has been added).

Situation

Subterranean termites are the most economically important structural insect pest encountered by Georgia homeowners. In Georgia, they account for millions of dollars in homeowner expenditures for preventative and remedial treatment against infestation as well as repair of termite-damaged structures. Each year in Georgia, approximately 1,200 pest management firms (including 100 new businesses) employing 8,000-10,000 Georgians serve the diverse needs of Georgia homeowners and businesses by ensuring an environment free of termites and other pests.

Response

In response to the need for a trained and educated workforce, the University of Georgia, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Georgia Department of Agriculture cooperated in the establishment of the Georgia Structural Pest Control Training Facility, located on the UGA Griffin Campus. The Training Facility is a 3,000+ square foot, partially-built, cut-away home used to train and educate termite control professionals, regulatory inspectors, and cooperative extension service personnel on the proper, safe application of termite control products and products used for the control of pests in homes, restaurants, and schools. Topical workshops (1 to 1.5 days each) provide continuing education credit by delivering onsite demonstrations and field activities on topics relevant to the workshop's intent. A primary teaching approach is to provide situations in which participants learn that they are making mistakes and then develop strategies for their correction. A substantial component of several workshops includes a hands-on insect identification laboratory, where attendees are shown pest arthropods specific to their area of business.

Impact

Employees from several hundred pest control companies in dozens of Georgia cites have attended the workshops. Participants also have come from Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, and Maryland. Reception of the workshops has been very positive. Attendees have commented that, "This program is the best training class I have ever been to"; "Outstanding seminar that I would suggest to anyone in the industry"; "Fantastic group of informed professionals. Every tech in any company should be required to attend".

State Issue

Worker Education and Safety

Details

  • Year: 2016
  • Geographic Scope: Multi-State/Regional
  • County: Spalding
  • Program Areas:
    • Agriculture & Natural Resources

Author

    Suiter, Dan

Collaborator(s)

CAES Collaborator(s)

  • Ames, Lisa
  • Forschler, Brian T.
  • Gardner, Wayne Allan
  • Hinkle, Nancy C.

Non-CAES Collaborator(s)

  • Alex Conti (Ga. Dept. Ag.)
  • Caralee Hagood (Ga. Dept. Ag.)
  • Dennis Judy (Allgood Pest Solutions)
  • Derrick Lastinger (Ga. Dept. Ag.)
  • Janet Bunn (Ga. Dept. Ag.)
  • Jennifer Wren (Ga. Dept. Ag.)
  • Kenny Spradley (Ga. Dept. Ag.)
  • Kevin Hancock (Ga. Dept. Ag.)
  • Nancy Collier (Ga. Dept. Ag.)
  • Timothy Taylor (Ga. Dept. Ag.)
  • Travis Whitley (Ga. Dept. Ag.)
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