Protecting homes through pest control training

By Tracy Outlaw

If you’ve ever called on a pest control service to rid your home of termites, rats or other pests, you’ve benefited from Clemson’s public service programs.

Since 1949, Clemson has sponsored the Pest Management Professionals School in conjunction with the South Carolina Pest Control Association. More than 500 participants attended the most recent session in Columbia, SC.

“This three-day training is for technicians and managers to improve the quality and safety of urban pest management in South Carolina,” said Jackie Ellis, training instructor in Clemson’s entomology, soils and plant sciences department.

Nationally-recognized experts taught classes on bedbugs, inspections, cockroaches and wildlife pests.  Attendees also learned about new pest-management techniques, materials, and health and safety regulations. Clemson trainers included entomology faculty, Regulatory Services personnel and Extension agents.

The school has built up a strong regional and national reputation, attracting professionals from North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee, as well as South Carolina. In our state alone, there are more than 3,000 employees in the pest control industry.

“Because of the research, continuing education, and certification provided by Clemson PSA, our state’s citizens can have confidence that they are getting a safe and proper pest control treatment,” said Tom Fortson, a 40-year veteran of the pest control industry in South Carolina. “Many states have emulated Clemson’s public service programs for the pest control industry, viewing it as one of the best in the nation. From my professional perspective, Clemson PSA helps homeowners protect one of their most valuable assets: their homes.”

Larry Rowlett, a pest control operator from Columbia, said, “This school allows us to see other pest control operators and to talk about mutual problems and successes. It increases knowledge for all and helps us better serve our customers. It’s a win-win situation.”

For information: Jackie Ellis, 864-656-5048,