July 2014 






Register Today for the 2014 SPMAO Annual Golf Tournament!   

When: Thursday, September 11, 2014


Where: Triangle Creek Golf Club

               Thornton, Ontario


Fee: $125 per Golfer Includes power cart with GPS capabilities, green fees, valet bag drop, practice range balls, and a BBQ lunch and dinner.


For more details and to register online, click here.


We hope to see you there! 


Understanding the Connection Between Food Safety and Pests

By Dr. James E. Sargent  


Most people donıt understand the connection between pests and food safety, but pests are second only to humans in contaminating food.

While people are encouraged to wash their hands before handling food to prevent contamination, pests donıt wash their feet, which can be full of foodborne pathogens, before walking on food or food contact surfaces. They also donıt go to the restroom for their excretions, which are loaded with foodborne pathogens. Just the presence of insects (e.g., cockroaches, flies, ants, etc.), rodents (e.g., mice, rats, etc.), birds, or other pests provides the potential for food safety disaster that can risk the future of your company and its employees.


Insects are poikilotherms, which means they are unable to maintain a constant body temperature and instead take on the temperature of their surroundings. That means as the temperature goes up so does the number of pests and the pressures upon food facilities. The warmer weather also means insects are more active including eating, defecating, reproducing, dispersing, infesting, damaging, contaminating and everything else.


As summer progresses, there are many more insects (and other pests) outdoors that could end up indoors and contaminate food. Thatıs why contaminated food and cases of foodborne illness tend to increase during warm weather. However, most people donıt realize this correlation. But, that is exactly why pest exclusion, prevention, and control are especially critical during the summer. 


NPMA Technical Update: The Opossum  


As the only marsupial native to North America, the opossum is quite an interesting creature.  Like their more beloved kangaroo relatives, female opossums carry their developing offspring (they don't have a unique name like 'joeys') in a pouch.  The North American/Virginia opossum, 
Didelphis virginiana, averages 38 cm to 50 cm in body length and can weigh up to 6.5 kilograms. A good size comparison would be a large housecat. The Virginia opossum is native to the southeastern United States, but is has worked its way northward and is now considered common throughout southern Ontario.

Opossums are strictly nocturnal, so you are very unlikely to see one out during daylight.  They live in a variety of habitats and although they prefer living in forested areas, they are found in urban, rural, and suburban places and can den under houses, beneath porches and decks, and even in attics!  They may make short-term use of burrows excavated by other animals, too, but don't dig their own.  Opossums spend most of the year alone but do get together during mating season.  Opossums are excellent climbers and are aided by their long, hairless, prehensile tail that they can wrap around tree branches.  There is a common notion that possums like to hang upside-down by their tails; while young possums are occasionally observed doing this, adults are too heavy. 


In addition to keeping their babies in a pouch, opossums are known to carry ectoparasites like ticks and fleas with them, too.  As if you needed any more reasons to keep your distance, opossums have been implicated in transmitting tularemia to humans and can harbor a variety of nasty pathogens like murine typhus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, leptospirosis, and relapsing fever.  Rabies are actually rarely reported in opossums, but remain a possibility.  

Opossums have a varied diet, including insects, fruits, vegetables, garbage, and pet food, but prefer feeding on carrion when available.  Foraging opossums have been known to frighten outdoor pets, and the response of dogs and cats may be one of the first signs your customers notice.  When threatened, opossums respond in two distinctly different ways: either by hissing and baring their teeth, or playing dead (complete with lying on their back with their tongue hanging out) until the threat is gone.  

Control of opossums around structures centers on exclusion, sanitation, habitat modification, and live trapping. As with all other wildlife, poisoning is not allowed within Ontario. If opossums have been found to be present and feeding in an area, but you are unsure if they have a den on the property, securing potential food sources (like pet food and garbage cans) is a good place to start. Opossums are often nomadic and may move on if food and water are no longer present. If you have determined that one or more opossums are established on a customer's property, consider your next options thoroughly before proceeding.  


Ladder Safety Training Online Course    

Provinces across Canada regulate the use of ladders in all workplaces because the improper use of a ladder could cause significant injuries. Cut training costs, minimize time lost, and reduce the cost of compliance by having your employees complete their Ladder Safety training online. Click here to learn more about the training course.

As a SPMAO member, you are eligible to take the online course at the discounted price of $12.95 + HST per unit. To take the course, please contact Jennifer Pongracz at [email protected] or 519.850.4000 x 234 and mention the discount code "SPMA 1". 


Tiny Insects Are Munching Into Farm Profits 

LFP Press, July 7, 2014 (Ontario)


They're small but mighty, and they're wreaking havoc on wheat fields in Southwestern Ontario. Farmers from Sarnia to Strathroy are battling the cereal leaf beetle, a pest that could pose a serious threat to this year's wheat crop. Read more...


Potentially Dangerous Ticks Spreading in SW Ontario 

St Thomas Times Journal, July 3, 2014 (Ontario)


The number of blacklegged ticks in Southwestern Ontario appears to be on rise, based on the results of testing on ticks collected by or submitted to health units. Read more...


Save the Date for the 2015 SPMAO Annual Conference  

Save the date! The 2015 SPMAO Annual Conference will be held on January 21-22, 2015 at the Hilton Garden Inn Vaughan. Stay tuned for more details.

Click here to view presentations from the 2014 Annual Conference. 


Join the Conversation on my.NPMAPestWorld.org  

NPMA recently launched a new members-only community and tool kit, My.NPMAPestWorld.org, where you can connect and engage with other NPMA members in real time. Recent hot discussion topics include service vehicles, uniform shoes, fleet management tools, and much more. Log in today to join the conversation! 

To get started, go to my.npmapestworld.org and log in using either your NPMA Individual ID or your email address and your temporary password (npmamember). 

Questions? Please contact NPMA at [email protected].


Make Plans to Attend PestWorld 2014  

PestWorld, the premier event in the professional pest management industry, will be held at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Florida, Oct. 21-24, 2014.  


At PestWorld you will:

  • Network with more than 3,000 other pest management professionals, researchers and vendors from around the world.
  • Discover the latest business trends and learn how to apply these innovative ideas into your business.
  • Earn valuable recertification credits at educational sessions led by world-renowned experts.

For more details and registration visit http://www.npmapestworld.org/pestworld2014.


PWIPM Accepting Nominations for the Professional Empowerment Grant  
PWIPM is currently accepting nominations for their annual professional empowerment grant. This grant will be awarded to one female who is interested in advancing or securing a career in pest management. Click here to view submission guidelines. 


NPMA's Women of Excellence Award recognizes women who advance the pest management industry every day, in every way. The international honor is open to women across the pest management industry - PMP's, manufacturers, research organizations, etc. - who demonstrate outstanding leadership and have made notable contributions to the development and growth of the profession, their business, and other women in the industry.

An independent judges' panel will select one award recipient who will be recognized at PestWorld 2014, October 21-24 in Orlando, Fla.

Click here to nominate a candidate today!


NPMA is currently accepting nominations for the Young Entrepreneur Award, sponsored by Rentokil.

This is the third year NPMA will recognize young entrepreneurs 40 years or younger working in the professional pest management industry. Applicants will have demonstrated an ability to create or develop an industry innovation or brought a meaningful industry concept to fruition.  Nominations may be submitted online. Self-nominations will be accepted as well. All nominations must be received by 5 p.m. ET on Aug. 15, 2014.

Applicants will be evaluated by an independent panel of industry experts on:
  • Notable contributions made to his or her company in a management level capacity
  • Contributions to the pest management industry
  • Personal leadership and community involvement
The panel of judges will select one award recipient who will be announced during PestWorld 2014 Oct. 21-24 in Orlando.