January 2018



Marty Overlilne
Aardvark Pest Management
Phildelphia, PA
Adam Witt
President Elect
Witt Pest Management
Pittsburgh, PA

Keith Hamilton
Chairman of the Board
J.C. Ehrlich
State College, PA

Central Division
Gary Lesher
Perry Pest Control
Landisburg, PA
Leland Manuel
Manchester, PA

Keith Jones
Archer Pest Control
Camp Hill, PA
Eastern Division  
Bryan Levengood
Thur-O Pest Mngmt
Elverson, PA

Mike Snyder
Township Pest Control
Warrington , PA
Rob Byer
Mountain Laurel , NJ
Northeast Division
Jeff King
The Pest Rangers
Hanover Twp., PA
Paul Kutney
The Pest Rangers
Larksville, PA
Peter Arnold
K-9 Bed Bug 
Detection Services
Pleasant Mount, PA
Western Division
Adam Witt
Witt Pest Management
Pittsburgh, PA
Scott Grill
Bill Grill Exterminating
Verona, PA
Sean Williams
Bill Grill Exterminating 
Verona, PA
Industry Liaison
Brian Smith
Sharon Hill, PA
Executive Director
Versant Strategies
Harrisburg, PA










Dear Friends:

What better way to kick off the new year than by assessing which member benefits you may be missing out on. Over the next 12 months, we will be featuring different joint member benefits that supports your bottom line. For a full listing of member benefits, check the PPMA website at  http://www.papest.org/membership/member-benefits/. This month, PPMA Vice President Jeff King showcases the Nissan Rebate Program through NPMA. 

PPMA has been asked to support a survey on tick control services. Your input as a member is EXTREMELY important. Be sure to click the information below. Answers will be kept anonymous.

If we at the Association's office can ever be of assistance, please feel free to contact us at (800) 842-9090 or cwright@versantstrategies.net.

  Team Versant  
Your insight needed!

Tick Control Services: A Survey of the Pest Management Industry (PA)

As you all know, ticks and the diseases they carry are becoming more and more of a concern for landscape and pest control professionals and their clients, in 2016 Pennsylvania ranked first in the nation with respect to Lyme disease, reporting nearly 9,000 confirmed cases. For more than a decade CDC and its agency partners have been looking at different approaches to this growing problem; now we in PPMA have a chance to add some "boots on the ground" input to help guide the approach for this emerging market.
If you are already encountering tick-related issues, or anticipate someday doing so, we strongly suggest adding your opinion early.

Access the survey here:

Become a Mentor!

My name is Scott Grill. I have spent my entire adult life in the pest control industry. The last 35 years of blood sweat and tears have gone into building what I consider to be a successful company. One thing is for sure, I could not have done on my own.

My father and I started our company when I was 19 years old. He had experience in the industry as a salesman and had just enough hands on experience to get us going. My earliest training was basically reading pesticide labels and going to the library to read up on insects and rodents. Man...I could have used the Internet back then.

We struggled as a company and understandably so.
It wasn't until a local municipality tried to create it's own set of regulations for pesticide applications that we sought out what was then called the Pennsylvania Pest Control Association for help.

I was asked by a couple of local board members to accompany them to a state board meeting to give a report. I was young and the thought of doing anything with my "competitors" seemed more threatening than anything else.

Well, long story short, we beat the local municipality and those two board members would be become lifelong friends...and mentors.

Over the years my circle of mentors began to grow, and so did my business. There was no problem that I couldn't overcome because if I didn't have the answer, I could find some who did.

Now that I'm a veteran of 35 years in the trenches, you can bet that anytime I get a call from one of my comrades in the industry, I will bend over backwards to help them out.

We have chosen a very unique way of making a living. There are very few of us. We need each other.
That's why I approached the Board of Directors of the PPMA and offered to spearhead a mentoring program.
The program isn't off the ground yet, but will be soon. 

We need your help.

I'm looking for people with experience in our trade who are willing to pay back a little. People who can remember what it was like to need a hand.
If you are still reading this article it could be people like you.

If being a mentor...sharing your experiences...might be something that you would be interested in, please contact me.

Scott Grill

Member Benefit Spotlight

Written by Jeff King of The Pest Rangers.
Pennsylvania is a joint state with the National Pest Management Association. What does this mean for you? You can take advantage of State and National benefits. Pennsylvania offers many educational credit seminars in four regions of the State as well as 811 Call Before you Dig annual fee reimbursement and many others. NPMA offers a ton of great benefits that could be found on their website under the member center tab. As both a PPMA and NPMA member you can easily save the cost, and more of your annual membership investment by taking advantage of exclusive members only discount and benefit programs.
Members have access to discounts and savings opportunities offered by many top companies. One new membership benefit offered by the NPMA is the Nissan Commercial Vehicle Discount Program. This program deeply discounts any Nissan vehicle you can add to your fleet. Cars, Trucks or Vans see an average savings between $3000- $5000.00 per vehicle. You still receive other incentives offered to commercial businesses that can qualify you for extra saving for up fitting vehicles with ladder racks, tool shelves or even a barrier for the cabin. This one benefit alone can save your company thousands and pay your membership for years to come. Looking to upgrade? This benefit also extends to the Infinity line of vehicles. For more information log onto www.npmapestworld.org; click on member center and then popular benefits. 
Jeffrey King is a member of the NPMA's Executive Leadership Program. For questions about benefits provided by the Pennsylvania or NPMA contact Jeff at Jeff@thepestrangers.com
Agriculture Department, Penn State Release Recommendations to Maintain Healthy, Diverse Pollinator Populations

Harrisburg, PA - Standing in front of one of the more popular exhibits at the Pennsylvania Farm Show - an educational display on the importance of bees to society - state Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today helped unveil a new report intended to support healthy pollinator populations in the face of challenges that have decimated some species.

The Pennsylvania Pollinator Protection Plan is the product of a collaborative effort by state officials, researchers, farmers, beekeepers, and the public, and according to Redding, further collaboration will be needed to reverse declining populations.

"Pollinators are absolutely essential to agricultural production," said Redding. "When three-quarters of all food crops benefit from insect pollination, but we're seeing mortality rates of about 40 percent per year, you know we have a problem, and it's one we must address. This report is the product of tremendous input from stakeholders and concerned citizens. It gives us sound recommendations to begin rebuilding our pollinator populations, but that's going to take the collective work of all of us and multiple sectors of our economy - from farmers and developers to transportation planners, homeowners and beekeepers."

In September, the department and Penn State's Center for Pollinator Research opened a public comment period for input on the first four chapters of the report, which reflected the input of 36 individuals representing 28 state and national organizations and stakeholder groups.

Subsequent input formed the basis for the report's fifth chapter, which provides recommendations for research, policy, communication and collaboration among stakeholders, and metrics against which the plan's effectiveness can be measured. The first four chapters provide an introduction and overview of the problem, as well as best practices to improve forage and habitat conditions, pesticide use, and management decisions by beekeepers.

Secretary Redding was joined today by department Deputy Secretary Fred Strathmeyer; Dr. Christina Grozinger and colleagues from the Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State; Stephen Repasky, a second-generation beekeeper from Pittsburgh and president of the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association; Brian Campbell of the Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association; and others concerned about pollinator populations and health.

Dr. Grozinger noted the plan is a living document and will be update annually, as needed. Repasky emphasized that beekeepers recognize the plan matters and encourages continued emphasis on practicality in future years.

Campbell talked about the importance of pollinators to agricultural production. Pollinators help to increase production on the parts of a plant that are edible and can increase seed production. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Penn State determined that Pennsylvania growers gain more than $250 million in fruit and vegetable production due to increased yield as a result of pollination from insects, and an additional $9 million in value from crops where pollination produces seeds.

The Pollinator Protection Plan cites research showing that approximately one-third of all studied insect species are struggling with population declines, including pollinators. For example, the number of managed honey bee colonies have declined more than 60 percent over the past 70 years and some beekeepers report overwintering losses of up to 90 percent of their population in recent years.

These declines have been attributed to the loss, degradation and fragmentation of pollinator habitats, pesticide use, and the introduction of new pests and pathogens. These challenges, along with continued human population growth and development and climate change, are expected to continue eroding pollinator populations absent meaningful changes.

The Pennsylvania Pollinator Protection Plan is in response to President Obama's 2014 memorandum calling on federal agencies to increase and coordinate efforts to improve bee and pollinator health by developing an integrated strategy.

The US Environmental Protection Agency was directed to work with state agencies to develop state pollinator protection plans to help mitigate the risk of pesticides to bees and other pollinators. One of the main goals of pollinator protection plans is to reduce pesticide exposure to pollinators through improved communication, coordination, and the use of best management practices by pesticide applicators, beekeepers, growers, landowners, and others. Pennsylvania's Pollinator Protection Plan addresses these and other issues.

Learn more about the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's work to support the agriculture industry at agriculture.pa.gov.

MEDIA CONTACT: Bonnie McCann - 717.603.2200 or bomccann@pa.gov

Update from Penn State Extension

Did you happen to miss the recent Penn State Pesticide Education Programs, Pesticide Highlights? Be sure to download it here.

Be sure you don't miss the PSU Pesticide Recertification Meetings.
News From NPMA

Last Chance to Get NPMA's Mobile Field Guide at the Introductory Rate

Start your new year off right by downloading NPMA's Mobile Field Guide for only $4.99 before the introductory price expires on January 31! After that, the price will increase to $8.99.

The NPMA Mobile Field Guide is the most advanced pest management tool available on a smartphone or tablet, and is available on both android and iOS devices. This powerful tool gives you access to up-to-date information and high-resolution images for over 200 different structural pests. In addition, you can submit questions and images directly to NPMA experts for assistance, create individual notes, take photos, reference the glossary or browse saved files.

Find the app in the Apple App Store and on Google play.
Upcoming Meetings          

The Meetings and Events section of the website is always the most up-to-date resource for happenings of the Association. Be sure to check it out!

February 20, 2018 - Central Division Spring Meeting, Mechanicsburg, PA

March 8, 2018 - Eastern Division Spring Meeting, Trevose, PA

March 18-20, 2018 - NPMA Legislative Day, Washington D.C.

The Eastern Division continues to hold its monthly meetings with varying topics of discussion on the second Thursday of every month at the Crowne Plaze in Trevose.  For more information on monthly topics and speakers, contact Sue at (215) 331-1121.
NJPMA Invites PPMA Members to their upcoming events.

The New Jersey Pest Management Association invites members of the Pennsylvania Pest Management Association to attend their upcoming events:

Wildlife Workshop, March 1, 2018

Both events will be held in in Piscataway, NJ. As of publishing, PA Credits are pending, but are expect to be official soon.

For more information, contact Ken Healy at ken@njpma.com.

Legislative Update

The information below represents legislative activity (including bill introductions) that has occurred since the last newsletter.  For a full listing of legislation that Versant is tracking for PPMA, please contact us at (717) 635-2320 or cwright@versantstrategies.net.  Activity marked HCO or SCO indicates a co-sponsorship memo which precedes the actual introduction of legislation and is designed to secure the support of other legislators prior to introduction as a bill.

The beginning of February marks the start of the annual budgeting process for state government in Pennsylvania. As the legislature prepares for the Governor's Budget Address next week, work must still continue with redrawing the Congressional District maps. Versant Strategies is paying close attention to the following legislation on your behalf:

HB 1001- Helm, Susan (R) - Act regulating home inspectors; establishing the Home Inspection Licensing Board; providing for licensure & practice, for disciplinary action, for remedies & for penalties; making an appropriation; & repealing provisions.

The bill has passed the Senate Labor and Industry Committee and awaits further action in the Senate.

HCO2882 - Cruz, Angel (D) - Directs the JSGC to conduct a study on pesticide exposure and poisoning, testing and reporting and issue a report.

The co-sponsorship memo was filed but a formal bill has not been introduced.

SB 936 - White, Donald (R) - Amends the Workers' Compensation Act, in liability and compensation, further providing for prescription drugs and the treatment of work-related injuries; and, in procedure, further providing for peer review.

The bill awaits a vote in the House of Representatives.
Increase Your Business Opportunities; Update your Find a Pro Listing Today
To update your company's service area, please follow the steps below:
  1. Log on to the Manage My Group area of the NPMA websitePlease note: in order to access the "Manage My Group" area of the NPMA website, you must be a company administrator. 
  1. Click on "Company Information" from the drop down menu.
  1. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find the Service Area section.
    1. Download the excel template found on this page.
    2. Update this template to include all of the zip codes that you service.
    3. Save the file on your computer.
    4. In the Service Area section click Choose File.  Locate the excel template file that you just saved. Click open.
    5. Click Upload file.
Once you've completed these steps your service on Find-a-Pro is instantly updated to include these new zip codes. 
If you are having problems accessing please contact NPMA at (703) 352-6762 or npma@pestworld.org.

Articles of Interest
01-26-2018 Educators share how to fight spotted lanternfly
JoAnn DeCesar, a master gardener, has armed herself against Berks County's spotted lanternfly invasion with a deadly weapon: a clear plastic juice bottle, the label peeled to better sneak up on the insects and bash them as they alight on trees outside her Ruscombmanor Township home.... - Reading Eagle

01-24-2018 Arctic air won't kill lanternfly eggs
If you go What: Spotted lanternfly public meeting. When: Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Where: Berks County Agricultural Center, 1238 County Welfare Road, Bern Township. Seating limited: To register, call the Penn State Extension office's customer service number at 877-345-0691 or visit bit.ly/... - Reading Eagle

01-21-2018 Beekeepers employ a variety of strategies in winter
The bees' knees stay warm inside trees. In nature, honeybees survive the winter by retreating inside their hives - often built in a tree cavity - and clustering together to stay warm. For local beekeepers, whose hives are often exposed to the elements, that means any number of measures to ensure that a colony survives the cold.... - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

01-19-2018 Rep. Smucker: Spotted lanternfly pest could 'devastate' Pennsylvania economy
If not stopped, the invasive spotted lanternfly pest could "devastate" Pennsylvania's economy and even cause serious disruptions to the global supply chain, according to U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker of West Lampeter Township. The alarming warnings are contained in a letter to a congressional... - Lancaster Intelligencer Journal

01-02-2018 Governor Wolf Signs Executive Order Strengthening Fight Against Invasive...
  (Press Release)