Even when a building isn’t under attack by termites, the Sentricon® system can help keep it that way. Pest management professionals (PMPs) can now see Sentricon in action when they visit the IPM Experience House in Dallas, Texas, to receive hands-on pest control training. The facility, run by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, is designed to show PMPs what to look for and how to properly treat for common household and commercial pests.
“Adults learn better by seeing and doing things first-hand,” says Mike Merchant, professor and extension urban entomologist at the Texas A&M Extension Service. “We wanted to provide that kind of learning environment so technicians can get the basic training they need to prepare themselves for their first job in the industry.”
What started as an idea four years ago became a reality this spring. Fashioned from an old dormitory, the house includes a residential living room and kitchen, pantry, commercial dishwashing station, restaurant seating area with booths, nursing home room and hotel room. These rooms showcase everything from wood-destroying insects and cockroaches to bedbugs and rodents.
Each room simulates a different pest problem, and next to each feature is a QR code that directs visitors to various websites with additional information or videos.
“We created the house to be a self-guided tour,” Merchant says. “PMPs can spend as much or as little time as they’d like in each room, depending on their professional focus.”
To bring the learning outdoors, Dow AgroSciences donated and installed Sentricon stations around the front and side of the home’s perimeter. While there are currently no active termites at the site, Merchant is hoping some show up in the stations to provide a valuable lesson in termite control.
“Dow has been a huge encouragement to us in getting this house put together,” Merchant says. “They were our first donor and also one of the largest donors. The living room is aptly named the Sentricon Room.”
Many PMPs may not be familiar with Sentricon, so this is an opportunity to introduce the system, show them how to install and service the stations and explain the science behind the technology.
“We want to help PMPs understand the ins and outs of pest control early on, so they can feel confident and enjoy what they do,” Merchant says.
The second phase of the IPM Experience House is still under construction. When completed, the site will also have a covered pavilion to show an open chimney, an emergency spill control area and other features that can’t be displayed indoors.
To learn more, visit http://citybugs.tamu.edu/experiencehouse/.