SCPCA Newsroom

Terminix Donates $1 Million to Launch Urban Entomology Program

Terminix Service, Inc., the largest pest control company in the Carolinas, is pleased to announce a $1 million gift to launch the Urban Entomology Initiative at Clemson University.

This lead gift will be used to support research, education and training in urban entomology—the study of non-agricultural pests, focusing on solutions to pest problems in and around structures used by people.

“The ongoing study of urban entomology delivers crucial information and guidance to pest management professionals across the state,” said Terminix Technical Director and Board Certified Entomologist Kevin Hathorne, who is also a Clemson graduate. “Staying up to date on the latest training and best practices is vital for us to deliver quality service to our customers as well as recruit and retain talent.”

Clemson urban entomologists are well-respected in the field, often assisting both pest management professionals and citizens in identifying and confronting pest problems such as treatment resistance and new invasive species. Locally-owned Terminix Service has a long history of working with Clemson on the study and responsible management of nuisance pests which can contaminate food, spread disease and cause life-threatening allergic reactions.

“As a family business, Terminix Service, Inc. is deeply committed to bettering the communities where our employees work and live,” said Rion Cobb, vice president of human services. “We appreciate the long-term relationships that have developed over the years with Clemson and are proud to partner with them to protect the health and property of South Carolinians.”

The urban entomology endowment is in partnership with the South Carolina Urban Entomology Charitable Alliance and the South Carolina Pest Control Association, of which Terminix Service is a founding member.

For more information or to support the South Carolina Urban Entomology Charitable Alliance, click here.


Best Practices for Rodent Control

Compiled for the South Carolina Pest Control Association By Dr. Eric P. Benson, Clemson University

(Camden, SC, October 2020) Overview: Questions have arisen over the use of second-generation anticoagulant (SGA’s) rodenticides on Kiawah Island. While these products are important in rodent control, they may not be the best first “tool” in certain environments. In those sensitive areas like Kiawah Island, it will be best to diversify the methods or products used for rodent control. Multiple methods can provide the best results, delay resistance and reduce non-target exposure. Management plans are critical! The better you manage, the less rodenticides you’ll need. This document is an overview of practices that will help you develop effective management plans. Best Management Practices: Include monitoring, non-rodenticide strategies and rodenticide strategies. In addition, new technologies are being developed and resources are available. Application of rodent control strategies should be designed by each company for best management practices that responsibly meets the needs of their specific clients and community. Monitoring: Monitoring provides the information needed for best management practices. Monitoring includes:
  • Identification of the rodent species infesting an account.
  • Inspection of the areas conducive for rodent infestations.
  • Prediction of any potential rodent problems and correction before they become issues.
  • Decision on the best non-rodenticide and rodenticide strategies needed (e.g., targeted alterations as needed to the structure and surrounding landscape and placement of selected rodenticides.
  • Evaluation of the rodent control program over time with alterations in strategies as needed.
Non-rodenticide Strategies: Use practices to keep rodents from finding food, water and shelter where people live. This strategy can significantly reduce the use of rodenticides by limiting access to structures. These strategies include:
  • Sanitation by minimizing food and trash available for rodents.
  • Habitat alteration by minimizing access to water and shelter for rodents.
  • Exclusion by appropriate screening, caulking and sealing of access points used by rodents.
  • Trapping by using the right traps in the right locations for the specific rodent pests while securing traps in locations away from people, pets and non-target animals.
Rodenticide Strategies: In most cases, this involves the use of baits, though other options are available. When baiting
  • Choose the right bait and formulation for the rodent species causing the infestation.
  • Secure baits in bait stations.
  • Place stations and traps where rodents travel.
  • Use enough stations and product to do the job but don’t over treat.
  • Remove rodenticide baits once the problem has been addressed.
  • Follow all label directions!
New Technologies: Strategies for rodent control are constantly evolving. Professionals should keep up to date on new products and processes that may be an effective part of best management practices for their company. Some new technologies include:
  • Remote Monitoring Systems are designed to remotely alert pest management professionals of rodent activity in bait boxes and multi-catch traps. Various systems communicate rodent activity/capture via Wi-Fi connections to computers or hand-held devices. These systems can be expensive, but they can be cost-effective in directing PMPs to locations needing action.
  • Fertility Control works by reducing the reproductive capacity of rodent populations. This can enhance a rodent IPM program by minimizing the chances of populations rebounding after a successful treatment. Fertility control products are designed to reduce risk to non-target animals due to low concentration of the active ingredients and short half-life.
Resources: Detailed information on best management practices for rodent control are available. This includes: Handbooks
  • Corrigan, R. M. 2001. Rodent Control: A Practical Guide for Pest Management Professionals by Robert M. Corrigan. GIE Media. ISBN: 1-883751-16-0.
  • Corrigan, R. M. 2011. Rats and mice. In A. Mallis, D. Moreland, and S. A. Hedges, eds. The Mallis Handbook of Pest Control, 10th ed.Cleveland: GIE Publications pp. 11–119.
  • Marsh, R. E. 1994. Roof Rats. In S. E. Hygnstrom, R. M. Timm, and G. E. Larson, eds. Prevention and Control of Wildlife Damage, Vol. 1.Lincoln: Univ. Neb. Coop. Ext. pp. B.125–132.
Fact Sheets Websites

Use of SGA Rodenticides Kiawah Island

SCPCA Adopts Integrated Pest Management Plan For Rodent Control

(Camden, SC, August 2020) The SC Pest Control Association (SCPCA), Kiawah Town Council and Clemson Dept of Pesticide Regulation (CUDPR) recently met regarding the use of Second-Generation Anticoagulant (SGAs) and its effect on bobcats.  SCPCA has initiated education efforts to encourage pest management professionals to utilize an integrated pest management approach. There are 3,516 housing units on Kiawah of which 3,023 (or 86%) are serviced by seven SCPCA member companies who, as responsible corporate citizens, have voluntarily ceased using SGAs.

SCPCA in conjunction with CUDPR and Clemson Extension Service, and in keeping with the Town of Kiawah’s initial agreement for education resolve, we have created a training program to provide education and implementation strategies for alternative and effective Integrated Pest Management (IPM). SCPCA also supports Clemson’s research efforts to look at SGA’s in SC.  Together we can educate pest management professionals, residents, property management companies, visitors, golf course managers, contractors, and others about protecting wildlife on Kiawah. This is a much more effective way to reduce the use of SGA’s on Kiawah than the temporary ban requested by the Town which, will not remove SGA’s from their ecosystem immediately.

SGAs have been registered for use in the United States and South Carolina since the 1970’s as the products of choice for rodent control since that time – with no mention of adverse effect on the bobcat population until recently. Development has encroached on bobcat habitats in recent years. It is reported at, “…where bobcats now must share their natural habitat with increasing numbers of people, they are also hunted by farmers to protect their livestock. Despite being very adaptable animals, they are also threatened by habitat loss when populations are pushed into smaller and more dispersed areas of their once huge natural range.”

Every pest management professional is acutely aware of protecting man, wildlife, and the environment. We cannot solely focus on rodent control or the use of SGAs. It is important to answer the complex question about the habitat the animals are being forced into and how we can educate the entire community about how to maintain a critical balance between the needs of those who live in that community and the judicious use of pesticides, while protecting wildlife.

Excerpts from a recent SCPCA survey of pest management companies:

Company one…

“Yes, we perform rodent control on Kiawah Island. We have not been using SGA’s on Kiawah. We are in the process of removing all rodenticides from our rodent boxes and replacing them with a product that does not have a secondary kill… We have approximately 40 to 50 customers on Kiawah Island that currently have rodent control services either weekly, monthly, or quarterly. We are using snap traps and rodent boxes with and without snap traps.”

Company two…

“As of today, we have 731 unique customer accounts on Kiawah Island, many of which have multiple services. Let it be known that our company chose to immediately stop the use of SGAs on Kiawah Island in October 2019 just after the bobcat issue came to light. After speaking with Jim Jordan last October, our Vice President sent notification to all of our Kiawah customers informing them of our commitment to adhere to the biologist’s recommendations and our decision to change our product use.  We chose to make this switch because as a company we are stewards of the environment and to be quite honest, we are avid outdoorsman at heart with a deep love for the outdoors and wildlife.”

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Author: Dr. Eric Benson, ,PhD, BCE,  Professor Emeritus & Extension Entomologist,  College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences