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Entomology keeps TAFB clear of pests

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kevin Tanenbaum
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Everywhere has critters and crawlers that go bump in the night, and Tyndall Air Force Base is no exception.

Whether it be ants, roaches, spiders, snakes, rodents, bats, snakes or even the occasional alligator on the flight-line, the base Entomology office is here to help.

The three-man base Entomology shop ensures working areas are free of numerous types of nuisances year round, especially in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael.

“Entomology is dealing with bugs and rodents and basically everything creepy crawly,” said Doug Bailey, 325th Civil Engineer Squadron pest control lead. “Everyone kind of short hands us by calling us just ‘base Entomology,’ but we handle all kinds of encounters with critters.”

Tyndall has added issues brought on by the category five hurricane that struck the base in October 2018.

“Hurricane Michael has really forced us to stay on top of rats and rodents because of all the buildings that have been abandoned,” said Bailey. “The sewage systems are drying out and leaving openings so we have to stay on top of it, or this base would be infested.”

The Entomology shop serves the base so Airmen can remain focused on making Tyndall a better place, even when added issues from the hurricane are put on their plate.

The day-to-day operations of the shop begin when someone puts in a call to customer service, and from there a work order is created, said Bailey. The shop can work five to 10 work orders in a day, using odorless chemicals and baits to solve the problem.

The use of odorless chemicals and baiting techniques serve as a safe alternative to pesticides that use toxic chemicals that can cause workplace disturbances and cause harmful side effects to personnel.

“They contain a low amount of active ingredient, which the Air Force is pushing, and baits are some of the best ways to solve issues,” said Andrew Fox, 325th CES pest control technician. “These options work well – they just take a little bit longer. Most of the time, the issues aren’t something that can’t wait since it’s already been brewing for a while.”

The heavy use of active ingredient and monthly visits from pest control are trends the Air Force and the Department of Defense are trying to end, said Fox.

Rather than these using types of evasive treatments, Bailey and his team attempt to treat the issue precisely so that chemicals are not overused and cause safety hazards.

New issues like spraying and rodents are always coming to the shop and they work hard at resolving these issues to make Tyndall a better place in the wake of Hurricane Michael.

 “It’s a wide variety of stuff, and each day you don’t know what kind of work order that you are going to get, but it stays interesting,” said Fox.