Entomology prevents unwanted pests from intruding

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Montse Ramirez
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Most people cringe at the sight of an insect; some will smash it; others will run from it and let someone else do the 'dirty work'.

A team of two airmen and two civilians often perform the 'dirty work' by taking away little everyday annoyances that may infest us, to ensure members here have peace of mind.

At this Air Force Global Strike Command base the 509th Civil Engineer Squadron entomology shop's mission is to provide control to any pest which poses an actual or potential problem to the health, morale, safety or welfare of base personnel or damage to air force property.

However, insects are not the only nuisances this team faces on a daily basis.

Tech. Sgt. Byron Kacprzyk, 509th CES NCO in charge of entomology, said the most common pests here are weeds, ants, spiders, mice and raccoons. These species are found in places ranging from perimeter fences all the way to B-2 Spirit hangars and food facilities.

"We perform weekly pesticide sprays on the flightline to get rid of weeds, " he said. "They are considered foreign object debris and can be hazardous to the B-2."
Sergeant Kacpryzk said weekly inspections are only a small portion of their mission.

"Our shop gets numerous calls from base housing about pests," he said. "The most common one is for ants and spiders."

In addition to inspections (on and off the flightline) and house calls, the entomology shop also captures animals such as skunks and raccoons. They transport them to an off-base government owned land to stop them from burrowing through trash or harming people.

Sergeant Kacprzyk said the most important step in achieving a pest-free facility is prevention. The best way to prevent a nuisance of any size is by sanitizing installations inside and out.
"By making sure the inside of your office or house is clean and organized, you decrease the chances of having a pest," Sergeant Kacprzyk said. "Also focus on the outside. Trim your grass and rake the leaves close to buildings to provide the least amount of space where bugs reside."

To prevent bugs from entering unwanted territories, Sergeant Kacprzyk said to ensure doors and windows are properly sealed and to place insect traps near entrances and corners. After a few weeks, it is be unlikely that the trap will be empty.
If prevention is not enough to tackle weeds and insects, Sergeant Kacprzyk said the next step is to use chemical as a means.

To ensure skunks, raccoons and stray cats don't become an annoyance, Sergeant Kacpryzk said the most important step is not to feed them and to ensure trash is secured.
"If animals are seen around that aren't causing damage to property or threatening personnel, leave them and don't mess with them," he said.

For more information or to report a pest, call civil engineer customer at (660) 687-6350.