How effective are your training materials?
It is Pesticide Safety Education Month! The Environmental Protection Agency brings awareness to Pesticide Safety Training every February. On their website, they offer tips for everyone, from business owners to pest management professionals to homeowners, to use pesticides responsibly. However, effective and consistent trainings are key to always being successful product stewards.
No matter what industry you work in, trainings can be challenging. As the trainer, creating and delivering materials that are compelling and convey all of the critical information can be overwhelming. As the trainee, sitting through hours of dry information, some of which you have seen before, can feel mind numbing. However, continued education is vital to ensure consistent results while keeping personnel and homeowners safe.
You may consider taking this month as an opportunity to review your training materials and ask yourself, “What can I do to make this more engaging?” Investing resources to create the best training experience as possible helps everyone stay safe and helps you grow your business by building trust with your customers through reliable results.
Can you design your experiments to better match the field?
Generating data in the laboratory to evaluate whether or not a potential pest control or surface disinfection product will work in the field can be challenging. Very easily, a scientist can develop a protocol that generates promising data in the laboratory only to find out that efficacy does not translate in the field. Thus, being able to replicate field conditions accurately in the laboratory is critical to successfully evaluating a product.
Research conducted in Europe wanted to know if the World Health Organization’s arm-in-cage test represented landing rates of wild mosquitoes. To do this, researchers counted the number of times a mosquito landed on a person in three scenarios: in the wild where mosquitoes are known to be abundant, in a room with different densities of mosquitoes, and in an arm-in-cage test with 200 mosquitoes. They found that under these conditions, the arm-in-cage test had 8.5X more mosquito lands compared to mosquito lands from the field.
There are a couple of implications from these results. One, the research indicates that a different test than the arm-in-cage may be more appropriate to mimic conditions encountered in the field. Two, it also suggests that arm-in-cage tests could be optimized to more closely replicate field conditions and ultimately use less resources during the development of the product.
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