Pest Management doesn't bug Yokota community

Base Info
 Senior Airman Alex Brown, 374th Civil Engineer Squadron Pest Management technician, inspects equipment at the 374th Medical Group’s dining facility Dec. 19, 2012, at Yokota Air Base, Japan. During inspections, the pest management team looks for any recent insect activity and also set traps. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class John D. Partlow)
Senior Airman Alex Brown, 374th Civil Engineer Squadron Pest Management technician, inspects equipment at the 374th Medical Group’s dining facility Dec. 19, 2012, at Yokota Air Base, Japan. During inspections, the pest management team looks for any recent insect activity and also set traps. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class John D. Partlow)

Pest Management doesn't bug Yokota community

by: Airman 1st Class John D. Partlow | .
374th Airlift Wing | .
published: December 23, 2012

YOKOTA AIR BASE - Anyone who has accidentally left opened food outdoors overnight knows the large amount of insects it attracted the next day. Bugs are everywhere and can even invade your home or business when given the opportunity. Luckily for Yokota, the 374th Civil Engineer Squadron Pest Management team is always on duty.

The job of pest management technicians is to ensure a clean and healthy Yokota by removing and preventing insects from areas around the base.

"We deal with problems that bother people the most," said Senior Airman Perry Neang, 374 CES Pest Management technician. "Everything can run smoothly for a person professionally, but if they come home to find they have insect problems, their morale will plummet. We're here to make sure that never happens."

To ensure it doesn't happen, the pest management team inspects base facilities, especially those serving food.

"The inspections allow us to maintain insect-free working and dining facilities," Neang said. "We check traps we have set and look for any signs of insect activity."

While pest management technicians handle insects, their job takes on more responsibilities than people may know.

"We also pick up carcasses of dead animals," said Senior Airman Alex Brown, 374 CES Pest Management technician. "We remove the bodies as quickly as possible to ensure base cleanliness."

Brown went on to say they also spray weeds around the flight line to maximize the operability of Yokota's airfield.

When it comes to controlling insects in a service member's home, the workers at pest management are limited to the amount of proactive work they can do.

"We can spray the home with repellent, but wears off," said Brown. "Homeowners need to ensure they are taking the necessary precautions."

Yokota residents can keep their homes free of insects by ensuring windows are closed, food is properly stored and weather strips around doors and windows are free of cracks and tears.

When most people think about Yokota's operations, they probably don't think of the Pest Management office. For the team here, their impact is base-wide, and they wouldn't have it any other way.

"This is a job that is often overlooked, but carries a huge impact on the base," said Brown. "I'm glad I have a job that affects so many people in a good way."

Tags: Yokota Air Base, Base Info
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