D-M Pest Management

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Saphfire Cook
  • 355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The local area has various creatures indigenous to the desert climate and many of them can deliver a nasty sting or bite. The 355th Civil Engineer Squadron Pest Management Office is D-M's first line of defense against these hazards.

The PMO deals with all sorts of pests, from insect, to amphibian to mammal.

"Different places on base have different problems," said Mr. Nick Kellogg, 355th CES entomology specialist. "We could be called down to the child development center to take care of some ants or to an office to trap a miner's cat."

The two most common nuisances on base are snakes and bees.

"Bees in a swarm may sting you once or twice if you get too close, but when they're protecting a hive, they will attack as a unit," Kellogg said. "Hives and swarms are found all over D-M."

In addition to pest control, the PMO educates Airmen on indigenous wildlife. They keep several commonly-seen species in an observation room that is open to the public.

"All of the animals were caught on D-M, except for the Kingsnake and the Gila Monster," said Staff Sgt. Danielle Gonzalez, 355th CES pest management technician. "We use the room to educate people on species they may run into."

For example, the Gila Monster is considered a protected species and it is against Arizona law to harm one.

"You can face heavy fines for killing, trapping or collecting Gila Monsters," Gonzalez said.

The observation room also holds a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, the biggest species to ever be caught on D-M.

"He's about four and a half feet long," Gonzalez said.

The observation room is open to any member of the Desert Lightening Team.

"One of our main reasons for having the room is to introduce people to local wildlife in a safe environment," Gonzalez said. "They get to hear the snakes rattle so they know what it sounds like and that helps them be aware of their surroundings when they are outside."

To set up a visit to the observation room, call the PMO at 228-5368.