The ACE program is designed to benefit the practicing pest control professional. You do not need an advanced degree to participate, just a solid grasp of the practical aspects of applied entomology. There are two versions of the ACE program -- one for those who are residents of the U.S.A. and one for those who are not.

U.S.A. ACE applicants without an academic entomology degree:

ACE applicants without a bachelor's degree (or higher) in entomology must have the following:

  • A  current US state, US military, territory, or tribal-issued license or certificate that allows the holder to apply pesticides in an urban, industrial, or structural setting without supervision. This licensure must require continuing education to remain current (if the applicant’s state does not require ongoing education to hold a license then the applicant is automatically exempted from this portion of the requirements). Applicant must send a copy of this document to  ESA's Certification Coordinator with completed application,
  • A minimum of 5 years of verifiable pest management experience in the United States as proven by a resume, CV, or attestation of employment from your employer.
  • The ability to take and pass an online test of your knowledge of structural pest control,
  • Two letters of professional reference. These should be from current or former employers, major clients, professional colleagues, or others who can speak to your professionalism, entomological knowledge, and your ethical standards.
  • The application fee, which includes your first year of certification and the online examination, and
  • A willingness to adhere to the ACE Code of Ethics (below).

U.S.A. ACE applicants who hold an academic entomology degree:

For those applicants who also hold an advanced degree in entomology or a related life science, the requirements are slightly different. A copy of the applicant's academic transcripts must accompany the application in order to claim the lower experiential requirements and all the other requirements remain the same. 

  • A bachelor's degree in entomology (or a related life science) reduces the requirement to 3 years of verifiable pest management experience in the United States attained post-degree.
  • A master's degree in entomology (or a related life science) reduces the requirement to 2 years of verifiable pest management experience in the United States attained post-degree.
  • A PhD in entomology (or a related life science) reduces the requirement to 1 year of verifiable pest management experience in the United States attained post-degree.

Non-U.S.A. applicants to ACE:

The requirements for ACE application are mostly the same. However, since a pesticide applicators license is not required globally, ESA does not require it of any applicants for ACE-International. Instead, applicants must take and pass a second examination on their knowledge of pesticide safety. All other requirements are the same as identified above. Click here to learn more about ACE-International and apply.


ACE Code of Ethics

For Associate Certified Entomologists-Pest Control


The profession of Entomology is increasingly important to the welfare and progress of human society. Associate Certified Entomologists (ACE)s have the position and authority to render effective service to humanity, in keeping with high standards of ethical conduct. In order that the honor and dignity of the profession be advanced and maintained, the Entomological Society of America (ESA) has established the following code to define the professional conduct and ethics, binding on ACEs.


1          The ACE's knowledge and skills will be used for the betterment of human welfare.

1.2        The ACE will share in sustaining the laws, institutions, and burdens of the community.


2.1        The ACE will follow standard IPM guidelines in the performance of all of his or her professional duties – ensuring proper regard for the safety, health, and welfare of the public and environment; documenting findings as appropriate and required; and keeping all stakeholders informed of the process.

2.2        The ACE will be honest and impartial, and will preface any one-sided statements, criticisms, or arguments by clearly indicating on whose behalf they are made.

2.3        The ACE will express an opinion on an entomological subject only when it is founded on adequate knowledge and honest conviction, and will be factual in all estimates, reports, and testimonies.


3.1        The ACE will strive to advance the science and art of entomology, to guard and uphold its high standard of honor, and to conform to the principles of professional conduct.

3.2        The ACE will cooperate in edifying the profession by exchanging information with  entomologists, and by contributing to the work of technical societies and the technical press, where disclosure of such information does not conflict with the interests of clients and employers.

3.3        The ACE will strive to promote the public’s awareness and perception of pest management, pest management professionals, and all facets of the pest management business, taking special care of his/her responsibilities as an ACE to defend the honor and prestige of the entomological aspects of the pest management profession that are encapsulated by the ACE program.

3.4        The ACE, when referring to the certification granted by the ESA, shall always use the full title of Associate Certified Entomologist or ACE, rather than abbreviating to Certified Entomologist or only Entomologist. The ACE will seek to inform others of the prestige of entomology and will immediately report to the ESA any misuse or misrepresentation of the terms entomology, entomologist, Associate Certified Entomologist, Board Certified Entomologist, or derivatives thereof.



4.1        The ACE will act as a faithful agent or trustee for each employer or client, and will not knowingly engage in illegal work or unethical practice, or knowingly cooperate with any person so engaged.

4.2        The ACE will undertake only those entomological assignments for which he or she is qualified.  The ACE will obtain, or advise the employer or client to obtain, the assistance of specialists whenever the employer's or client's interests are so served best, and will cooperate with such specialists.

4.3        The ACE will indicate to the employer or client alternatives to recommended courses of action and the expected consequences of each recommended action and alternative.

4.4        The ACE will inform the employer or client of any financial interest, or other conflicting interest, he or she has in any person, material, device, or concept which is or might become involved in a project or work for the employer or client.  Decisions regarding entomological or business services to be performed shall not be influenced by such interests.

4.5        The ACE will act fairly and justly toward vendors and contractors, selecting their products and services on the basis of merit and value.

4.6        The ACE will not disclose information concerning the business affairs or technical processes of present or former employers or clients without their consent.

4.7        The ACE will not accept compensation, financial or otherwise, from more than one party for the same service, or for other services pertaining to the same work, without the consent of all interested parties.


5.1        The ACE will give credit for pest management and entomological work or advice to whom it is due.

5.2        The ACE will promote solidarity and harmony with fellow pest management professionals, respect their judgment, and support them collectively and individually whenever possible against unjust claims and accusations.

5.3        The ACE will not accept any engagement to review the professional work of a fellow pest management professional (except in litigation and editing of technical or scientific papers) without the knowledge of such person, unless the person's connection with the work has been terminated.

5.4        The ACE will not injure intentionally the professional reputation, prospects, or practice of another pest management professional.  However, proof that another ACE or BCE has done anything unethical, illegal, or unfair in a professional capacity, should be communicated to the ESA as soon as possible.

5.5        The ACE will provide a prospective pest management employee with complete information on working conditions and the proposed status of employment, and during employment will keep the employee informed of any changes therein.

5.6        The ACE who employs or supervises other pest management professionals will endeavor to encourage and provide opportunities for their professional development and advancement.