The PHE certificate program is designed to benefit the practicing pest control/vector control professional. You do not need an advanced degree to participate, just a solid grasp of the practical aspects of applied entomology. 

Applicants without an academic entomology degree

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 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 Program with completed application,
  • A minimum of 5 years of verifiable 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 vector 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 PHE Certificate Code of Ethics.

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 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

The PHE Certificate is currently, only offered in the United States. Stay tuned for more info on an international program.


PHE Code of Ethics

For Public Health Entomology Certificate Holders


The profession of Entomology is increasingly important to the welfare and progress of human society. PHE Certificate holders 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 PHE holders.


1 The Certificate Holder’s knowledge and skills will be used for the betterment of human welfare.

1.2 The Certificate Holder’s will share in sustaining the laws, institutions, and burdens of the community.


2.1 The Certificate Holder 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 Certificate Holder 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 Certificate Holder 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 Certificate Holder 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 Certificate Holder 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 Certificate Holder 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 a PHE Certificate Holder to defend the honor and prestige of the entomological aspects of the pest management profession that are encapsulated by the ESA Certification Programs.

3.4 The Certificate Holder, when referring to the certificate granted by the ESA, shall always use the full title of Public Health Entomology Certificate Holder or PHE Certificate Holder, rather than abbreviating to Certified Entomologist or only Entomologist. The Certificate Holder 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, Public Health Entomologist Certificate Holder, or derivatives thereof.



4.1 The Certificate Holder 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 Certificate Holder will undertake only those entomological assignments for which he or she is qualified. The Certificate Holder 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 Certificate Holder 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 Certificate Holder 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 Certificate Holder will act fairly and justly toward vendors and contractors, selecting their products and services on the basis of merit and value.

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

4.7 The Certificate Holder 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 Certificate Holder will give credit for pest management and entomological work or advice to whom it is due.

5.2 The Certificate Holder 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 Certificate Holder 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 Certificate Holder will not injure intentionally the professional reputation, prospects, or practice of another pest management professional. However, proof that another PHE Certificate Holder, 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 Certificate Holder 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 Certificate Holder who employs or supervises other pest management professionals will endeavor to encourage and provide opportunities for their professional development and advancement.