ACE Exam Content Outline

The ACE exam is organized into four primary knowledge areas called Domains. Each Domain is broken down into a number of Skills. Every question on the ACE Exam will correlate to a Skill on the Content Outline (some may apply to more than one, but each will be categorized in one area. The four Domains are:

An ACE is expected to be knowledgeable on a wide array of pests that are important to structural pest management around the world. The list of pests you will be tested on is the same for all ACEs, regardless of where you live. You may thus be tested on some pests that are not found in your part of the country. The pests on the exam are broken into 8 section and each pest covered is listed below. The pests on the exam are listed in decreasing order of likelihood that they'll be covered on the exam.

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Domain 1: INSPECTION AND IDENTIFICATION (45% of exam content)

Skill: Inspect for evidence of pests

  • Tools available for inspection and appropriate uses (e.g., flashlight, moisture meter, flushing agents)
  • Probable locations of pests
  • Types of evidence of pest presence (e.g., damage caused, egg types, frass)
  • Safety precautions (e.g., equipment, personnel)

Skill: Inspect for conditions conducive to pests

  • Tools available for inspection and appropriate uses (e.g., flashlight, moisture meter, flushing agents)
  • Conditions conducive to pests(e.g., site, weather, ambient conditions)
  • Safety precautions (e.g., equipment, personnel)

Skill: Identify pests

  • Taxonomy and classification
  • Morphology
  • Biology (basic physiology, behavior, habitat, lifecycle, reproduction potential)
  • Damage caused

Skill: Document and communicate findings of pest inspection and identification

  • How to explain pest thresholds and respond to customer expectations
  • Use, limitations and types of pest thresholds
  • What to document
  • How to document
  • Where to document
  • To whom to communicate findings
  • Adherence to ACE Code of Ethics

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Domain 2: MONITORING (12% of exam content)

Identify and select appropriate monitoring tools

  • Monitoring tools available and their uses/limitations and related safety precautions (e.g., flashlight, light traps, pheromone traps)
  • Pests that are most commonly monitored (cockroaches, flies, stored product pests, termites, bed bugs)2
  • Place monitoring tools properly
  • Knowledge needed to accomplish the skill:
  • Proper use and placement of tools
  • Appropriate combined use of tools

Document and communicate findings of monitoring and recommendations

  • What to document
  • How to document
  • Where to document
  • To whom to communicate findings and recommendations
  • Application of the ACE Code of Ethics

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Domain 3: SELECTION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF CONTROL METHODS (28% of exam content)

Choose the appropriate control method(s) for pest management

  • Cultural control options available, appropriateness of each, and advantages/limitations of each (e.g., sanitation, temperature, special lighting, habitat modification)
  • Biological control options available, appropriateness of each, and advantages/limitations of each (e.g., predators, parasites, pathogens)
  • Mechanical control options available, appropriateness of each, and advantages/limitations of each (e.g., traps/glueboards, pest proof design, removal, air curtains, lights)
  • Chemical control options available, appropriateness of each, and advantages/limitations of each (e.g., IGRs, Pheromones/Attractants, Pesticides)
  • Simple modes of action of commonly used pesticides
  • Classifications of commonly used pesticides
  • Pesticide resistance
  • Pesticide formulations
  • Pesticide application techniques
  • Appropriateness (or not) of combinations of products
  • Following label instructions, including disposal
  • Relative effectiveness/efficacy versus risk of various control methods and options within each method
  • Importance of selecting least hazardous effective method(s)/option(s)
  • How to locate local/state regulations that may differ from product labels

Select the appropriate tool(s) for use with the pest management method(s) for pest scenarios

  • Tools available, appropriateness of each, and advantages/limitations of each and related safety precautions (e.g., compressed air sprayer, infrared camera, gas detector, duster)
  • Regulations (if any) pertaining to each tool3
  • Communicate which pesticides are or are not currently allowed for use by the epa
  • Knowledge needed to accomplish the skill:
  • In which cases certain products are used or not (cyclodiences, Chlorinated hydrocarbons (e.g., DDT, Chlordane, Lindane), Carbamates (e.g. aldicarb, carbofuran, propoxur), Organophosphates (e.g. malathion, chorpyrifos, diazinon, mlathion)
  • The reasons why (in general) pesticides are no longer used
  • FIFRA’s major provisions
  • Relationship between state and federal regulations (which takes precedence)
  • Role that EPA plays in federal legislation (e.g., FIFRA)

Follow the label instructions and precautions

  • Common precautions
  • Active ingredients
  • Types of formulations
  • Proper storage and disposal
  • Concentration and mixing procedures
  • Restricted use pesticides
  • Legal and illegal uses
  • Trade names, common names and chemical names
  • Toxic dosages
  • FIFRA

Educate the customer on their role in pest management

  • Critical messages to convey
  • Appropriate methods for message conveyance
  • Behavioral customer modifications

Perform selected pest control method(s)

  • Appropriate application techniques for each of the pest control methods
  • Regulations and restrictions pertaining to application techniques and products
  • Application of the ACE Code of Ethics

Document and communicate the pest control method(s) applied and tool(s) used for application

  • What to document
  • How to document
  • Where to document
  • To whom to communicate
  • Application of the ACE Code of Ethics

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Domain 4: EVALUATION (15% of exam content)

Look for reduction in pests

  • Monitoring
  • Identification
  • Communication with customer

Analyze pre- and post-treatment effects

  • Acceptable thresholds
  • Pest resistance
  • How to analyze the presence of pests over space and time
  • Managing customer expectations
  • Interpreting results

Determine next steps

  • IPM process
  • Methods/options available
  • Use of results to affirm/modify pest management methods/options

Document and communicate evaluation findings

  • What to document
  • How to document (forms to use)
  • Where to document
  • With whom to communicate
  • Regulatory requirements
  • Third party audits
  • Application of the ACE Code of Ethics

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Pests on the Exam

(listed in descending order of relative importance below each header; thus likeliness of appearing on the exam decreases by order of the list. NOTE: Each section is equally likely to be found on the exam, only the order of the animals beneath the header indicates liklihood of presentation.)

BITING AND STINGING pests potentially encountered by pest management professionals (PMP).

Bed and bat bugs (Cimex spp.)
Yellowjacket wasps (Vespula, Paravespula and Dolichovespula maculata (The bald faced hornet)
Paper wasps (Polistes spp.)
Mosquitoes (family Culicidae)
Honey bee, (Apis mellifera)
Black widow spiders (Latrodectus spp.)
Brown recluse spiders (Loxosceles spp.)
Hornet (Vespa crabro)
Cat flea (order Siphonaptera)
Brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus)
American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis)
Scorpions (class Arachnida: order Scorpiones)
Wolf spiders (family Lycosidae)
Bumble bees (Bombus spp.)
Black legged tick (Ixodes spp.)
Solitary bees (Members of the families Apidae, Andrenidae, Megachilidae, Halictidae and Colletidae)
Flesh flies (family Sarcophagidae)
Mites (rodent and bird)
Stable fly (Stomoxys calcitrans)
Black & yellow mud dauber (Sceliphron spp.)
Lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum)
Sac spiders (family Miturgidae; previously Clubionidae) including Cheiracanthium
Hobo spider and other funnel weaver spiders (family Agelenidae)
Soft ticks (Argasidae)
Cicada killer, (Sphecius speciosus)
Ground spiders (family Gnaphosidae)
Jumping spiders (family Salticidae)
Organpipe mud dauber (Trypoxylon spp.)
Head louse (Pediculus humanus capitis)
Dust mites (Dermatophagoides spp.)
Body louse (Pediculus humanus humanus)
Crab louse (Pthirus pubis)
Chigger mites(family Trombiculidae)

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FLIES (ORDER DIPTERA) potentially encountered by pest management professionals (PMP).

Small fruit (vinegar, pomace) flies (Drosophila spp.)
House fly (Musca domestica) and lesser house fly (Fannia canicularis)
Moth (drain, filter, sewer) flies (family Psychodidae)
Phorid (humpbacked, scuttle, mausoleum) flies (family Phoridae)
Fungus gnats (families Mycetophilidae (formerly Fungivoridae) and Sciaridae)
Blow flies (family Calliphoridae)
Cluster flies (Pollenia rudis)
Flesh flies (family Sarcophagidae)
Stable fly (Stomoxys calcitrans)
Horse and deer flies (family Tabanidae)
Small dung flies (family Sphaeroceridae)
Crane flies (family Tipulidae)
Soldier flies (family Stratiomyidae)

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ANTS (FAMILY FORMICIDAE) potentially encountered by pest management professionals (PMP).

Carpenter Ants (Camponotus spp.)
Odorous house ant (Tapinoma sessile)
Red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta)
Pavement ant (Tetramorium caespitum)
Pharaoh ant (Monomorium pharaonis)
Argentine ant (Linepithema humile)
Little Black Ant (Monomorium minimum)
Acrobat Ants (Crematogaster spp.)
Crazy ant (Paratrechina longicornis)
Ghost Ant (Tapinoma melanocephalum)
White Footed Ant (Technomyrmex albipes)
Big Headed Ants (Pheidole spp.)
Field Ants (Formica spp.)
Harvester Ants (Pogonomyrmex spp.)

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COCKROACHES (ORDER DICTYOPTERA; ALT. BLATTARIA) potentially encountered by pest management professionals (PMP).

German cockroach (Blattella germanica)
Asian cockroach (Blattella asahinai)
American cockroach (Periplaneta americana)
Brownbanded cockroach (Supella longipalpa)
Smokybrown cockroach (Periplaneta fuliginosa)
Oriental cockroach (Blatta orientalis)
Australian cockroach (Periplaneta australasiae)
Woods cockroach (Parcoblatta spp.)
Surinam cockroach (Pycnoscelus surinamensis)

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STORED PRODUCT AND FABRIC PESTS potentially encountered by pest management professionals (PMP).

Indian meal moth (Plodia interpunctella)
Cigarette and drugstore beetle (Lasioderma serricorne and Stegobium paniceum)
Carpet/domestic beetles (Anthrenus and Attagenus spp.)
Clothes moths (family Tineidae)
Flour beetles (Tribolium spp.)
Sawtoothed and merchant grain beetles (Oryzaephilus spp.)
Warehouse & Cabinet Beetles (Trogoderma spp.)
Psocids (Order Psocoptera)
Rice Weevil (Sitophilus oryzae) and Corn Weevil (Sitophilus zeamais)
Hide and larder beetles (Dermestes species)
Angoumois Grain Moth (Sitotroga cerealella)
Mediterranean Flour Moth (Ephestia kuehniella)
Foreign Grain Beetle (Ahasverus advena)
Plaster Beetles (family Lathridiidae)
Spider beetles (family Ptinidae)
Mealworm Beetles (Tenebrio spp.)
Dust mites (Dermatophagoides farina)
Bean Weevil (Acanthocelides obtectus)
Flat Grain Beetle (Cryptolestes pusillus)
Cowpea Weevil (Callosobruchus maculatus)
Red Legged Ham Beetle (Necrobia rufipes)
Cadelle (Tenebroides mauritanicus)

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WOOD DESTROYING INSECTS potentially encountered by pest management professionals (PMP).

Subterranean termites, (Reticulitermes and Coptotermes spp.)
Carpenter ants (Camponotus spp.)
Formosan termite, (Coptotermes formosanus)
Carpenter bee (family Xylocopidae)
Drywood termites (Kalotermes approximatus, Incisitermes and Cryptotermes spp.)
Lyctine powderpost beetles (formerly lyctids in the family Lyctidae) (family Bostrichidae, subfamily Lyctinae)
Old house borer, (Hylotrupes bajulus)
Anobiine beetles (formerly anobiids in the family Anobiidae) (family Ptinidae, subfamily Anobiinae)
Bostrichid (false powderpost) beetles
Long horned beetles (Cerambycidae)
Dampwood termites (Zootermopsis and Neotermes spp.)
Metallic wood boring beetles (family Buprestidae)

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OCCASIONAL INVADERS and GENERAL HOUSEHOLD PESTS potentially encountered by pest management professionals (PMP).

Silverfish (order Thysanura)
Springtails (order Collembola)
Earwigs (order Dermaptera)
Brown marmorated stink bug (Halymorpha halys)
Millipedes (class Diplopoda)
Centipedes (class Chilopoda)
Boxelder bug, (Boisea trivittata)
Sowbugs and pillbugs (order Isopoda)
House cricket, (Acheta domesticus)
Cellar spiders (family Pholcidae)
Multicolored Asian lady beetle (Harmonia axyridis)
Ground Beetles (family Carabidae)
Field cricket, (Gryllus spp.)
Clover mite (Bryobia praetiosa)
Firebrat (order Thysanura)
Comb footed (cobweb) spiders (family Theridiidae)
Camel (cave) cricket (Ceuthophilus spp.)
Thrips (order Thysanoptera)
Elm Leaf Beetle (Xanthogaleruca luteola)
Aquatic Insects Adults (Trichoptera, Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera)

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COMMON COMMENSAL PESTS (NON-ARTHROPOD) potentially encountered by pest management professionals (PMP).

House mouse
Norway rat
Roof rat
Pigeon (rock dove)
Deer mouse
English sparrow
European starling
Commensal bats (Chiroptera)

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© Copyright 2013, Entomological Society of America and the Entomological Society of America Certification Corporation.
Last Updated: July 30, 2015

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