Dr. C. Douglass Mampe could have probably been inducted into the Pest Control Hall of Fame strictly on his resume: past technical director of the National Pest Management Association, technical director of Western Industries, general manager of Residex, industry consultant and columnist and technical consultant for Pest Control magazine.
But it’s his behind-the-scenes efforts and quiet displays of industry support that pest management professionals have come to know and respect.
Take this apt description of the 64-year-old entomologist, who currently resides in Bradenton, FL, with wife Mary Jean:
“He is neither quirky nor flashy, but he is on top of developing trends better than anyone in the industry,” states Jay Breusch, technical director of Plunkett’s Pest Control, Inc., Fridley, MN. “Mampe has always had an answer.”
A Born Entomologist?
Charles Douglass Mampe Jr. was born October 13, 1938 in Lahaska, PA. His family ran a dairy farm, and he was always interested in wildlife and biology. During his undergraduate days at Iowa State University, Ames, IA, (a school he chose because of a Naval ROTC scholarship) he decided to major in entomology because it had more job opportunities and better pay than most other biological sciences.
It seemed natural to go on for his master’s degree in the field at North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND, in 1962 and his doctorate at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, in 1965.
He minored in botany for both postgraduate degrees. Interestingly, the topics of his theses did not belie the structural pest management industry where he’d eventually land: the sex ratio of the wheat stem sawfly, as affected by wheat stem diameter, and the biology of the plum curculio on blueberries, respectively.
“Entomology was just more ag-driven in those days,” Mampe chuckles.
Because he had a wife and son, Charlie, to support, Mampe took a job with the NPMA right before graduation from NCSU on Feb. 1, 1965. He started as a technical assistant and was eventually promoted to technical director. He is proud to have worked under two industry legends, Dr. Phil Spear and Dr. Ralph Heal.
“Around the same time, I was offered a job in Gulfport, MS, for a termite research job with the USDA,” Mampe recalls. “I guess I took the job with National because I wanted to be involved in the business side of things.”
It was the start of a love for industry training and outreach that continues today.
By 1974, however, the NPMA was looking to relocate from Elizabeth, NJ, to its present location in Dunn Loring, VA. Mampe decided to stay behind and took a job as technical director with Western Industries, Parsippany, NJ.
In 1977, he took on additional duties as general manager of Western’s formulation and distribution arm, Residex. Among his responsibilities for the sister corporation was preparation of pesticide labeling and submission of registration packages to EPA for approval.
Mampe stayed on with the company until 1980, but finally began to take to heart the comments of “you know, you should really start consulting” from those he had helped with problem accounts. He founded DM Associates in July 1980, which he relocated to Florida in September 1999.
“I have known and worked with Doug for over 35 years,” notes Dick Sameth, vice president of Western Industries. “When he decided to set up a consulting business, Western was his first customer. Doug is a very knowledgeable entomologist with an incredible memory. He is a sincere, dedicated individual … and based on his extensive knowledge and field experience, his contributions to the pest control industry continue to be significant.”
Mampe has his own list of mentors and influences — among them Heal and Spear; fellow Hall of Famers Vern Walter and Bud Wright; plus Western’s Ed Sameth, Plunkett’s John O’Reilly and Presto-X’s Jerry Keown.
In the 1970s and 1980s, with the tumultuous state of affairs for pesticide applicators and government regulations, Mampe’s star really shone. Among his accomplishments:
- During NPMA tenure, produced more than 2,000 pages of technical releases
- Developed NPMA committee system of five members plus unlimited correspondents, in order to permit the association to afford committee meetings when necessary
- During Western tenure, developed procedures for applying termiticides on properties containing wells (the procedures were adopted by New Jersey and are still used today)
- Brought Vikane house fumigation to the Northeast by obtaining license from Dow, developing procedures for Western and then marketing to and training other firms on the procedures
- Awarded Pest Control Operator of the Year, 1979, from the New Jersey Pest Management Association
- Past resource person for the US House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture
- Assisted Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ministry of Antiquities in developing termite control procedures in 1982
- Director of training and education for NJPMA (1981-2000)
- Developed approved certification training programs for New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts
- Conducted approved recertification training programs in more than 20 states since 1980
- Developed in-house IPM program for New York State Department of Corrections in 1983
- Developed pesticide residue management techniques to reduce pesticide residues on surfaces and in indoor air
- Liaison between NJPMA and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to develop a working relationship to permit the industry to be heard fairly by the agency
- Member of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s working committee to develop IPM programs for state occupied buildings in 1994
- Provided consultation and training on termite control for the Panama Canal Zone Commission in 1994 and 1996
- Authored chapters in NPMA’s Approved Reference Procedures for Subterranean Termite Control and Wood Decay Manual.
A Lifetime of Devotion
Many of Mampe’s nominators spoke of his dedication to the industry, his tireless work on its behalf. More than a few commented that they were only surprised he had not been inducted earlier. Perhaps it’s because his work is not yet complete.
“Most of what Doug has done is behind the scenes work with individual PMPs,” notes Jeff Tucker, president of Entomology Associates, Houston, TX. “It’s a big mistake to underestimate the input he has had quietly working below the radar.”
“Few people have contributed more to our industry,” declares Richard Cooper, technical director of Cooper Pest Control, Lawrenceville, NJ. “His dedication and support for our industry is unparalleled. I could write a dissertation on Doug’s accomplishments.”