STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. — Bill Blasingame, Sr., a legendary entomologist and trainer who has been involved in the structural pest control industry for 70 years, turns 96 on Friday.

After serving in the Navy during World War II, Blasingame first became involved in the industry in 1950 after graduating from the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in entomology. Throughout the last 70 years, he has served as a regulatory official, an industry trainer and a consultant.

After graduating college, Blasingame immediately began working as assistant state entomologist with the University of Georgia Department of Entomology, where he later served as the state entomologist from 1955 to 1964. In 1964, Blasingame resigned from the position to join Getz Services, one of the South’s oldest pest control companies. At Getz, Blasingame worked as vice president for 10 years until he became director of Stephenson Services, a division of Stephenson Chemical Company, in 1974 (now a part of Veseris).

In addition to his noteworthy positions in the industry, Blasingame marked history as the first chairman of the Georgia Structural Pest Control Commission, which he served on until 1964, on which he helped to pass the Georgia Structural Pest Control Act in 1955. In his additional role as director of the entomology division of the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Blasingame was responsible for the enforcement of this law. In addition to his birthday and 70th year in the industry, this year Blasingame celebrates 65 years since the first commission meeting and since the passing of the Georgia Structural Pest Control Act.

The Georgia Structural Pest Control Commission is not the only organization Blasingame served on. The industry legend has also served as president of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and the Georgia Pest Control Association (GPCA). He also served as president or chairmen of the Georgia Entomological Society, Georgia Council of Entomology, Georgia Plant Pathology Association, Southern Plant Board and Pi Chi Omega. He was also one of the organizers of the Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials, on which he served one term as chairman.

Blasingame now serves as technical advisor for Blasingame Pest Management, owned by his son Billy Blasingame, Jr., has trained tens of thousands of pest management professionals throughout his 70 years in the industry.

To send Blasingame a birthday card or to congratulate him on 70 years in the industry, use the address 195 Evergreen Terrace, Apartment 113, Stockbridge, GA 30281. You can also share birthday wishes by emailing PCT.