6369-Malone University’s Jeff Goff offering free stinging insect removal service: venom used for immunization
6369-August 8, 2012
Hornets...yellowjackets...and wasps – oh, my! Jeffrey Goff, Ph.D., professor of chemistry and chair of the Department of Natural Sciences at Malone University, is offering free insect removal services as a collector for a pair of pharmaceutical companies. The venom collected is then used to help immunize patients who, without the allergy shot, would suffer severe allergic reactions to stinging insects.
According to Dr. Goff, "Of all the allergy shot regimens given to patients, venom shots are among the most effective: roughly 98 percent. People with a history of severe allergic reactions to stings can be given a very small dose of the venom at regular intervals and at increasing concentrations until the patient no longer has an allergic response to stings."
Dr. Goff has successfully removed more than 1,300 nests, and is a certified collector for two medical companies -- ALK-Abelló Source Materials and Hollister-Stier Laboratories -- that specialize in providing purified venom for allergy centers that diagnose and treat sting-allergy patients. Many individuals are allergic to these insects and a sting can cause anaphylactic shock or even death. Donating nests not only saves an extermination fee, it helps save lives as well.
To date, he has collected seven different species of stinging insects, including the bald-faced hornet, yellow-faced hornet, German yellowjackets, eastern yellowjackets, common yellowjackets, downy yellowjackets, and European paper wasps. Few would volunteer to get close enough to a hornet to determine if its face is bald or yellow. But Dr. Goff enjoys the work, and the fact that he is providing a valuable service on two fronts – ridding backyards of pests, and helping allergy patients enjoy the out-of-doors without fear of an allergic reaction.
"I collect anywhere from one to 10 pounds of each species," he explains. "At the labs, the venom is extracted and the individual chemicals responsible for causing allergic reactions are separated from the other chemicals that cause pain, etc. These purified allergens are then supplied to allergy clinics for injections."
Since the labs pay for the insects, Dr. Goff can offer free removal for homeowners. He says that a typical extermination fee a homeowner might otherwise be quoted could be more than $100. He points out, "In addition to the financial savings, homeowners are assured that their 'pests' are being used to save lives."
Dr. Goff also provides homeowners with knowledge.
"Many homeowners call with concerns about bugs that turn out to not be stinging insects at all, or are yellowjackets with a very mild temperament. I have been able to provide piece of mind. Additionally, many homeowners assume that a hornet nest is reused. If I can't get to the nest to remove it – say it's 35 feet high or higher – many homeowners are ready to shell out big bucks to remove the nest. They are afraid it will continue to get bigger and bigger each year until they get it removed. I have been able to assure homeowners that hornet nests are never reused."
To contact Dr. Goff for free insect removal, call 330.492.3340 or email wtbss+znybar+rqh .
Malone University, a Christian university for the arts, sciences, and professions in the liberal arts tradition, affiliated with the Evangelical Friends Church, awards both undergraduate and graduate degrees in more than 100 academic programs. Malone is recognized by the prestigious Templeton Foundation as a leader in character development, named an NAIA Champions of Character Five Star Award winner, and is ranked among the top colleges and universities in the Midwest under the category Regional Universities according to U.S.News & World Report's America's Best Colleges 2012.
Suzanne Thomas, APR
Director of University Relations
2600 Cleveland Avenue N.W., Canton, OH, 44709