Several members from the Department of Entomology joined more than 200 entomologists to share their research during the 2018 National Conference of Urban Entomology and Invasive Pest Ant Conference in May at the Embassy Suites in Cary, North Carolina.
The four-day-long conference helps to bring urban and medical entomologists, pest control specialists, and members of the pest control industry together in a common setting to share information and search for new and innovative ways to help control pests that threaten people’s homes and health.
During the conference, several presentations were discussed, including bed bug resistance management, ticks, urban rodent control, cockroach control, fire ant management, and Tawny Crazy ant management.
The conference also featured several symposia on assessment-based pest management, urban cockroach and termite control updates, ticks and mosquitoes, and real world applications of molecular research in urban entomology.
“One of the best things about this meeting is that it attracts many industry scientists who often don’t attend the regular entomology society meetings,” Professor and Extension Urban Entomologist Dr. Mike Merchant said.
Extension Program Specialist Janet Hurley presented on the various resources Texas A&M AgriLife Extension offered on both urban and school IPM.
“This is one of the best urban entomology conferences because it’s a blend of Extension and Research entomologists, technical directors from the pest control industry, plus representatives from manufacturers,” Extension Program Specialist Janet Hurley said. “The blend allows for presentations from a variety of knowledgeable speakers that allows me to learn about some of the newest pest management practices, but also what did not work as well.”
Assistant Professor and Extension Entomologist Dr. Robert Puckett also presented at the conference and liked the way the conference was a good way to see how others in the industry are doing with their research.
“NCUE is always a fantastic conference, and attendees can count on learning about a variety of cutting edge research projects designed to answer questions that directly relate to the management of insect pests of urban importance,” Puckett said. “Among many other topics, this year we learned of efforts to develop insecticidal baits for bed bugs, the potential for fruit flies to vector diseases, advances in water-resistant baits for managing red imported fire ants, and even novel techniques for management rodent populations.”
Extension program specialist Molly Keck said the best part about attending this year’s conference was learning about new updates in urban pest control research, as well as termite control technologies.
“The best thing for me was getting to hear from other entomologists in the same field I am,” she said. “The presentations had a great variety for industry to basic science to Extension work.”
Professor and Endowed Chair in Urban and Structural Entomology Dr. Ed Vargo was impressed with the quality of research presented at this year’s conference and said it was a great way for urban entomologists to learn the latest in research.
“NCUE is a unique conference that brings together researchers, extension professionals and industry representatives to focus on the latest research, outreach and educational efforts and technologies to manage urban pests,” Vargo said. “It’s a great place for all professionals involved in urban pest research and management to learn from each other, establish new collaborations and strengthen existing relationships.”