May’s National Conference on Urban Entomology (NCUE) conference in Albuquerque, N.M., was attended by 233 people, the second-highest attendance ever. The event had attendees from five international countries.
It was the first time the National Conference on Urban Entomology was held together with the Invasive Fire Ant Conference. The two meetings had been held separately over the past few decades, but recently a proposal was made to have a joint meeting. The first joint meeting was a great success and future NCUE meetings likely will include the Fire Ant Conference, officials say.
It was also the first time the conference had a symposium dedicated wholly to rodents. The symposium, titled Urban Rodent Control, highlighted recent developments in urban rodent management. This included rat, mouse and gopher management in urban settings, as well as field evaluations of new bait formulations for rodent management.
Dr. John Klotz of the University of California Riverside (emeritus) received the 2016 Distinguished Achievement in Urban Entomology Award and presented the 2016 Arnold Mallis Memorial Award Lecture titled “Trailing with the Ants.”
A student paper competition was held to provide an opportunity for students to present their research and compete for awards. Sydney Crawley (University of Kentucky) won first place, Aaron Ashbrook (Purdue University) won second place and Mark Janowiecki (Texas A&M) won third place. In addition, Sudip Gaire (New Mexico State University) received the Master’s of Science Award and Zachary DeVries (North Carolina State University) received the Doctoral Award.
TALKS AND MORE TALKS. The conference included more than 100 presentations. Because the NCUE conference was combined with the Fire Ant Conference, the majority of talks (35) were on advances in managing invasive and urban pest ants. Other topics included IPM outreach in urban settings, indoor biomes, mosquito management in residential and commercial settings, gaps and challenges in urban pest control strategies, termite control, bed bug management, and pest prevention in buildings.
A special symposium was held on “The Future of Urban Entomology.” The symposium was organized by Dr. Shripat Kamble and included talks by prominent urban entomologists on the challenges and opportunities in the field of urban entomology. Despite some challenges, such as entomology department mergers and reduced funding, urban entomology continues to be a strong field and offers almost unlimited possibilities. Those in attendance agreed.
Due to the recent interest in mosquito control, the conference had a symposium on “Barrier Applications for Mosquito Management in Residential Settings.” The symposium was organized by Syngenta Crop Protection and included eight speakers from a variety of industries and universities. Topics ranged from the evaluation of various barrier applications for controlling container mosquitoes to backyard mosquito treatments to public and community-wide management approaches. In addition, the conference had a panel discussion on the Zika virus. Mosquito control was arguably the “hottest” topic of the conference.
Social activities included the Awards Luncheon (sponsored by Bayer), Evening at the Albuquerque Museum (sponsored by BASF) and a dinner combined with a visit to the Sandia Peak Tramway (sponsored by Syngenta).
Dr. Kyle Jordan, BASF, was the conference and program chair for this year’s event.
The next NCUE meeting will be held in May 2018 in Raleigh, N.C.
The author is research assistant professor and director, Industrial Affiliates Program, Purdue University.