Conference to turn spotlight on urban pests

March 19, 2014

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- As we move from an agrarian society to an urban one, we have had to take an increasing interest in arthropods, both beneficial and harmful, in our urban environment. These arthropods include cockroaches, bed bugs, termites and ants. Hence, the growing field of "urban entomology," which focuses on the study of insects and other arthropods, such as spiders, affecting people and their property.

But what is the latest research on bed bugs? On termites? What are some low-impact methods for controlling ants? And what are some new invasive cockroach pests in California?

The public has the opportunity to get the answers to these and other questions pertinent to urban entomology at the 23rd annual UC Riverside Urban Pest Management Conference on March 25.

The daylong conference (7:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) will take place at UC Riverside Extension Center (UNEX), 1200 University Ave., Riverside. Registration costs $110. The fee, which covers parking costs, is waived for reporters wishing to cover any part of the conference.

"The intended audience is pest management professionals such as all the licensed individuals who work for pest management/control companies but also persons who are licensed to perform pest control as a part of their job but who do not work for pest control companies," said Dong-Hwan Choe, an assistant professor of entomology at UCR, who is co-chairing the conference. "Examples of these types of people would be employees of a county, city, or school district that are charged with pest control/monitoring."

The biggest benefit to attending the conference for licensees is the opportunity to earn continuing education units (CEUs) from two different state licensing agencies: 1) the Structural Pest Control Board and 2) the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. Licensees under both agencies must continually earn CEUs in order to maintain their license(s).

"Our conference always offers units in laws and regulations which are more difficult to earn as many conferences don't get speakers that cover this important subject area," said Kathleen Campbell, a staff research associate in the Department of Entomology, who is the conference coordinator. "Our conference offers attendees a cast of speakers from a wide variety of areas."

The conference will emphasize integrated pest management so that attendees can explore ways to reduce their use of pesticides but still effectively control pests.

"We also try to educate attendees about pesticide resistance so they can be aware of how to prevent it and also what they can do if they think it may be a problem they are experiencing," Campbell said. "We have a morning and an afternoon break where attendees can talk with speakers one-on-one, as well as interact with our conference sponsors."

For more information, including the day's schedule and how to register, please visit:
The University of California, Riverside is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion. A broadcast studio with fiber cable to the AT&T Hollywood hub is available for live or taped interviews. UCR also has ISDN for radio interviews. To learn more, call (951) UCR-NEWS.

University of California - Riverside

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