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  • Writer's pictureChelle Hartzer

Blinded me with science (AKA: Conferences are back!)

Sponsor: who would like to share next?

Me: Hi, my name is Chelle and I’m a bug geek.

Audience: Hi Chelle!

I like science. Science is what gets us new and better ways of doing things and information is power! The application of that information is even more powerful. I’m at the annual Entomological Society of American meeting and it is full of great new research that can potentially help us control urban pests. Since I am busy running between talks and trying to soak up as much as I can, here are some highlights:

Are you pregnant… with bed bugs? A new test can swab a surface and find out if there have been bed bugs there. For low level infestations where they may not be quickly visible, this could be a good test to find out if you have them or not. Unfortunately, it won’t tell if it is new evidence or old issues.

Do you want to “find a friend”? Cigarette beetles want to find a mate and do their thing. If you can prevent them from mating, (specifically the males), you can reduce the amount of progeny produced. Using their sex pheromones can disrupt and prevent mating. No mating = no next generation and stopping population growth.

Want a side of bacteria with that? House flies carry bacteria. No surprise, but did you know they carry antibiotic resistant bacteria? And a small percentage can even carry multi-drug resistant bacteria. So if you are working with food, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, or any other sites like that, flies are a big risk to human health.

Would you like a drink with that? Mosquitoes need water, the larvae are aquatic. So standing retention ponds are a key area for certain species. But there are also detention ponds and constructed wetlands for stormwater management and they can harbor mosquitoes too. While the full data isn’t compiled yet, retention and detention ponds have fewer mosquitoes than constructed wetlands. Doing more IPM around those could reduce mosquito issues.

Want a new product? There is a new inorganic bait for cockroaches that looks like it may work. Unfortunately, there is no info on what the active ingredient is, how much may need to be used, and if there is any secondary kill. So… yea?

Science is great because we can use it to solve urban pest issues faster and more effectively. Some science is still years off from being applicable in the field and other science can be taken and applied today. The best part about science: it’s never done! There will always be more to learn about insects.

If you want to learn more about how a technical advisor can help you solve pest problems more effectively (with science!), contact us here!

Lagniappe - every year ESA holds a YouTube contest, see past entries here.

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