UGA offers crucial insect identification workshops

By for CAES News

Have you ever spotted a bug in your house and not known what it was?

The University of Georgia Structural Pest Management Program (SPM) hosts annual integrated pest management (IPM) workshops focused on the home to help pest control operators identify and manage household pests.

The fall 2018 Home IPM Workshop was held Aug. 9 at the UGA Griffin campus and included pest control operators from Georgia and Alabama.

UGA entomologists and Georgia Department of Agriculture representatives made presentations at the workshop. Lecture topics included IPM basics, inspection tips, pesticide regulations, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) updates and record-keeping techniques. The afternoon session was held in the SPM insect identification lab and Georgia Structural Pest Control Training Center and focused on insect identification and management.

“This is the only program around that offers hands-on learning,” said Kenneth Norris, owner of Norris Pest Control in Alabama. “There is a big difference between looking at images in a presentation and seeing the insects on a slide in person. All of our pest control operators attend these trainings.”

The insect identification portion of the workshop highlighted the larval and adult stages of the most common pests found in homes, such as drugstore, saw-toothed grain and carpet beetles; rice weevils; fruit, humpbacked and drain flies; smokybrown cockroaches; springtails; and acrobat and Asian needle ants.

“There are about 30,000 species of beetle that are brown or black,” said Dan Suiter, the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences entomologist who leads the workshops. “Insect identification is crucial because some beetles are indicator pests, which suggests there is another problem, like mold.”

The workshop offers pest control state credits to operators. Georgia operators receive five Household Pest Control (HPC) credits. Alabama operators receive 10 HPC and Household Pest Control/Branch Supervisor (HPB) points. South Carolina operators receive eight continuing certification hour credits. Tennessee operators receive five C07, C08, C10 and C12 points.

The UGA SPM offers 10 workshops a year. Five of these classes include an insect ID component.

The fall 2019 Home IPM Workshop is set for August 2019. For more information on home IPM or to view other UGA workshop offerings, visit the SPM website at www.gabugs.uga.edu.

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