Editor’s note: Held once every three years, the sixth International Conference on Urban Pests (ICUP) was held for the first time in South America between Aug. 7-10. In total it attracted over 240 delegates representing 20 countries. Over half of those attending were from the host country, Brazil, with the USA, UK and Germany also well represented. Frances McKim, from U.K.-based Pest magazine, filed the following report.
South America has a dynamic entomology community, and bringing the conference to this area has been a priority for the organizers for many years. Through the leadership and hard work of Ana Eugênia de Carvalho Campos, at the Institute of Biology in Sao Paulo, Brazil, this became reality. Ana and her organizing committee put together a conference that fitted well with the ICUP tradition, but which had a clear Brazilian flavor.
The conference was held in a former Metallurgical Institute in the mining town of Ouro Preto, not far from Belo Horizonte. Ouro Preto has UNESCO protected status, owing to the fine 18th and 19th century Baroque architecture. As well as many small bars and restaurants in which the delegates could be found in the evening, discussing the finer points of urban pest science, and other issues.
In total, the conference included 73 oral presentations and 61 poster presentations. These can all be found as either a hard-backed book or as a CD. Contact Clive Boase email@example.com for prices.
On the first day there were nine plenary lectures which commenced with an excellent overview on ant ecology in the Atlantic rain forest of Brazil, followed by the challenge of controlling arbovirusis in Brazil as well as the ecological significance of bats in natural and urban environments.
Event organizer, Ana Eugênia de Carvalho Campos, presented a very interesting lecture on the history of urban entomology and, also with a historical theme, David Pinniger from the UK updated delegates on the new developments in pest management for collections in museums and historic houses.
Further sessions throughout the three days covered the whole spectrum of urban pests ranging from the transmission of diseases, accidental pest introduction, biology and control of urban ants, new approaches on mosquitoes and other flies, as well as the management and control of cockroaches, termites, rodents and bed bugs.
Making use of this unique and historic venue, there was a special workshop on pests in historic buildings, which included visits to some of the old churches to look at and discuss building conservation issues.
It was not all hard work! There was also a conference banquet where guests were entertained by a 14-piece Brazilian band, together with professional dancers who offered samba coaching.
The next ICUP will be in Zurich, Switzerland, 2014 with Gabi Mueller of the Urban Pest Advisory Service in Zurich as chair.