[Focus On Events] Kentucky Short Course A Valuable Experience

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December 11, 2003

Recently I had the opportunity to participate in the Kentucky Short Course (held Oct. 7-9 in Lexington, Ky.) and what a treat! Dr. Mike Potter and his program committee should be congratulated for putting on an outstanding program. Several items are worthy of special note:

One of the program’s greatest changes was the venue. The program moved from the University of Kentucky campus to an off-site hotel, allowing the program to be housed under one roof. This did away with the busing that had to be done in previous years and drew rave reviews from attendees. It also allowed for more productive time to be spent with other pest management professionals, distributors, manufacturers and speakers.

The audience of at least 425 represented many of the surrounding states, so much so that more people attended from states other than Kentucky. This is a testament to the program’s strength and the work Potter has done in the region.

For me the highlight of the course was the program content. I have had an opportunity to attend many programs over the past 30+ years and no matter how much you think you know — you always learn something new. And in this case, I learned a lot. What you learn is not always in the presentations, but talking over lunch, eating dinner with a friend or overhearing a conversation.

The presentations covered a variety of topics. Although I caught the tail-end of their presentations, Mike Rottler and Raleigh Jenkins got the juices flowing with their presentation "Emerging Termite Service Strategies." Other topics included bed bugs, backyard mosquito control, bee and wasp control (better titled "war stories"), ants, cockroach baiting issues, small flies, bird control and others.

A lot of table talk focused on bed bug control. Apparently we are all still in the trial and error phase of figuring out what to do to solve this increasing problem. Paul Hardy with Orkin Pest Control in Atlanta, Ga., talked about how his company is using non-chemical approaches to address the problem, e.g., steaming baseboards (occasionally peeling wallpaper and paint) and using oxygen deprivation to kill the bugs on mattresses. Others are using all out chemical warfare, treating beds, mattresses, and cracks and crevices with appropriately labeled insecticides.

All in all I had a great time!

The author is technical director of American Pest Management, Takoma Park, Md. He can be reached at 301/891-2600 or rkramer@pctonline.com.

NEWS FROM THE SHORT COURSE

This year there were several new aspects regarding the Kentucky Short Course:

1. The conference included a presentation by Jen Krack of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Purdue University about how to work safely around dogs.

2. For the first time ever, all of the events for the meeting were held in the same hotel.

3. The conference was made even more interesting because President George Bush made a fundraising appearance on Oct. 9 at the conference’s host hotel, the Hyatt Regency, and the hotel was flooded with security personnel.