PMPs Gathered for 50th University of Kentucky Short Course
Scott McNeely presented at November's University of Kentucky Short Course.
Tom Myers

PMPs Gathered for 50th University of Kentucky Short Course

The November meeting marked 50 years for the University of Kentucky Pest Control Short Course, one of the pest control industry's premier educational events.

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Editor's note: Zach DeVries, assistant professor, University of Kentucky, provided the following recap of November's University of Kentucky Short Course.

LEXINGTON, Ky. -  In November, PMPs gathered in Lexington, Ky., for the 50th anniversary of the University of Kentucky Pest Control Short Course —  a welcome return to in-person training.  While originally designed as a short training experience, the conference has grown to a 3-day program with one of the strongest lineups of speakers and topics in the country, and training provided at this year’s Short Course didn’t disappoint!  

This year’s conference had attendees from 10 different states comprised of those working in pest management, multifamily housing, public health, school systems, and food processing.  In addition, this year’s conference recognized two outstanding technicians for their contributions to the industry.  And in an effort to ensure training was accessible to all pest control personnel interested in attending, a live-stream option was offered to those unable to attend in person.

On day one of the conference, talks were given on equipment operation and maintenance (Matt Christensen; Critter Control, Lexington, KY), pesticide resistance (Dr. Jamel Sandidge; Nisus Corporation, Rockford, TN), landscape invaders (Dr. Jonathan Larson; Dept. of Entomology, Univ. of Kentucky) and small flies (Scott Robbins; Action Pest Control, Evansville, IN).  These talks provided a nice mix of practical advice paired with basic knowledge of the pests and problems PCOs face on a daily basis.
 
On day two of the conference, talks were given on rodents and wildlife control (Scott McNeely; Winston Salem, NC), minimizing pest damage claims and ant control (Kim Kelley-Tunis; Terminix, Atlanta, GA), what to do when disaster Strikes (Dr. Fred Whitford; Purdue Pesticide Programs, West Lafayette, IN), and stinging pests (T.J. Neary; Insect Technologies, Lexington, KY).  These talks had the audience both laughing and learning, especially Dr. Whitford’s interactive demonstration of what to do when a pesticide spill occurs. 
 

On the final day of the conference, talks were given on bed bugs and cockroaches (Dr. Zachary DeVries; Dept. of Entomology, Univ. of Kentucky), the business of bed bugs (Panel Discussion), termite biology and control (Dr. Faith Oi; Department of Entomology and Nematology, Univ. of Florida), and battling the brown recluse (Dr. Jamel Sandidge; Nisus Corporation; Rockford, TN). These presentations provided important updates and reminders on some of the most challenging pests in the field.

This year’s Short Course was not only educational, but a lot of fun.  It was great to see and interact with so many friends and colleagues as we begin to return to normal.  Next year’s Short Course is sure to be even better, and is scheduled for November 1-3, 2022 in Lexington, KY.  Regardless of where you live, if you want to learn and improve as a pest control operator you should consider attending.