Dini Miller Discusses Assessment-Based Pest Management in Video Interview

Dini Miller Discusses Assessment-Based Pest Management in Video Interview

In a new Talking Pest Management video, Dr. Dini Miller (Virginia Tech University) encourages an assessment-based pest management approach, as opposed to simply making pesticide applications.

November 18, 2020

BORCHEN, Germany -  In a new video interview with Talking Pest Management, Dr Dini Miller from the Department of Entomology at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va., encouraged PMPs to consider an assessment-based approach to pest management.

Miller first reviewed Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and how this phrase, so frequently used within urban pest management, initially came about. IPM owes its origins to agriculture back in the 1970s following the wide scale use of DDT on a very broad range of pests after World War II and the subsequent build up of genetic resistance. 

Basically, farmers inspected their crops for pests and assessed the economic value of them applying a pesticide to reduce pests to a manageable level. The term has been taken up by those in urban pest management where it is less appropriate – what is the manageable level of a pest such as a bed bug? Nil. People don’t want a single insect.
Miller proposes the term should be changed to Assessment-Based Pest Management (APM) – clients then know their problem is going to be assessed. Numbers of pests would be collected both before and after treatment. Customers will then be able to understand what the results are.
Miller describes her work within the US Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) low income housing. Here cockroach problems can be so severe that she can catch 16,000 on three sticky board traps over one single night. Contracts are routinely awarded to the lowest bid. This then limits the amount of time (time is money) that can be spent in each apartment (two to three minutes), this means that technicians literally have time only to dash in and spray. This is pesticide application NOT pest control. 

To conclude, Miller makes a heartfelt plea to the industry that it must change its perception with the public. A perception which basically hasn’t changed for 50 years. New young people have come into the industry, new methods and technologies are employed yet the image is still one of simply spraying insecticide. Technicians are professionals, they are trained, thinking human beings making decisions – they must be presented and perceived differently.

Learn more about Talking Pest Management at https://www.futura-germany.com/our-industry/tpm/talking-pest-management.php.