Plenary Speakers

Opening Session | Monday, March 19, 5:00-7:00 pm

Jim Jones picDini M. Miller, Professor, Virginia Tech University, and Urban Pest Management Specialist, State of Virginia

Dini M. Miller is a Professor at the Virginia Tech University, and the Urban Pest Management Specialist for the state of Virginia.  Dr. Miller is an internationally recognized expert in the area of urban pest management, specializing in bed bug and German cockroach biology, behavior, and control.  She has produced a number of bed bug action plans for the management of infestations in different environments, and published one of the first scientific papers evaluating modern bed bug response to insecticide treatments in the field.  Dr. Miller’s extension program is designed to train pest management professionals, public health officials, apartment and hotel managers, and homeowners to control indoor pests while reducing their pesticide exposure risk. Her research program focuses on the cost and efficacy of assessment-based integrated pest management (APM) methods for structural pest control.

Dini Miller received her undergraduate degree from UCLA in 1991 where she majored in Geography/Ecosystems.  She completed her Masters (1994) and Ph.D. (1998) at the University of Florida, where she studied Urban Entomology, specifically German cockroach biology and aggregation behavior.  Dr. Miller has won numerous awards for her work in urban entomology including the pest control industry’s Crown Leadership Award, she has won Entomological Society of America’s (Eastern Branch) Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension, the Gamma Sigma Delta Award of Merit in Extension, the 2012 Virginia Tech University Alumni Award for Excellence in Extension, the Virginia Pest Management Industry Stewardship Award in 2014 and most recently, she was named the first US "HUD HERO"  in June 2017 for her work in public housing.

Presentation: How the Misapplication of "IPM (Integrated Pest Management)" in the Urban Environment has Impacted German Cockroach Infestations- A Case for Assessment-Based Pest Management (APM)

The concept of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) originated in agriculture as a way to economically reduce crop damage caused by insect pests.  Producers could regularly sample their crops for pests and based on that sampling, determine the potential for economic injury to their crop.  If pest levels were below the economic injury level (EIL), and crop damage would be inconsequential, there was no need for pesticide application.  The term "Integrated pest management" has more recently been applied to pest control in the urban environment.  However, most lay-people have no understanding that IPM is a decision process. Thus, the purchasers of Urban IPM (apartment owners, procurement officers and home owners) do not know what they are supposed to get for their money.  Many apartment managers or procurement officers think that IPM is a low-toxicity or non-toxic (to humans) method of killing pests that may not involve insecticides at all.  The idea that IPM is a series of steps based on assessing (monitoring) the pest population, has been completely lost. Even in the pest management industry, where professionals frequently use the term IPM to represent the industry's "best practices", assessing the pest problem (where, and how many) prior to treatment is rarely done.  US HUD strongly encourages their housing managers to request contractors to use integrated pest management in their facilities. However, because the managers do not realize that IPM is based in monitoring, they neither require nor expect any pest assessment or efficacy data.  This presentation will discuss how misapplied "IPM" has led to HUD housing facilities in Virginia and North Carolina being overrun with German cockroach populations. In addition, we will discuss how changing the term IPM to Assessment-Based Pest Management (APM) might aid in establishing pest monitoring as the foundation of the urban pest management process.


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