Ground-breaking developments in high tech pest control is the hot topic at the 36th Annual Conference of the AAIE (Association of Applied Insect Ecologists). Titled “IPM and Monitoring: Back to Basics with New Technology,” the gathering of pest management professionals will focus on the latest in pest monitoring, a key component of Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The conference is slated for Feb. 3-5 in Berkeley, Calif.

Conference Chair Steve Matthiasson from R.H. Phillips Vineyards, who utilizes IPM practices in the company's Dunnigan Hills vineyards, says the combination of “increased pesticide regulation, tighter pest management budgets and heightened public scrutiny make IPM the logical pest management system if we can make it control more bugs with fewer inputs. Closer monitoring is the key, and this conference is about providing those tools.”

Frank Zalom, of the University of California's Statewide IPM Program, defines IPM as “an ecosystem-based strategy focusing on long-term prevention of pests using a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, and use of resistant varieties.”

IPM reserves pesticides for when an effective monitoring program indicates they are absolutely necessary. If pesticides are used, they're applied in a manner that minimizes risks to health, beneficial organisms, and the environment.

The 36th annual conference will feature:

  • A keynote address by Donald Dahlsten, of the University of California at Berkeley and early pioneer of IPM, speaking on the History of IPM.

  • Federal government and San Francisco representatives describing the new directions for IPM policy.

  • A panel of experienced pest control advisors discussing monitoring and economic thresholds.

  • Breakout sessions on information technology for monitoring data management; new developments in semiochemicals; new dimensions in urban IPM; monitoring beneficial insect activity; nematode and disease monitoring; and innovations in school IPM.

  • A tour of the UC Berkeley Division of Insect Biology facilities, including the new insectary.

  • An open exhibit hall where IPM suppliers will show the latest products and updates.

  • An awards banquet recognizing leaders in IPM.

  • A wine tasting and auction fundraiser for the Applied Insect Ecologists Foundation to support IPM scholarships

  • A wine and cheese reception with conference speakers and participants.

Pest Control Advisors, consultants, scientists, industry suppliers, and government policy makers will attend. The conference is open to anyone professionally involved in pest management. Students may attend for free.

Conference information is available by calling (530) 758-8909; e-mail almond@dcn.davis.ca.us Web: www.aaie.net.