Clarksville, TN – A typical ant is only about one-eighth of an inch long and weighs around 3 milligrams. At that size, it should be considered relatively harmless, but most people don’t want the insects inside their houses. Termites and bedbugs might be a little larger, roughly a quarter of an inch in size, but they are equally unpopular as houseguests.
On September 29th and 30th, some of the state’s top scientific minds will take up the topic of pest detection and control methods during the 38th Annual Meeting of the Tennessee Entomological Society (TES).
The meeting begins at 10:00am that Thursday with the state designating that week as Entomology Week in the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s Region 2 Conference Room, in the Ellington Agricultural Center in Nashville. Following the proclamation, college students will present academic papers they authored on the subject of entomology.
At 9:00am Friday, Dr. Karen Vail, University of Tennessee professor of entomology, will deliver the meeting’s keynote address in the Green Hills Meeting Room of the Metro Southeast Building. Vail is an expert in integrated pest management (IPM) of pests found in and around structures, and her research emphasis is on management of ants and termites and pest management of child-serving facilities.
Following the keynote address, TES member Clete Youmans will conduct demonstrations on bedbug detection and control methods. He’ll also lead a panel discussion on the topic, with questions from the audience.
In addition to Vail and Youmans’ talks, the meeting will feature various presentations by students and professional entomologists from Tennessee. Dr. Steve Hamilton, Austin Peay State University professor of biology and director of the Center of Excellence for Field Biology, and Dr. Don Sudbrink, APSU assistant professor and chair of the APSU Department of Agriculture, each hold several key positions in TES.
“This is a great opportunity for students, professionals and Tennessee citizens to learn about what is happening in Tennessee entomology,” Hamilton said. “Few people really understand the impact that insects have on their daily lives. Of course, most people have had unpleasant experiences with ants and termites and have growing concerns about bed bugs, so the special symposium on Friday will be very informative.”