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Formosan Termite Experts to Meet at New Orleans ConferenceBy Jan Suszkiw
May 8, 2001
Scientists from around the world will convene May 13-15 at the 2nd International Formosan Subterranean Termite Symposium in New Orleans, La., to discuss the latest technologies, techniques and research aimed at controlling this destructive pest.
The Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the Audubon Nature Institute and collaborators are hosting the symposium, which includes presentations, poster papers, exhibits, workshops and tours of nearby test sites, including a 15-block area of New Orleans' historic French Quarter. A two-hour plenary session, open to public and press, starts at 6 p.m. on Monday, May 14, in ballroom C of New Orleans' Radisson Hotel, 1500 Canal Street.
The French Quarter is "ground-zero" for an ARS-led national program called Operation FullStop that has expanded to Mississippi, Florida and other states. Through research, the immediate goal is to minimize the pest's destruction using population management techniques and areawide attacks on its colonies, according to John Patrick Jordan, director of ARS' Southern Regional Research Center in New Orleans. Jordan will also moderate the plenary session, including an update on termite control results in the French Quarter.
Coptotermes formosanus is an exotic termite species from Asia. It arrived in the United States shortly after World War II, possibly in cargo holds of ships returning from the South Pacific. Today, the pest is established in 11 states in the South, California and Hawaii and costs an estimated $1 billion annually for prevention, property damage repair and control.
About 45 experts on all aspects of termite control, detection, biology, reproduction, genetics, colony dynamics, chemical ecology and feeding will speak at the symposium. They include scientists from the ARS center's Formosan Subterranean Termite Research Unit, other federal agencies, state universities, pest control operators and termite experts in Japan, Taiwan, Australia and elsewhere.
More information about the symposium is available on the Web at:
ARS is the chief scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Scientific contacts: Alan Lax or Don Daigle, ARS Formosan Subterranean Termite Research Unit, New Orleans, La., phone (504) 286-4452, fax (504) 286-4235, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.