NJPMA Clinic, Tradeshow and Clambake highlights

By |  November 2, 2016
Madagascar hissing cockroaches were chosen to race because of their size and response to stimuli. Photo: Will Nepper

Madagascar hissing cockroaches were chosen to race because of their size and response to stimuli.
Photo: Will Nepper

On Aug. 18, the New Jersey Pest Management Association (NJPMA) held its 69th Annual Clinic, Tradeshow and Clambake at Rutgers University’s George H. Cook Campus in New Brunswick, N.J. Among the offerings available to attendees: expert speakers, fantastic food, an under-the-big-top trade show of more than 50 manufacturers and distributors, and live entertainment. The signature event was the Cockroach Derby.

The day began with the morning’s general sessions, featuring Rod Wheeler, founder and CEO of the Global Food Defense Institute, and Stephen Bross, a representative from the certification and registration branch of New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP).

Later, the outdoor tent opened for attendees who wanted to peruse the newest innovations and exhibits of this year’s pest industry vendors. After that, it was back to learning.

The next block of sessions was divided three ways for ants, wood-destroying insects and mosquitoes, providing attendees with the opportunity to tailor their clinic experience to their needs.

The event’s caterer fed steak, lobster, soup and steamers to more than 500 attendees in about 25 minutes — quite a feat! Photo: Will Nepper

The event’s caterer fed steak, lobster, soup and steamers to more than 500 attendees in about 25 minutes — quite a feat!
Photo: Will Nepper

An afternoon break under the tent allowed those attending to take in another round of the trade show to get an eyeful of what they missed the first time around. This was also the block of time dedicated to what many consider the gathering’s main event: the Cockroach Derby.

Now in its 18th race in the annual clinic and trade show’s 69 years, the Derby is regularly used to prognosticate political races (with an alleged 84 percent record of accuracy!). If this presidential “race” is indeed an indicator of what’s to come in November, it looks like Hillary Clinton wins in a landslide: She blazed a trail from one end of the clear Plexiglas-enclosed track to the other before her main opponent (the Donald Trump cockroach) made it out of the gate.

The afternoon educational portion packed three informative presentations into two and a half hours. Dr. Dini Miller of Virginia Tech and Dr. Changlu Wang of Rutger’s Entomology Department gave presentations on bed bugs that included their research findings.

The day’s educational events meant picking up New Jersey Pesticide Applicators recertification credits for many attendees. For the day’s grand finale, everyone gathered back under the big top for food and entertainment.

Entertainment included a dance “flash mob” doing a surprise choreographed routine to several pop hits, followed by an acoustic duet that provided live dining music and an appearance by the Rutgers University mascot, the Scarlet Knight.



Senior Editor Will Nepper can be reached at wnepper@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3775.

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