UPFDA meeting focuses on mosquito-borne diseases

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June 29, 2017

PMP Hall of Famer Dr. Goddard captivates UPFDA meeting attendees with mosquito talk

Dr. Jerome Goddard

Dr. Jerome Goddard

We must never forget the leathery lessons of our past, PMP Hall of Famer Dr. Jerome Goddard warned attendees of the spring conference of the United Producers, Formulators & Distributors Association (UPFDA).

“Zika is a bigger public health threat than many know, and it’s just the new kid on the block,” said Dr. Goddard, while delivering a presentation on mosquito-borne diseases and viruses at UPFDA’s April 25-27 spring conference at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine, Texas.

Dr. Goddard drove home his point while showing attendees a photo of himself at a cemetery: “The graves I stand by mark the untimely deaths of a mom and dad, and their eight children. Only one of the eight children lived beyond 18 years. Many of the children died within days of one another. Given the cemetery’s location, and the dates on the graves, yellow fever — just one of many nasty mosquito-borne diseases and viruses — may have played a part.”

The list of mosquito-borne diseases and viruses is extensive. To name just a few: Malaria. Dengue fever. Yellow fever. Chikungunya. Dog heartworm. Filariasis. West Nile, Zika and several encephalitis viruses.

The U.S. government recently approved $1.1 billion to help fight Zika — for vaccine development, diagnostic kits, lab tests, research grants, emergency response teams and contracted mosquito control — but a lot of the money is to pay for already-committed mosquito-management efforts in Florida and Puerto Rico. The states are trying to get another $800 million to fight Zika. Dr. Goddard said he hopes, and prays, they get all that and then some.

“Eight out of 10 people infected with the Zika virus show no signs,” noted Dr. Goddard, an extension professor of medical and veterinary entomology at Mississippi State University. “We pay a lot of time and attention to the 20 percent showing signs — as we should — but what about the 80 percent who are Zika virus carriers and are flying under the radar?”

Spring conference synopsis

Grapevine, Texas — April 25-27

  • UPFDA President Karen Furgiuele of Gardex Chemicals noted registrations were 25 percent higher than typical for the association’s spring meeting.
  • UPFDA Vice President Scott Riley of MGK served as conference moderator, expertly transitioning among myriad topics and speakers.
  • PMP’s own Marty Whitford discussed “Purchasing & Pest Trends,” including a recent PMP survey showing 75 percent of pest management professionals (PMPs) are willing to pay more for control solutions that are quick-acting and long-lasting.
  • Linda Johns, with the Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials (ASPCRO), emphasized: “Change is in the air. We need to do our best to protect the tools in PMPs’ toolboxes.”
  • “It’s always great to be home, in the great state of Texas, where I grew up,” said Aaron Hobbs, president of RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment). Hobbs shared RISE’s mission to protect and advance the professional pest management and plant-health markets. He discussed regulatory issues such as preemption and specialty product bans and restrictions, and outlined RISE’s related advocacy efforts.
  • Alexis Wirtz, the National Pest Management Association’s (NPMA’s) VP of conventions and meetings, and Dennis Jenkins, NPMA treasurer and owner of Lewisville, Texas-based ABC Home & Commercial Services, discussed the benefits of NPMA’s Mentor Match, PestVets and the Executive Leadership Program.
  • Pi Chi Omega President-Elect Dale Baker of J.T. Eaton encouraged attendees to join the pest management fraternity representing about 450 professionals in 38 states and four foreign countries. Baker also promoted a soon-to-be-published book tentatively titled Pi Chi Omega — A History: How a Business Fraternity for
    Pest Control Transformed the Industry.
  • UPFDA Executive Director Valera Jessee closed the conference by thanking attendees for their participation and promising that next year’s spring meeting will be bigger and better than ever: “We plan to go big — Texas big — next year. 2018 will mark UPFDA’s 50th anniversary.”

Editorial Directtor Marty Whitford can be reached at mwhitford@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3766.

About the Author

Marty Whitford

Marty Whitford is the Publisher/Editorial Director for PMP magazine. He can be reached at mwhitford@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3766.

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