Latest News from BPCA

06 July 2022

10th ICUP conference 'a roaring success'


Delegates from across the globe were excited to once again be present, face-to-face, at the 10th International Conference on Urban Pests (ICUP).


Held at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain from 27-29 June 2022, it had been a long wait for this event.

Originally planned for 2020, Covid-19 put a spanner in the works, so five years had passed since the last ICUP event held in Birmingham, UK, in 2017.

In total, over 250 academics, manufacturers, regulators and service professionals representing all sectors of the urban pest management sector attended.

Delegates came from 28 different countries from as far away as Argentina, South Korea, Australia and India but, as to be expected, there were strong contingents from European countries, in particular Italy, Germany, France and of course, the host country Spain.

Opening the event was Dr Bill Robinson, chair of the ICUP Executive Committee, who greeted all the delegates, referring to them as ‘the ICUP family’.

This is certainly a very apt description as these events have a very loyal following, with well over half of those present having attended at least one, if not several, or even all, of the previous nine conferences going back to Cambridge in 1993.

Dr Robinson implored all those present to "get out of your box and think laterally about urban pest control".

"Economics are coming into pest control. The world is changing. We are all safe and sound here in Barcelona, but the world is no longer such a friendly place.

"Some of our East European colleagues are absent. And several of us have had to battle with airline and train cancellations as well as lost luggage."

Problems certainly, but this failed to dampen the excitement and enthusiasm of those lucky enough to be present.

Challenges, old and new

Dr Ruben Bueno, chairman of the ICUP Organising Committee welcomed everyone to Barcelona.

He highlighted the challenges and new problems faced within Europe, such as the growing threats posed by the spread of West Nile virus and the increase in invasive species such as Aedes albopictus, black flies, Asian hornets and termites.

Right up to the very end of the conference, changes in climatic conditions and the related threats emerging proved one of the conference themes.

Dr Raman Velayudhan, head of the Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases unit of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva gave the very last presentation, detailing the actions contained within the Global Arbovirus Initiative launched by WHO in March 2022.

At the opening ceremony, Dr Bueno was joined by Elisenda Realp Campalans, director of Environmental Health in the Public Health Agency of Barcelona.

She welcomed delegates on behalf of the City and explained how the monitoring of urban pests was an increasing issue, especially with the changes in climatic conditions.

She stressed how Barcelona is committed to the health of its residents and the challenge it faces.

In total there were approaching 70 oral presentations accompanied by poster presentations, which covered both scientific research and practical experiences of the full range of urban pests including rodents, bed bugs, cockroaches, ants, birds, mosquitoes and termites, using both chemical and non-chemical means.

These sessions generated detailed, and sometimes extended, discussion about the various issues raised. In addition, there was a one-day, more practical workshop which was well attended by local pest professionals as well as those attending for the full three days.

As ever at such ICUP events, the informal time spent by delegates networking and exchanging ideas proved both very valuable and enjoyable.

Delegates received printed and bound proceedings, which contained the full text of the oral presentations together with abstracts of the 60 posters.

These papers and posters will soon be available to view and download, free-of-charge, from the permanent ICUP website.

The next ICUP Conference will be in three year’s time, in 2025. Further details, including the location, will be announced very soon. 

Source: ICUP press release

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