Title page for ETD etd-07012016-112242


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Acharya, Namoona
Author's Email Address nachar1@lsu.edu
URN etd-07012016-112242
Title Analysis of Insect Pest Reports at LSU Residential Life
Degree Master of Science (M.S.)
Department Entomology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Henderson, Gregg Committee Chair
Cater, Melissa Committee Member
Diaz, Rodrigo Committee Member
Huang, Fangneng Committee Member
Keywords
  • red imported fire ant
  • degree of infestation
  • Residential Life
  • Maximo database
Date of Defense 2016-06-03
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
Urban insect pests are adversely affecting student living on campus at LSU. Insect pest reporting was started systematically in 2000 at LSU Residential Life after introducing Maximo database. To analyze the insect pest reports, complaints from students on ants, bed bugs and cockroaches were selected from the database. From the 16-year data set, the growth trend of reports of ants, bed bugs and cockroaches was found to be increasing. The highest reported month and year for ants was September 2004. In August 2008, cockroaches were most reported on. Bed bug reports peaked in October 2009. Based on the reports, the highest degree of infestation was found in Highland Hall for ants and West Nicholson for bed bugs and cockroaches. To calculate the degree of infestation for each 20 dorms, 2 single student apartments and 2 family apartments, total reports of a particular insect group was divided by 16 years to calculate the averages and then divided by the number of students residing in that dorm/apartment and then multiplied by hundred to convert the value to a percentage. All halls/apartments were divided into 3 age groups (< 30 years, 30-60 years, and > 60 years) to determine the relationship between the degree of infestation and the age of halls/apartments. The oldest halls/apartments had significantly higher ant infestations/students, while halls/apartments age was not significant for bed bugs and cockroaches. A negative slope was found between the degree of infestation and the number of floors among all dorms and apartments which was linearly significant with bed bugs and cockroaches. From our visual inspections of 21 apartments/halls with bed bug reports, only 3 actually had bed bugs. Most of the reports were possibly related other insect bites/stings, allergies and a negative perception toward bed bugs.

A web survey “Residential Life Entomology Survey” was also developed and sent to students living on campus. From this study, the LSU Residential Life came to know the present situation of insects among all halls and apartments. From 392 respondents, mosquitoes, cockroaches, long horn crazy ants, gnats, bees and wasps were found as the most common insects reported. Students were positive toward the use of preventative chemicals measure. More than half of the students were satisfied with the insect pest control. In this case, the pest management team of Residential Life as well as the Pest Control Company (PCO) should work better and while using pest control strategies, students should be advised about the prevention procedure. Linearly significant relationship was observed between the number of insects observed and the level of satisfaction, in which for every one unit increase of insects observed, the satisfaction level decreases by -1.61.

From this overall study, LSU Residential Life’s insect problem is minor with 2.64% of reports while comparing all reports in Maximo Database. Although this percentage is low, insects should be considered important. Residential Life has been working with different PCOs and students consider that PCOs and Residential Life are responsible for insect control in their living areas. However, students could also prevent many insects in their halls and apartments. As for ants and cockroaches, students can prevent these insects by improving their habits. As sanitation is the key to prevent many insects, students can protect themselves from many allergic reactions after insects’ bites/stings. Similarly, disease vectors could be prevented along with the clean environment in dorms and apartments. To prevent and control insect pests at the LSU Residential Life, PCOs working as contractors, pest management team of LSU Residential Life and students collaborate together to make LSU Residential Life a great place.

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