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Claudia Riegel earned her degrees from Purdue University, University of Georgia, and obtained a Ph.D. from the University of Florida. She started at the City of New Orleans Mosquito, Termite, and Rodent Control Board since 2004. As Director she provides technical support for the City of New Orleans and the pest control industry, conducts independent research, collaborates with industry for enhancements of existing products and testing of new products, and collaborates with government organizations and universities on a variety of research projects involving rodents, mosquitoes, termites, and a variety of other urban pests.
Structures in the French Quarter and throughout New Orleans has had a long history of severe termite pressure from Reticulitermes spp. and the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus. Since C. formosanus was first confirmed in New Orleans in 1966, infestations of this termite have become a threat to the structural integrity of many historic structures, some of which date back to the early 1700’s. Structures are often connected or in close proximity. Limited soil access around structures can make it difficult to effectively treat a structure with a liquid termiticide, often reducing its ability to protect structures. Termite baits containing an insect growth inhibitors has been extensively used by the City of New Orleans for control of subterranean termites in public buildings as well as by the pest management industry in private properties. Baits use small amounts of insecticides that are targeted to the termite by the design of the system. Valuable information about the population density of termite colonies in New Orleans and has made a significant contribution to the ongoing efforts of termite management in the French Quarter and in the State of Louisiana. In 2017, members of the City of New Orleans, were given the unique opportunity to assist the city of Mobile to protect some of their historic buildings from termite attack in an area-wide project. The results of the projects will be presented.