New pest management hub will address Florida’s buggiest problems

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) will create a new network focused on finding novel ways to manage bugs and pests in homes and businesses, known as the Innovation Hub for Urban Pest Management.

Designed to further position UF/IFAS as a leader in the pest management industry, the initiative will receive strategic funding of $985,000 over three years from the office of UF President Ben Sasse.

The Hub will have two objectives: to develop the workforce in the urban pest management industry and to provide new solutions to urgent pest and public health problems through research and new technology. The initiative is expected to be financially self-sustaining after the currently funded three years.

“The Innovation Hub for Urban Pest Management will not only help create jobs throughout the state, but it will also improve public health,” Sasse said. “This is such a powerful opportunity to enhance our faculty entomology programs for the benefit of Florida’s citizens.”

The Hub will support the training of more pest management professionals and develop tools for those professionals to use against current and emerging pest problems, said Robert Gilbert, the UF/IFAS dean for research.


Meredith Bauer November 14, 2023