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International news in brief – January/February 2017 issue

| April 4, 2017
  • Malaysia: Rentokil aims to break the mosquito life cycle

Acting as Aedes Fighters, dedicated volunteers from Rentokil Initial Malaysia have worked together on a mission to eradicate mosquito breeding grounds, reducing the mosquito population, and to create healthier and safer environments. This initiative is part of the organisation’s annual corporate social responsibility programme; Community Oriented Health Education Programme (COHEP), which aims to galvanise the communities in Malaysia into taking actions to preserve a clean and hygienic environment in and out of their residency to keep mosquitoes at bay. The general agenda of the programme includes an opening speech, a cleaning session, and also complimentary pest control services such as general pest spraying, bed bug and termite inspection for the home, and water-based fogging around the neighbouring areas.

The united efforts of all volunteers have resulted in the successful removal of stagnant waters to avert the devel- opment of mosquito larvae, trimmed trees and plants in the garden to avoid attracting mosquitoes, and cleaned up indoor spaces. These accomplishments have helped achieve the objectives of the programme, to breaking mosquito life cycle through proper sanitation and collective efforts.
Dengue is the fastest-growing vector-borne infection in the world and Southeast Asia is the epicenter of dengue mosquito breeding due to its tropical climate. In Malaysia, a total of 97,052 dengue fever cases with 229 deaths have been recorded as of 13 December 2016.




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  • France: M2i Life Sciences receives the EC European business award

After winning in France, the Innovation Award from the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, M2i Life Sciences has in addition won the European Business Award for Environment in the category Innovation & Process. Founded in 2012, M2i Life Sciences is dedicated to the design, development and sale of biocontrol products and specifically pheromones control products. The development, for which M2i was rewarded, incorpo- rates pheromone mating disruption of pine processionary moth and a paint- ball application process. It is during the flight period that saturating the air with a large amount of the specific sex pheromone of the insect thus the prevention of males detecting females can be accomplished and therefore limiting the couplings and, preventing egg laying and infestation. A pheromone gel is inserted into biodegradable pellets (paintballs) that are projected at a height onto trees that is suitable for the pheromone to be effective. This technique, already marketed for export, can significantly reduce the impact of this pest which is present on nearly 10 million hectares in Europe and affects 67% of French cities.

  • USA: Bug-battling industry will pay to take out backyard citrus

America’s battle against one of the citrus industry’s most dangerous pests is moving to a new front: abandoned residential citrus trees. The Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri) can spread a bacteria that can kill citrus trees. A joint action by California Citrus Mutual and Bayer Crop Science will remove homeowners’ citrus trees for free to prevent them from becoming a breeding ground for the Asian citrus psyllid, an insect with a huge potential to spread an incurable plant disease. The disease, known as huanglongbing, HLB or citrus greening disease, has devastated the citrus industries in Florida, Texas, Mexico and Brazil by slowly killing trees and making the fruit worthless. So far, California has found the disease only in backyard trees in the Los Angeles area. Growers in California’s $3.3 billion citrus industry want to keep it that way. As part of their fight to prevent the insect and the disease from migrating, farmers, scientists and industry officials have attacked the problem on multiple fronts, including pesticide applications, insect trapping and rearing parasitic wasps. The program operating on a $25,000 endowment received $100,000 in federal funding in January. To qualify, the citrus trees must be near a commercial citrus grove.
To find out more about the program, visit the Citrus Matters website

  • Africa: First indigenous biocontrol innovation for the prevention of aflatoxin

The International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, and partners has said that it will commercialise, disseminate first aflatoxin bio-control products to farmers in Africa. African farmers will soon have a product that will ensure safer food for their families and communities, a natural product called aflasafe that can reduce contamination from aflatoxin. The first indigenous bio-control innovation for the prevention of aflatoxin contamination on the fields and store houses of maize and groundnut farmers in Africa will be made available in at least 11 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. More than 4.5 billion people in the developing world are exposed to aflatoxins, carcinogenic poisons produced by a fungus that contaminates crops. Aflatoxins are detrimental to human health, and could even cause death as they suppress immune systems associated with stunting in children. IITA envisages a scenario where every African farmer will apply the product on their field, producing aflatoxin-safe grains for their families and communities buying from the market. The new aflasafe Technology Transfer and Commercialisation Project (aTTC), funded by a $20 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID, was launched last December 2016 to be implemented in 11 countries; Burkina Faso, the Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

  • Zambia: Military to fight army worms

Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu has called in the air force to help contain an invasion of army worms in maize fields. The operation involves among other Government agencies, the Ministry of Agriculture, DMMU and the Zambia Air force (ZAF) which has been airlifting chemicals to affected areas. The President has directed that the chemicals that were purchased under emergency operations should be distributed to all parts of the country although the outbreak of army worms has been reported on the Copperbelt, Luapula and Central Provinces. There is concern that if the outbreak of the worms is not controlled speedily, the crop yield for 2016/2017 may negatively be affected. The pests, (Spodoptera exempta) called army worms because they eat most vegetation in their way, can destroy entire fields. They are devouring crops in six of the southern African state’s 10 provinces. The president is concerned that if the outbreak of the worms is not controlled speedily, the crop yield for 2016/7 may be negatively affected. Four years ago, army worms destroyed maize, cassava, sorghum and rice fields. Maize is the staple diet in Zambia. Production rose to 2.87 million tonnes in the 2015/16 crop season from 2.6 million tonnes the previous season because of good rainfall and early delivery of fertiliser and seed to farmers.

  • USA: Household insecticides market to exceed US$17B by 2021

According to a report published by Persistence Market Research the global household insecticides market, estimated to be valued at US$10.9B in 2015, is expected to expand at a CAGR of 7.9% over 2015–2021, to reach US$17.2B by 2021. The growth of the global household insecticides market is mainly driven by increasing demand from emerging regions such as Asia Pacific due to rapid urbanization and growing disposable income among the population. In addition, factors such as rising urbanization and concerns over vector-borne diseases across the globe are projected to fuel demand for household insecticides in the near future. Household insecticides include substances applied to clothing, skin, or other surfaces to control or repel insects. A wide range of insecticides is currently available in the global market. These include insect sprays for use in the kitchen to weed killers for the lawn and mosquito repellents for indoor or outdoor use. Household insecticides have been witnessing wide acceptance to keep homes and gardens insect-free and to ensure safe and healthy living environment.
Revenue from the mosquito and fly control segment is expected to remain dominant owing to increasing demand for these insecticides in developing countries due to growing health concerns. Major players in this market are focused on developing eco-friendly products containing natural ingredients.
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  • Italy: Horizon 2020 XF-ACTORS

A multidisciplinary research plan aims to improve prevention, early detection and control of Xylella fastidiosa (Xf) under different phytosanitary conditions. The project aims to strengthen preventive measures by promoting integrated actions. Xf has affected not only olive trees in the Southern part of Apulia, in Italy, with the related Olive Quick Decline Syndrome OQDS (or CoDiRO), but also ornamental plants and some landscape trees in other parts of Europe. The overall goal of the research program is to assess Xf potential to spread throughout EU territory, while maximizing its impact through a multifactor approach, based on a seamless integration amongst the 29 partners involved, as reported by the Community Research and Development Information Service of the European Commission. The project, coordinated by the National Research Council of Italy CNR, is partnered with several groups. The partnership will work on the development of sustainable management strategies to reduce the economic, environmental and social impacts of the disease.
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  • India: Agrochemicals industry on the throes of change.

India’s agrochemicals sector is the world’s fourth largest with an output of nearly $4.3b (2014) and growing at 10-12% CAGR. The traditional dominance of insecticides over fungicides and herbicides is being steadily reversed through introduction of GMOs, labour shortage and the shift from cotton and food grains to fruits, vegetables and horticulture. By 2020, around 15 formulations worth over $4b will go off-patent and would therefore be available for generics development.

  • USA: Worlds first LED & bug zapper

If you live in an area affected by biting insects any new product is of interest. The Zapplight is designed as 2-in-1 LED light bulb that not only features a built-in zapper grid, but also has a very bright 920 lumen LED light. The bulb only uses 10 W of energy. The Zapplight bulb screws into a standard socket and does not have any switches or dials. The electric grid is placed behind a plastic cage to prevent users accidental zapping themselves and it comes with a small plastic brush that can be used to brush off is available from Amazon and other online stores.
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  • And Finally…UK: Pest or pollution monitor?

7 million people die from the consequences of air pollution every year. In 2016, Plume Labs launched the first ever flock of pollution-monitoring pigeons across London to raise awareness of air pollution and to also help raise funding. Ten pigeons (provided by a fancier) were equipped with backpacks loaded with devices to measure nitrogen dioxide and ozone. Plume’s unique sensing technology and the Pigeon Air Patrol, tracked air quality and reported back via Twitter. Having pigeons fly with little backpacks was not easy. While covering a large range of parameters, they were specifically designed for extreme lightness! Plume Labs are now using the same technology for personal connected devices to help keep track and reduce exposure to environmental factors in everyday lives.
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Published in International Pest Control – January/February 2017 issue


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Category: International Pest News, news in brief

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