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International news in brief – March/April 2016

| May 3, 2016
  • Singapore: Chemical repellent used to disturb birds roost

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) has launched a new method to repel mynahs in Clementi and Yishun. These birds have drawn complaints for the nuisance they cause. Every two months for the next year, the AVA will be fogging the trees where the birds roost with a chemical repellent. The methylated soya bean oil and grape extract causes a brief, temporary burning feeling in the mouths, throats and other parts of the mynahs’ faces. Repeated fogging will not affect the birds’ health and it is hoped that the birds will learn to avoid the area.

The trial comes as the number of bird-related feedback to the AVA jumped from about 5,700 in 2014 to about 7,300 last year. Complaints about mynahs rose from about 360 in 2014 to about 500 last year. The AVA said it will assess the method’s effectiveness and determine if it should be implemented elsewhere. It added that a similar trial in 2014 found that five consecutive days of fogging kept the birds away for only about two months. Hence the new trals will each last a year.

  • USA: SCJ donates 60,000 units of Off!® to US territories

IPC MarApr16_news in Brief_page1_image1In February, SC Johnson sent an initial donation of OFF! to the CDC to meet an immediate need for resources. The products were used in assembling 5,000 kits that have already been distributed. The extra units of OFF! personal repellent, which contains DEET, will be included in additional Zika prevention kits distributed by the CDC. The kits include educational materials, products and tools to help prevent the contraction and transmission of Zika.

This specific donation to the CDC is the first effort as part of the family company’s commitment to donate at least $15 million over the next year to provide products to help needy families combat the mosquitoes that may carry the Zika virus. The US CDC has been at the forefront of issuing educational resources about the Zika virus and continues to lead initiatives to address prevention needs throughout the U.S.
SC Johnson is the world’s largest manufacturer of insect repellent and household insecticides, including OFF!®, Raid®, Autan® and Baygon®
Source: SC Johnson

  • Australia: Dingoes to be used as pest control – farmers sceptical

An environmental group plans to reintroduce dingoes into a Victorian wildlife reserve to work as a form of pest control, and says if the project is successful it could be rolled out across Australia. The project, the first of its kind in Australia, was initially conceived as an alternative to poisoning and trapping feral animals.

Two dingoes will be released into the Eynesbury forest, northwest of Melbourne, in the hope that they will go on to eradicate the foxes, cats and rabbits living in the area. The reserve is surrounded by large areas of developed and cleared farmland. Success will depend on whether native grasses and birds increase, and foxes, cats and rabbits are eradicated. The pilot study will use a 10-hectare fence area inside of which is be another enclosure, where the dingoes will be housed the majority of the time, and then to be let out to exercise in the larger area.

The 10 Ha area will be surrounded by three-metre high fences with dig-proof skirting and this fence line will be checked by volunteers to ensure there hasn’t been any breaches to the perimeter, to minimise any dingo escapes, so there will be no threat to neighbouring livestock. The dingoes are expected to be introduced within a month or two.

  • IOBC-WPRS: Executive Committee expresses its deep sadness

The Biocontrol and IPM community lost one of its most prominent figures of the past 60 years when Prof. Vittorio Delucchi passed away on November 26, 2015 at the age of 90. The Executive Committee of IOBC-WPRS expressed its deep sadness, respect and condolences in the name of the Council members and Convenors.

Vittorio Delucchi was a founding member of the International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC), established in 1956. At the first plenary session of the IOBC in November 1956, Delucchi was appointed a member of the “Bureau Exécutif” which was responsible to guide and manage the IOBC for the first 12 years. In 1968, Delucchi was subsequently elected as Secretary General and served in this function until 1976, and then became Treasurer (1977-1980) and President (1984-1988). Vittorio played a key role as Secretary General in the historic landmark of the IOBC in 1971 at the 5th General Assembly in Rome at FAO headquarters when the decision was taken to create IOBC Global. In all IOBC functions held by Vittorio during the 28 years, he was passionately engaged for the worldwide promotion of biological control and IPM, at the same time warning of the unintended side-effects of inappropriate pesticide use.

His innovative and critical thinking in plant protection will survive in the heart and gestures of his many scholars, and their own students and collaborators worldwide.
Read more about his scientific career and achievements: CV of Prof. Vittorio Delucchi at


  • USA: PelGar takes Brigand rodenticides into a new era

Andrej Branc

Andrej Branc, president of AB Bait, will join PelGar as its North American Business Manager “I am delighted to be part of this new venture. Having the backing and support of PelGar International will allow the business to develop further in the region and bring new products to the North American market.”

PelGar International has announced the acquisition of AB Bait, the sales and marketing group for Brigand rodenticides in the USA. The purchase was completed on 1 March 2016. The North American business will operate under the PelGar USA brand and will bring the full support of PelGar International to the US Market. Andrej Branc, president of AB Bait, will join PelGar as its North American Business Manager with immediate effect.

Launched in 2010, Brigand rodenticides have established a firm foothold in the US market offering a high quality alternative to traditional brands. Based on the active ingredient bromadiolone, the wax blocks go through a unique casting process. This process enhances the palatability and stability of the block – which offers unrivalled moisture tolerance. As well as the block formulation, PelGar has brought to market a highly palatable soft bait made with lard and flour. With the addition of an attractive peanut odour – this bait is irresistible to rats and mice.

“Andrej has built up a very successful business in North America and we are delighted to have him on board the PelGar team,” comments Gareth CapelWilliams, PelGar’s Managing Director. “Going forward, Brigand rodenticides will be marketed under the PelGar USA brand which will further help to raise the company profile globally.”
Source: Pelgar

  • SA: Rotam North America and SipcamAdvan announce new joint venture

Rotam North America and SipcamAdvan have entered into a joint venture as SipcamRotam LLC. Customers in the agriculture, turf and ornamental and material preservation markets across the United States will have access to the combined portfolios of the new joint venture beginning February 1, 2016.
Formed to expand customer access to a wider portfolio of complementary products, the joint venture improves efficiency in order to elevate the customer experience with plant protection products. The joint venture is a commercial alliance with the two companies sharing commercial, marketing and customer service activities.

“We’re thrilled to join forces with an innovative and talent-filled company like Rotam,” said Adam Burnhams, Joint Chief Operating Officer at SipcamAdvan and newly appointed General Manager of the JV. “We believe this new joint venture will not only allow our customer base access to a broader selection of effective chemistry but will also enable both companies to bring new products to market more efficiently.”

“When we reviewed the list of chemistries that SipcamAdvan had available, it made perfect sense to optimize our combined market access to increase product availability for the customers of both companies,” said Tom Chavez, Regional Head, NAFTA at Rotam North America and appointed Chairman of the Board of the JV

The joint venture will combine the sales forces of both companies, though each company will retain its individual identity and assets. Unified product lists and programs will be made available to the combined customer base.
Source: Rotam

  • Mexico: Berries sector gets an innovation boost

An institute for innovation development and knowledge transfer for the booming berries sector has been launched in San Rafael Coapa, a village located in Michoacan, Mexico. The Koppert Development Institute (KDI) was co-created by Koppert Biological Systems, the KoppertRapel
Research and Training Centre (CEICKOR), the CEICKOR University and the Arcum Group, who have all joined forces, to intensify their commitment to develop agriculture in Mexico. This time the focus is on the berries.

In recent years, the berries market in Mexico has grown exponentially, reaching double digits in production growth. Mexico occupies 4th place as a berry producer worldwide and constitutes 7.9% of the global production.

More than 30 hectares have been divided into four crops (strawberry, raspberry, blackberry and blueberry) in both hydroponic and conventional systems for the institute to develop tests for the validation of technology. KDI Berries will perform advisory and consulting for Driscoll’s producers; sustainable production of crops; pesticide free and organic production; agronomic management and hydroponics; improved quality and productivity, and research and development.

These lines of action follow a corporate responsibility philosophy where human rights and dignity are promoted. KDI is an organization with a high sense for quality of life, business ethics, linking the institution to the community and the care and preservation of the environment.
For further information contact:

  • USA:  Syngenta Professional Pest Management (PPM) launches new social media accounts.

New Twitter and YouTube social media platforms will help Syngenta offer timely information to help solve the business challenges pest management professionals (PMPs) face every day in residential, commercial and farm pest control. PMPs, channel partners, customers and media can follow Syngenta PPM on Twitter at @SyngentaPest and subscribe on YouTube.
“With Twitter and YouTube, we can quickly share alerts, reminders and recommendations, so PMPs can
get the information they need without interrupting their work schedule,” says Pat Willenbrock, head of marketing, Professional Pest Management, for Syngenta in North America. “Social media is an excellent platform for thought leadership and we are looking forward to joining the industry conversation.”
@SyngentaPest will provide a mix of educational industry articles and news, technical advice, product information and company updates. Followers are encouraged to join in the conversation by sharing experiences and replying to tweets with questions and feedback. Additionally, the new YouTube channel will host informational videos to learn more about Syngenta PPM and its extensive product portfolio.
Both accounts link to the Syngenta PPM website, which provides additional tools and resources including tailoredassurance and business programs.
Source: Syngenta, For more information visit:

  • USA: Free fact sheets on weeds

The Weed Science Society of American (WSSA) has announced that new and updated educational materials for both weed scientists and the general public are now available for free download from the Society’s website. The new fact sheets clarify the similarities and differences among several categories of weeds, including noxious weeds, invasive weeds and so-called “superweeds.” It also includes a new definition of the word “weed” that has been recently endorsed by WSSA.

WSSA now defines a weed as “a plant that causes economic losses or ecological damage, creates health problems for humans or animals, or is undesirable where it is growing.”

In addition to its new fact sheet, WSSA also has released an updated version of its popular brochure Facts about Weeds. The publication includes dozens of interesting and informative tidbits – from weed seeds found near outer space to the impact of weeds on crop production.

Finally, WSSA is offering free, open access to a special online issue of the journal Weed Science, focusing on weed science research methods. The publication contains 13 articles for online reading or download – from “Experimental Methods for Crop-Weed Competition Studies” to “Proving Allelopathy in Crop–Weed Interactions.”

A large global team of weed scientists helped to develop this special issue. Nilda Roma-Burgos of the University of Arkansas and Stephen O. Duke of the United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service served as editors.


  • Global: Monsanto sets sights on Bayer acquisition

Monsanto recently lost a bid to take over Swiss pesticide company, Syngenta, one if its largest competitors which instead went east to China National Chemical Corporation (Chem China) for a $43 billion cash offer. That has not stopped the world’s largest seed company from trying to take over yet another company and the crop sciences unit of Bayer AG is next in Monsanto’s sight.

Monsanto may be strong in the GM seed market; but chemical companies Bayer AG, BASF SE, and Dow Chemical are larger chemical players and with glyphosate under a cloud and the EU stalling on whether to give Roundup further authorizations, the company may be looking for other ways to boost sales.

Bayer has an 18% market share in crop chemicals, just behind Syngenta, with a 19%.

Confidential meetings have been held in Chicago in order for Monsanto to express its interest in Bayer’s agricutural assets. The German company has said that it wasn’t interested in selling its crop chemicals business, as it sees it as an “integral part of the German healthcare” group of which Bayer is a part.

But Monsanto seems insistent on consolidating the seed industry – chemicals and seed alike – despite failing GM crops, high inventories, and low return on costly investments in developing new GM traits that are patentable. According to Failure to Yield, despite 20 years of research and 13 years of commercialization, genetic engineering has failed to significantly increase U.S. crop yields.

Although Monsanto and Bayer have both declined to comment on the possible merger, Bayer’s crop sciences unit might be the only way Monsanto can save itself from further economic shortfalls. The company’s seed and productivity segments both saw substantial declines from last year’s levels.

  • And finally… UK: Exploiting all media opportunities? Recently spotted on Linked-In.

PE57The owner works across London dealing with urban fox and human conflict issues.
For more information visit:
or contact Steve Barron, Director of Pest – Go Limited.






Published in International Pest Control – March/April 2016 issue



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Category: International Pest News, news in brief

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