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International news in brief – March/April 2017 issue

| April 30, 2017
  • Spain: Sound waves to repel insect pests

SAMI Technologies Int., S.L. is a Spanish company dedicated to the research, development and commercialization of technological solutions for the entomological market. As we head into the busy Spring season, with the greatest proliferation of pests, the company has launched a device that claims embraces the latest technological advances and responds to the market demands for that limit the use of chemicals and have a responsible energy consumption. After two years of tests, the ipest Smart Repeller has been developed primarily for an industrial use (restaurants, bars, kitchens, hotels, singular buildings, hospitals). The device generates and emits electromagnetic radiation (in the form of complex waves), that produce deep discomfort and confusion in the insects forcing insects to abandon the area and prevent them from returning.

The discomfort is also claimed to make the insects unable to feed or to defend against insecticides. That is the reason why ending the pest requires a dose that is considerably lower than the usual in chemical products. Targets include cockroaches and flies. The low frequency waves are similar to radio waves. The central frequency of the waves is found in the LF strip, in the same way that AM broadcasting and other systems for air and sea navigation. The electromagnetic fields produced are comparable, and even inferior, to the ones generated by the common systems present in every home: mobile roaming, WiFi routers, and AM/FM radio transmitters. The radiation emitted is non-ionizing, so it is incapable of chemically altering matter and does not present any risk to people.
For more information visit

  • UK: Bed bug duvet and cot protectors added to the Cimexine range

Bed bug specialists, British Bug Control, has added to its suite of bed bug products with the introduction of a range of bed bug proof duvet protectors and cot protectors. The company already offers the widest range of bed bug mattress encasement sizes available anywhere in the UK, and has reacted to a demand to protect duvets as well. “Bed bugs are nocturnal and like somewhere they can tuck themselves away during the day, so the seams of mattresses and duvets are ideal,” said British Bug Control’s Gareth Purnell. “People often immediately throw beds and bedding away when they get an outbreak of bed bugs, but that almost never gets rid of the problem. They then often buy new duvets, pillows and mattresses straight away, before discovering the outbreak has not been eradicated at all. That’s where the bed bug encasements and protectors come in. They have a soft breathable outer which is very nice to sleep on or under, but the inside features a PVA miracle membrane that makes it completely bed bug proof. On its own they are not going to get rid of an outbreak – for that you need a qualified and experience bed bug pest controller.
However, they will keep your new items pristine, and stop them becoming infested while you take other measures to eradicate the issue.”
For more information contact or visit

  • EU: EC clears merger between Dow and DuPont, subject to conditions

The European Commission has approved the proposed merger between US-based chemical companies Dow and DuPont. The approval is conditional in particular on the divestiture of major parts of DuPont’s global pesticide business, including its global R&D organisation. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “Pesticides are products that matter – to farmers, consumers and the environment. We need effective competition in this sector so companies are pushed to develop products that are ever safer for people and better for the environment. Our decision today ensures that the merger between Dow and DuPont does not reduce price competition for existing pesticides or innovation for safer and better products in the future.”

The Commission had concerns that the merger as notified would have reduced competition on price and choice in a number of markets for existing pesticides. Furthermore, the merger would have reduced innovation. The commitments submitted by Dow and DuPont address the concerns in full. The parties will remove the overlap in markets, where concerns were raised, by divesting the relevant DuPont pesticide businesses. They will also divest almost the entirety of DuPont’s global R&D organisation. The Commission concluded that the divestment package enables a buyer to sustainably replace DuPont’s competitive effect in these markets and continue to innovate, for the benefit of European farmers and consumers.

As regards certain petrochemical products, where both companies are important players, the parties will divest relevant assets in Dow’s petrochemical business to preserve effective competition.

  • UK: Mobile app hits early milestone

MOBILE app which acts as a digital ID card for pest technicians has been downloaded more than 300 times in less than a year. The free facility, developed by professional register BASIS PROMPT, also makes it quick and easy to register at events, log participation in training activities and collect CPD points.

A total of 302 people have downloaded the software since its launch at PPC Live in March. The app, which can be downloaded to smartphones, carries personalised information on a unique digital barcode. CPD points are registered automatically and the running total is updated, providing technicians with an at-a-glance picture of progress. The facility also enables event organisers to process information far more efficiently – reducing the need for time consuming paperwork.

Stephen Jacob, chief executive of BASIS PROMPT, believes it will go from strength to strength. He said: “The app was only launched a few months ago, so the fact it has gone down so well is very encouraging. “We’re now looking to develop it further. We’ve already made a change which enables users to remain logged in even when they close down the app on their phone and we’ve also added a confirmation message when people are clearing their data.”

Future developments could include Geolocation, which would provide users with notifications of forthcoming events near them, reminders of other important diary dates and photographic ID. Pest controllers can download the app by searching for BASIS PROMPT in the App Store (for Apple users) or Google Play for android.

  • New Zealand: Application for improved rabbit biocontrol

Environment Canterbury has announced that it will be seeking permission on behalf of a co-ordinating group to release a new variant of rabbit haemorrhagic disease. The new variant, known as RHDV1 K5, has already been approved for registration in Australia where release is planned between March and June 2017. Graham Sullivan, Environment Canterbury Regional Leader Biosecurity, said RHDV1 K5 is a potentially significant biological control tool for pest rabbits in New Zealand. “While exact figures are unknown, it is expected that there will be improved knockdown in areas where the current strain of RHDV is less effective,” he said. RHDV1 K5 is a Korean strain of the existing RHDV1 virus that is already widespread in New Zealand. “It was selected for release in Australia because it can better overcome the protective effects of the benign calicivirus (RCA-A1) which naturally occurs in the feral rabbit populations in both Australia and New Zealand,” Mr Sullivan said.

Replacing the existing virus with a new strain may help overcome resistance to old virus. “RHDV1 K5, like other RHDV1 variants, only infects the European rabbit and no other species,” he said. “RHDV1 K5 is expected to boost the effects of the existing RHDV1 strain and help slow the increase in rabbit numbers. There is a vaccine to protect pet rabbits and the ministry for Primary Industries will confirm that this vaccine will be effective against the new strain. There are no human health risks associated with RHDV.” A controlled release will ensure that a higher quality commercially prepared product is made available and that the release can be appropriately managed and monitored.

  • UK: Annual amenity conference plans announced

The Amenity Forum conference and associated exhibition has become a must attend event for all involved or with an interest in weed, pest and disease management. The Forum has announced that in 2017, it will take place on Thursday, October 12th, at the Pirelli Stadium, Burton on Trent. The conference will be entitled ‘Keeping Britain Moving’ and speakers will address the key issues in the sector. Speakers include John Parker, who works for Transport for London, who will address the issue of keeping our cities moving. Colin Mumford from Bayer will speak on the ‘appliance of science’ and Professor Alan Gange will take a specific look at biological control linked to his research programme at Royal Holloway University of London. A leading head groundsman will give his views on the pressures of producing high quality sports surfaces and a session led by two leading sector experts will pose the question ‘What is the future for weed, pest and disease management’.
For more information visit

  • Australia: RNA clay offers green alternative to plant pesticides

A nano-sized bio-degradable clay-comprising double stranded ribonucleic acid (dsRNA) could offer a cost-effective, clean and green alternative to chemical-based plant pesticides. Australian researchers from the University of Queensland have successfully used a gene-silencing spray, named BioClay, a combination of biomolecules and clay, to protect tobacco plants from a virus for 20 days with a single application. Their study has been published in Nature Plants. “When BioClay is sprayed onto a plant, the virus-specific dsRNA is slowly released from the clay nanosheets into the plant. This activates a pathway in the plant that is a natural defence mechanism. The dsRNA is chopped up into small bits of RNA by enzymes of this pathway. These small bits attack the virus when it infects the plant without altering the plant genome,” explains lead researcher, Neena Mitter. “Even with current pesticides, we lose up to 40 per cent of our crop productivity because of pests and pathogens. We are hoping that having BioClay in the mix as an environmentally friendly, sustainable crop protection measure will reduce crop losses,” Mitter adds. “BioClay is specific and it only kills the pathogen being targeted. Currently farmers use insecticides to kill the vector that comes with the viruses, but with BioClay we can target the virus itself.” BioClay field trials may begin in Australia by year-end. “The first test will be on a virus that infects vegetable crops — capsicum, tomato and chilli.”
For more information visit

  • UK: Slug pellet labels remain the same for 2017 applications

Chiltern introduced the first low dose 1.5% TR3799 metaldehyde® pellet to the UK market in 2002 and in 2009 took the decision to concentrate solely on 1.5% metaldehyde pellets.

Colin Myram, agronomist with Chiltern Farm Chemicals has confirmed that slug pellet usage guidelines as described on product labels will remain the same for 2017. “This means that farmers and agronomists can control slugs within the same guidelines as previous years”, comments Mr Myram. Although re-registration of Metaldehyde has been due since 2015, delays at the governments Chemicals Registration Division(CRD) continue to create uncertainty around the use of this critical active. The most recent delay has confirmed that Metaldehyde can be used for the 2017 season, but will remain under the same guidelines as 2016. “The industry is making great efforts to demonstrate its responsible use of slug pellets”, continues Mr Myram, “and we would always advise farmers to follow best practice whilst applying the lowest dose possible. Our research over the years has shown that 1.5% Metaldehyde applied at 4kg consistently delivers the same efficacy as higher dosage rates, giving the industry an even better opportunity to demonstrate its responsible use of pesticides”
For more information visit

  • Kenya: Taming ornamental plant invasion in Kenya

Opuntia stricta is an invasive cactus weed covering large tracts of land in Kenya’s semi-rid Laikipia County. A native plant of South America, it is causing problems for people, domestic animals as well as wildlife. It was introduced in Kenya as an ornamental plant but has since invaded community lands. In Laikipia, about 253 kilometres to the north of Nairobi, it is dominating thousands of hectares of land given its fast propagating nature. As a result it is reducing the area of agricultural farmlands, wildlife areas and ranches. It is also causing socioeconomic and health challenges.

A biocontrol method is now being used in the area to destroy the weed. A sap-sucking insect Dactylopius opuntiae, commonly known as cochineal has been imported from South Africa where it is being used to control the cactus weed in Kruger National Park. The cochineal specifically feeds on the cactus and has gone through laboratory tests to ensure it has no non-target impacts, especially on other plants. Since the introduction infected plants have stopped producing fruit, inhibiting further spread of the weed – more so, where communities have embraced the use of cochineal.

O. stricta cannot be suppressed through chemical and mechanical control because of the associated costs. The spread of the cactus is fuelled by the fact that it adapts well to semi-arid regions. The biocontrol programme is a long-term, sustainable and effective way of controlling widespread invasive species in Africa and researchers are optimistic that in four to five years, cochineal will get established.
For more information visit

  • UK: Railway weed control company on track for European growth

A company which specialises in weed control on railway networks is planning a £2m investment to grow its operation in Europe, with support from enterprise ventures and finance yorkshire. Weedfree On Track, based in Huddersfield, provides weed control and de-vegetation services to European state railways. The company operates its own advanced weed control train which uses environmentally efficient technology to spray the railway tracks. Development of a second train has been commissioned to support its operations in Europe which include long-term contracts in Belgium, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. To secure the purchase of the new train, enterprise ventures SME loans provided a £300,000 debt funding package while Ffinance Yorkshire invested £200,000 from its business loans fund. Ian Atkinson, Investment Manager with Enterprise Ventures, part of Mercia Technologies, which is managing the northern powerhouse debt fund in the region, said: “weeds left untreated can create a fire and safety hazard, damage buildings and plant, obscure sight lines and create security problems at site boundaries. weedfree on track can resolve the problem by clearing sites swiftly and safely and its increasing overseas client base is recognition of its expertise.”

  • NL: Bird control group further improves range of bird control lasers

The popular Agrilaser range of bird control products, manufactured by Dutch company Bird Control Group has been re-classified from laser class 2m to laser class 3b, which has enabled the company to launch new, more powerful laser products. The result is an exceptional performance which increases the range and effectiveness of the lasers on light absorbing surfaces and bright sunlight conditions. Bird Control Group are taking full advantage of the new laser power range available to them of 5 to 499 mW, giving them a great opportunity to release higher power products that give increased performance.

The handheld presentation now comes in three models with different laser output power: Handheld, Handheld 200 and 500. The variants give the user a solution for every environment and during every light condition. To prevent unauthorized use of the equipment, the handheld designs are now equipped with a key lock system.
The static, automated Autonomic range has also benefited from upgrades and now in addition to its Autonomic 100 also sports an Autonomic 200 and Autonomic 500 model. For any existing users upgrade sets are available on request. Dan England, Director of UK distributor PestFix says “Choosing the right Agrilaser model is essential in order to generate a laser projection with sufficient contrast for effective bird dispersal. Now there is much greater range for our customers to choose from in order to meet their bird control needs which is excellent news.”
For more information visit

  • Australia: HACCP releases a new ‘world’s best practice’ standard

One of the most significant issues effecting food safety is that of pest control. This subject is a major cause of food safety incidents, recalls, audit non-conformance and actions by state health departments. HACCP Australia has released a new standard, meeting international best practice both in its development and in terms of the standard itself. It will make a huge contribution to reducing food safety incidents and can be used to ensure a consistently high standard of service, performance and outcomes in pest control within food handling facilities.
The new standard has been developed by expert food technologists at HACCPAustralia, together with a review committee comprising food manufacturers, retailers, auditors and pest management companies. All pest management service providers that are currently certified by HACCP Australia will be audited against this standard after a transition period. New applicants will be audited to this standard henceforth.
The standard is available at no charge to food businesses and contractors. To obtain a copy of the standard please visit the tools and downloads section of HACCP Australia’s website –
For more information email

  • Thailand: FAOPMA-Pest Summit 2017 22 – 24 November 2017

The FAOPMA-Pest Summit 2017 is the first convention after the merger between the FAOPMA (Federation of Asian and Oceania Pest Manager Association) and the Pest Summit conventions. The theme of this year’s convention is ‘New Perspectives of IPM in Urban and Public Health in Asia and Oceania’ and the venue is The Empress Chiang Mai Hotel, Chiang Mai, Thailand. FAOPMA is organizing the event which will include some of the world most distinguished speakers in the field of urban pest management. With an expected 1000 delegates, mainly pest management professionals, personnel of pesticide industries and some regional academics, the FAOPMA convention never fails to impress.
For more information visit http://www. 2017.

  • USA: EPA to restrict pyrethroid use

Currently the US EPA is evaluating whether to further restrict pyrethroid use by pest management professionals. Inappropriate regulations can significantly impact lives and livelihood, and the Pyrethroid Working Group (PWG) is asking US professionals to voice concerns to help the EPA better understand the important role that pyrethroids serve in their ability to provide services and protect the public. To help craft the message, the PWG we have created a template that can be used to communicate to the EPA; respondents are invited to leave comments such as which pyrethroids are used, application rates, methods of application, and how the product is an effective tool in integrated pest management. This will help EPA refine its assumptions on how pyrethroids are really used.

Including other information on the importance of pyrethroids could be helpful as well, such as efficacy, economy, resistance management and lack of alternatives, will help EPA assess the benefits. (e.g. all pyrethroids are not applied at maximum label rates and the maximum number of applications to all available acres). The Pyrethroid Working Group recognises that this input will provide critical information to help address concerns that the EPA’s initial draft risk assessment does not take into account the totality of relevant scientific data, and fails to fully recognize the critical role pyrethroids play in the success of your industry and business.

  • EU: €1.3b/yr lost in EU every year due to fake pesticides

A new report from the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) shows that 13.8% of legitimate revenues are lost each year due to counterfeiting of pes-ticides in the EU-28. Those lost sales translate into 2,600 jobs directly lost across the pesticides sector in the EU, as legitimate manufacturers employ fewer people than they would have done in the absence of counterfeiting. When the knock-on effects of counterfeit pesticides in the marketplace are considered, 11,700 jobs are lost in the EU economy. The total yearly loss of government revenue because of counterfeit products in this sector across the EU-28 in terms of taxes and social contributions is estimated at €238 million. The report is the tenth in a series of studies released by EUIPO via the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights into the economic impact of counterfeiting in industrial sectors in the EU.

The biggest producer of pesticides in the EU is Germany, where the sector is worth EUR 4 billion. The report estimates that counterfeit pesticides cost the German manufacturing sector €299 million each year, with 500 jobs lost. The second biggest producer of pesticides in Europe is France, worth EUR 3.5 billion. Others losses include France €240m in sales, Italy €185m; Spain €94m and UK €76m.
For more information visit

  • USA: EPA deny a petition requesting ban of chlorpyrifos

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt have denied a petition requesting that the agency ban the use of the chlorpyrifos on all United States food crops. Chlorpyrifos, a product of Dow Agrosciences, is an insecticide which has been registered for use in the US since 1965. The petition dates back to September 2007, when the Pesticide Action Network North America and the Natural Resources Defense Council requested a ban of the common pesticide based on concerns over it toxicity. After his review of past EPA decisions concerning the pesticide, Pruitt concluded that the science remains unresolved and that further evaluation is warranted to achieve greater certainty about possible neurodevelopmental effects of exposure.

  • Spain: 2nd Biopesticide Europe Conference

Following success of the previous event in Barcelona, ACI has announced that 2nd Biopesticides Europe Conference will take place on the 7th and 8th of June in Madrid, Spain. The Global and European biopesticides market has grown significantly over past few years. With increased direction from the authorities and growing demand for sustainable agriculture it is certain that biopesticides market will continue to experience unprecedented growth. The two day event will bring together key industry stakeholders from the biopesticides industry to discuss the challenges faced and the future opportunities. Conference will discuss the current overview of the markets, with highlights from experts on the progression of the biopesticides market and new insights and innovation of projects in pipeline. The conference will also have insights from end-use markets giving updates on market growth drivers along with sustainable advancements in technologies and R&D projects.

  • And Finally…Beauty and a beast.

The flamboyantly-coloured mosquito pictured here is known as Sabethes cyaneus and is a natural inhabitant of the Panamanian forest canopy. This particular specimen, which had landed on the photographer’s hand, was an offspring of a colony of mosquitoes that had been raised in captivity at Ohio State University, and in its larval form, had been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where it hatched, and was subsequently photographed. Note its brilliant iridescent purple, blue and gold coloration, as well as the large, feather-shaped mass of setae adorning the tibiae of its middle pair of jointed legs. The medical importance of some Sabethes spp.mosquitoes lies in their ability to play the role of a yellow fever vector.
Credit CDC, Prof. Woodbridge Foster and Prof. Frank H. Collins.

Published in International Pest Control – March/April 2017 issue

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Category: International Pest News, news in brief

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