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International news in brief – May/June 2014

| July 30, 2014
  • US: NPMA block proposed changes to termite treatment code

Definition of Green Termite Treatment Defeated At the International Code Council (ICC) Hearings in Memphis on Sunday, NPMA prevented a proposed change to the International Green Construction Code (IgCC). The IgCC is a model construction code used in combination with the ICC commercial codes, such as the International Building Code (IBC), to add green elements into buildings and their surrounding grounds. The proposed change, submitted by the Green Builder Coalition, would have limited forms of termite control in green construction to “non-toxic [sic] materials such as borate treatments, physical barriers and pest resistant building materials.” NPMA will plan to oppose a proposal to add plastic sheeting, essentially vapour barrier, as a termite treatment to the IgCC.

  • Sweden: The Viking (Rats) are coming!

The rat was first seen eating leftovers under the kitchen sink.Source: Facebook: Justus Bengtsson-Korsås

The rat was first seen eating leftovers under the kitchen sink.Source: Facebook: Justus Bengtsson-Korsås

A family in Stockholm, Sweden, finally caught a 15-inch giant rat that had been terrorising the family cat. The Korsas family snared the monster rodent in a heavy-duty trap to end a reign of terror that had left them more than a little reluctant to enter the kitchen.

Pest controllers said it had likely entered its lair behind a dishwasher by chewing through concrete and ood. It had even caused a flood by breaking through water pipes connected to kitchen appliances.

After a while the rat had become so “domesticated” that it “just sat under the kitchen table,” claimed mother Signe Bengtsson Korsas. The beast was first seen eating leftovers under the kitchen sink.

Once the rat was eventually caught in one of three traps left around the kitchen, it did not die immediately. The rat was 39.5cm long from nose to base of tail. “It was quite a shocking experience,” she concluded. “No one wanted to go into the kitchen after, and the cat was terrified for a week. “The pest controllers said they’d never seen such a big rat before.”

  • Australia: Field Guide to Pest Animals’ app

An updated version of a free smartphone app to help people identify Australia’s worst pest animals is available from the Invasive Animals CRC. Andreas Glanznig, CEO of the Invasive Animals CRC, said that the innovative and popular ‘Field Guide to Pest Animals’ app, initially released in mid-2013, now provides iOS mobile device users with information about 53 of Australia’s worst pest animals, the damage they cause, how to identify them in the field, and what control techniques are available. The Invasive Animals CRC is looking at developing an Android version in the near future.

“Australia has more than 80 vertebrate pest species, the main culprits costing at least $1 billion annually in economic, environmental and social impacts,” Mr Glanznig said. “This app contains species descriptions, photos, maps, control techniques and useful links for 53 pest species in Australia,” he said. Some of the many resources accessible through the app include species factsheets, case studies, web-mapping services, and stand rd operating procedures for pest control.

Peter West, Project Manager with the Invasive Animals CRC and NSW Department of Primary Industries said version 1 of the app had received overwhelming interest with more than 7,000 downloads across Australia by farmers, catchment officers, school students, educators, land care groups, local government authorities and the general public. The app is compatible with Apple devices.

  • US: Smartphone app helps growers diagnose pests

A smartphone application developed by Purdue University could help growers nationwide to submit pest samples digitally. Growers simply download the app from the iTunes store, shoot a photo and fill out the submission form before sending it to a participating university plant diagnostic lab. The app is designed for iPhones or iPad tablets. At Auburn University, county agents used to be the only ones who sent photos for diagnosis and plant identification.

But the app opens the service to everybody who has downloaded the small program, according to a news release. Auburn University is waving diagnostic fees for Alabama residents who submit a pest through the app. Samples submitted to Auburn by traditional methods cost $15 per sample for in-state homeowners and $20 per sample for in-state commercial samples. Out-ofstate samples cost $30 and $40, respectively. The fee includes examination of a follow-up physical sample if requested. Development of the app by Purdue is a joint effort with eight universities to provide remote plant diagnoses.
Source: The Grower

  • UK: 11th sponsor-member for CRRU UK

Italian rodenticide manufacturer and supplier ZAPI SpA has become the 11th sponsor-member of the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use UK. This comes at a critical time, according to CRRU chairman Dr Alan Buckle, for the development taking place currently of a stewardship regime for second generation anticoagulant rodenticides.

This integrated regime will cover agriculture, gamekeeping, amateur use and professional pest control, and its development is being coordinated by CRRU. ZAPI SpA was founded in 1970 in Padua, Italy, by its current chairman Pietro Zambotto. Its mission is “to help people protect themselves and the environment from the threat of parasites and pests, by creating effective, eco-sustainable solutions.”

The other 10 CRRU UK sponsor-members are BASF Pest Control Solutions, Barrettine Environmental Health, Bayer, Bell Laboratories, Killgerm Chemicals, LiphaTech, Lodi UK, PelGar International, Rentokil Initial and Syngenta.
Further information: Dr Alan Buckle, CRRU UK chairman,

  • France: Farmer taken to court for refusing to spray pesticides

The French agriculture ministry is prosecuting Emmanuel Giboulot, an organic winemaker, for failing to apply insecticide to his vines. The ministry wants insecticide to be sprayed to control the leafhopper Scaphoideus titanus, believed to be responsible for the spread of the grapevine disease Flavenscence dorée, an infectious disease that threatens the Côte-d’Or region of Burgundy.  Emmanuel Giboulot argues that the pesticide he is charged with refusing to spray is harmful to beneficial pollinating insects and animals, and may not even be effective at preventing the vine disease. He risks six months in jail for failing to take preventive measures against the disease. Giboulot, an organic and biodynamic winemaker, was found to be in violation of a directive to use pesticides. An estimated 30 acres of vines were destroyed by the disease in 2012.

The wine maker cultivates about 25 acres of vines, to produce Côte de Beaune and Hautes Côtes de Nuits wines. The disease, which first appeared in the 1950s, threatens more than half the Burgundy region’s vineyards. France is the thirdhighest user of pesticides in the world after the U.S. and Japan, and the highest user in Europe. The country has pledged to reduce its pesticide consumption by 50 percent by 2018. This pledge is momentous in light of a 2013 study that found pesticide residues in 90 percent of French wines tested, including residues found in some organic wines, which had the French public alarmed.

  • EU: Protecting minor crops

While EU jargon may refer to fruits and vegetables as ‘minor crops’, to farmers and consumers they are of major interest. These crops, along with nuts, nursery plants and ornamentals, require tailormade protection from pests and diseases. ‘Minor uses’ is the term often used to describe crop protection solutions for these specialty crops, as well as specific uses for major crops, such as a particular weed, pest or disease problem that occurs only in limited situations. Even though they face the same pest pressures as crops like wheat and corn, minor use crops are facing an increasing lack of economically viable pesticide solutions for their protection.

The shortage of specific solutions has led to lower crop productivity and quality; increased risk of pest resistance; a reduced return on investments; and less than ideal solutions for crop rotation and biodiversity. If these difficulties continue to increase, they will affect the availability and affordability of certain crops in the EU. With a new report on Minor Uses, published in February 2014, the European Commission has committed itself to setting up an EU platform for minor uses. It is hoped that this will help Europe improve the availability of tailor-madeplant-protection solutions for minor crops.

To better explain the issue and the problems facing minor uses solutions, ECPA and nine other agri-food chain partners in Brussels have developed a set of postcards showcasing the pests and diseases that threaten some of our favourite fruits and vegetables.
The postcards can be viewed and downloaded at

  • US:  Tyratech and Novartis launch innovative insect control product

Further to its August 2013 announcement of a distribution agreement with Novartis Animal Health, TyraTech, a life sciences company focusing on nature-derived insect and parasite control products, has announced the US launch of Natunex™, a new line of non-toxic biocides that provides highly effective and fast insect control in livestock and production animal facilities, where flies, roaches and other insects can spread disease and pose a significant health risk to livestock and farm animals.

Natunex contains plant-derived essential oils that have natural insecticidal properties. The Natunex product line includes six formulations to control a wide variety of insects that can carry disease or negatively impact health. Two liquid formulations are available—Natunex Ready To  Use Insect Killer and Natunex Drain Fly Killer. Natunex TechDust® is a powderbased product. Aerosol products include Natunex Crawling Insect Killer, Natunex Flying Insect Killer and Natunex Stinging Insect Killer.

Natunex kills by contact and studies show it frequently provided a quicker kill than the chemical insecticides it was compared against. The technology platform, developed by TyraTech, Inc. works by blocking specific tyramine neurotransmitter receptors that are only active in insects and parasites. These receptors are not active in humans and other mammals, which is why Natunex is non-toxic and poses minimal safety risk to people or animals.

  • US:  NPMA Academy 2014 focuses on strategic planning, staff development

The annual summer conference hosted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), will be held July 17-19 at the Westin La Paloma Resort in Tucson, Arizona. Sponsored by Dow AgroSciences, the Academy is a unique opportunity designed to advance the professional and business development of the industry’s leaders and emerging leaders in a hands-on, interactive environment. “Busy. Overloaded. Overwhelmed. It’s amazing how these simple words dominate our conversations, influence decision making, and affect the quality of our lives,” stated NPMA CEO Bob Rosenberg. “Whether you are an owner, manager or emerging leader, three days at Academy 2014 will provide you the information you need to develop a vision for your business and find the right people who can help you achieve that vision – and gain control over your time and resources.”

Showcasing keynote speakers Jeff Havens, Ari Weinzweig, and Chris McIntyre, Academy 2014 will focus on such topics as:

  • Creating a Vision for Your Company
  • Building the Right Team
  • How to Keep and Engage Your Employees
  • Developing a Strategic Plan
  • Planning for Future Challenges

For more information visit:

  • And finally……..New Zealand:  Wallaby concerns in South Island

More publicity about the damage wallabies can cause, similar to that of a ‘’gigantic rabbit’’, has been called for after confirmed sightings of the pests.

WallabiesThey can stop native bush regenerating, can spread tuberculosis and also compete with livestock for dry matter and green feed crops.  After the confirmed sightings of the pests by a pest contractor, the Otago Regional Council inspected the area and found wallaby droppings in seven places in recently harvested forestry blocks.

Under the council’s pest management strategy landowners are required to eradicate any wallabies on their properties. Council policy planning and resource management Fraser McRae said the pest management strategy was being reviewed with a view to having a South Island-wide pest management
Source: Rebecca Fox, Oago Daily Times

Published in International Pest Control – May/June 2014 issue.


Category: International Pest News, news in brief

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