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International news in brief – May/June 2017 issue

| June 26, 2017
  • Israel: New sleeping bag reduces dramatically the risk of mosquito bites

A new textile sleeping bag sleeve has been launched with the aim to produce an item which can be used in areas where many insects that are vectors of disease are widespread. The new 240cm x 80cm sleeping bag features the use of a vector protection finish developed by OFFIS. Such textiles protected by an anti-mosquito finish treatment, show a powerful reduction of mosquitoes landing and biting as well as effectiveness against dust mites, ticks and bed bugs. The sleeping bag treatment is highly stable to repeated washing. The sleeping bag is compliant with Oeko-tex standard and SVHC regulations. The finish is dermatological tested and is non-irritant to allergic persons.

OFFIS Textile, Ltd., specializing in designing, tailoring, dyeing, printing and finishing textiles for linen, tablecloths and curtains, was founded in 1973. For more than 45 years, it has been a leader in Israel textile industry. A video of the product is available to view at:
For more information email:
Source: Offis Textile, Ltd.

  • France: Integrated protection of palm trees in the botanical gardens

The red weevil of the palm tree (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus) is a formidable pest that puts the palm trees of the Mediterranean basin at risk. In the Provence-Alpes- Côte d’Azur region, for example, more than 100 communities are now victim of the invasion of this insect and more than 13,000 palm trees are already affected. This pest causes the destruction of palm trees and is a major concern of the region’s remarkable botanical gardens. In addition, the Loi Labbé came into force on January 1, 2017, which prohibits the use of pesticides in public spaces and requires green space managers to quickly find ecological alternatives to pesticides.
It is in this context that pheromone biocontrol company M2i Life Sciences, designer of an innovative red palm weevil trapping solution that has been used in the Middle East and northern Africa for some years, has signed a partnership with the various botanical gardens of the French Riviera to guarantee the biological protection of their specimens. This solution is also used by the “Save Our Palm tree” Association, which is very active in protecting palm trees in the PACA region.
This partnership concerns:

  • The Jardin Val Rahmeh in Menton (dependent on the Museum of Natural History)
  • The Garden of Villa Thuret in Antibes (dependent on INRA)
  • The Port Cros National Park in Hyères
  • The Hanbury Botanical Garden in Ventimille (Italy)
  • The Phoenix Experimental Garden in Bordighera (Italy)

The aim is to use pheromone diffusers, placed in traps, which attract the males and females of the weevils and allow them to be captured.
For more information visit:

  • EU: Glyphosate renewal discussions pre-empted

On 18th May, Copa and Cogeca expressed regret at the EU Commission plan to re-authorise the use of the herbicide active substance glyphosate in EU crop production for only ten years and not fifteen, after the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) gave it a positive scientific assessment. Copa and Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen stressed “Both EFSA and ECHA have published strong scientific evidence that supports the re-authorization of this widely-used active substance for 15 years since there are no safety concerns. We feel it is essential to respect these opinions and maintain trust in EFSA and the high standards that EU producers meet. Creating doubt about EU science-based decision-making processes will only have an negative impact on the credibility of the EU authorities and jeopardise our high safety standards at the same time as putting our own farmers in a less competitive and uncertain position vis a vis their competitors in non-EU countries”.

The statement comes as the Commission readies itself to re-launch discussions with Member States on the possible renewal of the active substance glyphosate for 10 years and not 15. But Copa & Cogeca argue that glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the EU, enabling us to produce safe, affordable, quality food. Its use is also essential together with catch crops to prevent soil erosion and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Since there is no scientific evidence to suggest it should not be re-authorised, we called on the EU to re-authorise its use for fifteen years in accordance with EU legislation, he insisted.

  • UK: Independent audits for rodenticide point of sale

Plans for independent auditing of rodenticide point of sale controls have been announced jointly by BASIS Registration and the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use. The BASIS Stores Inspection Scheme, which already uses independent assessors to ensure compliance with regulations for the storage and distribution of professional pesticides, is set to be extended by the two organisations. Lindsay Smith-Boam, Logistics Manager at BASIS, says “Applying controls at the point of sale, such as checking distribution staff are aware of the regulations and best practice requirements, is an important part of stewardship. For distributors already operating within the long-established Stores Inspection Scheme, the fact it will now cover rodenticides too should be seen as good news. It will provide further evidence that the entire supply chain is controlling availability of these products, as a result enabling continued access to them without further restriction.”

Audits will apply to all supply routes – trade and retail, premises and internet – with the first audit cycle conducted by BASIS between February and November 2018. Any company or outlet selling professional use rodenticides must have passed a BASIS Point of Sale audit for rodenticide stewardship compliance by November 30, 2018. CRRU UK and BASIS will advise the supply chain of the precise audit process, and the requirements that have to be met, during July to December this year. Failure to comply with any aspect of the stewardship regime may lead to the company concerned being reported to HSE, Trading Standards and any other relevant body. It may also lead to cancellation of the authorisation for sale of the product concerned.

  • Global: Potential distribution of Drosophila suzukii

Drosophila suzukii is a species native to Western Asia that can pierce intact fruit during egg laying, causing it to be considered a fruit crop pest in many countries. It has rapidly expanded distribution worldwide; with occurrences recorded in North America and Europe in 2008, and South America in 2013. Due to this rapid expansion, the potential distribution of this species has been modelled using the Maximum Entropy Modeling (MaxEnt) algorithm and the Genetic Algorithm for Ruleset Production (GARP) using 407 sites with known occurrences worldwide and 11 predictor variables. The environmental variables that most influenced the prediction of the MaxEnt model were the annual mean temperature, the maximum temperature of the warmest month, the mean temperature of the coldest quarter and the annual precipitation. The models indicated high environmental suitability, mainly in temperate and subtropical areas in the continents of Asia, Europe and North and South America, where the species has already been recorded. The potential for further invasions of the African and Australian continents is predicted due to the environmental suitability of these areas for this species.
For more information see:

  • India: Institute releases 465 biopesticides

The Bengaluru-based, Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR), an arm of Indian Council for Agricultural Research, in the last couple of years has granted more than 465 industrial licences for production of bio-pesticides. According to MS Rao, principal scientist at IIHR, bio-pesticides have overwhelming advantages of high selectivity to target pests and also safe for human consumption. The bio-pesticides developed by IIHR have helped not only increase plant growth and yields but also enhance the shelf-life of crops, he said. The institute has been trying to promote the use of bio-pesticides amongst farmers. Scientists claim that the farmers who have used IIHRdeveloped bio-pesticides have reported reduction in the use of agro-chemicals in the range of 35% to 40% and yield increase of 24% to 32% in various horticultural crops.

Mr Dinesh, director of IIHR, said that besides the development of biopesticides, the institute has released several vegetables hybrids commercially such as tomato hybrid Arka Ananya, which has resistant to leaf curl virus and bacterial wilt, chilli hybrids Arka Meghana which is tolerant to thrips and viruses, and high yielding chilli hybrid Arka Swetha.

  • UK: Label changes – how will they affect pest controllers?

Old symbol

Old symboil

Pest control and other chemical products will undergo a number of changes to the labels that appear on the product packaging. It follows the United Nation’s (UN) Global Harmonisation System (GHS) of the classification and labelling of chemicals. “GHS introduces revised hazard symbols, signal words, hazard statements and precautionary statements, with the aim of creating a globally recognised system which will be universal across every country worldwide,” says Richard Moseley, Bayer UK technical manager. In terms of timescales, all products leaving the manufacturer or marketing companies should now be labelled in accordance with the new CLP regulation – since 1st June 2015.

new symbol

Replaced with new symbol

However, distributors and users have until the 1st June 2017 to use up stock which still holds the old labelling. The CLP legislation incorporates all industrial and household chemicals, including all those products used within the pest control sector, such as rodenticides. Richard advises, “The updated labels do not reflect any change to the products themselves. The risk that products pose to pest controllers, the consumer or to the environment has not changed in any way; it is purely just the labels themselves that are being updated. Many manufacturers will have been making the changes to their labelling in advance of June.


  • EU: Clarifying ‘toxic to reproduction’

All anticoagulant rodenticides over the ‘specific concentration limit’ of 30 parts per million (PPM) of active ingredient will have to be either re-formulated or labelled as ‘toxic to reproduction’ as of 30 June 2018, according to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). These changes will affect: brodifacoum, bromadiolone, chlorophacinone, coumatetralyl, difenacoum, difethialone, flocoumafen, warfarin and warfarin salt. There is one range of difethialone-based baits that is already under this level, at 25 PPM. The Rodilon® range, from Bayer, is the only range (at time of going to print) that complies with the new legislation.

The new classification may affect pest controllers in a number of ways. The prediction is that the amateur market will be directly affected, as products will not be available to amateur users above the 30 PPM threshold. For the vast majority of the professional market there are two options for manufacturers: Re-formulate products or keep products at above 30 PPM, but re-label with the message ‘toxic to reproduction’. The concern for pest controllers is whether sites they currently treat are going to be happy to have products used with this warning on the label.
Rodilon® contains 0.0025% w/w difethialone.

  • UN/FAO: World Banana Forum launch new website with “Good Practices” focus

The World Banana Forum (WBF), part of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), have launched a new website, featuring the addition of new content and resources aimed at helping those in the industry overcome challenges such as TR4 and comply with environmental standards and certifications. The site’s newest content is the culmination the WBF’s “Good Practices” project, which has been running since the latter half of 2016. This has involved the production of articles, PDF documents and webpages on practices that encourage sustainability and human welfare in the banana industry. The practices have been divided into categories: Environmental, Social, Standards and Certifications and Health and Safety. A series of freely-downloadable practical PDFs, the WBF’s “Good Practices Collection”, accompany the articles and webpages. Several PDFs are currently available, all of which are available in English, and soon in Spanish and French. More resources on the fungal disease Fusarium wilt TR4 have also been produced, with the WBF TR4 Task Force involved heavily in promoting a global collaboration to prevent and fight the disease.

  • EU: KNE Certis distribution agreement with Nufarm

After reaching an important agreement earlier this year with Nufarm Europe, KNE Certis has taken over responsibility for the exclusive distribution of certain Nufarm products in Greece, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Albania for a five year term. In August 2016 Certis Europe (a subsidiary of Mitsui & Co. Ltd., Tokyo, Japan) and K & N Efthymiadis (Thessaloniki, Greece) announced the creation of a new company, KNE Certis (owned 70% K & N Efthymiadis and 30% Certis Europe). Nufarm, based in Australia, is a leading global producer of plant protection products with a total turnover of US$2.8 billion in 2016 and a presence in more than 100 countries. In Greece 10 people from Nufarm will join KNE Certis majority shareholder K&N Efthymiadis, under the leadership of former Nufarm General Manager, Dimitris Benakis. The agreement is expected to add turnover of about 13 million Euros for KNE Certis and to contribute to an increase of up to 30% in volume of production and packaging of plant protection products by K & N Efthymiadis. KNE Certis will offer a full range of quality products and services for key crops in the growing South Eastern Europe market. KNE Certis CEO, Vassos Efthymiadis, commented: “This move will benefit producers by offering integrated solutions, which are now a prerequisite for the effective support of the industry and farmers’ incomes. The agreement creates the conditions for us to play an influential role in the field of agricultural supplies across South Eastern Europe and also involves local added value and employment growth.”

  • UK: ICUP just weeks away

There are only a few weeks to the opening of the 9th International Conference on Urban Pests (ICUP). Doors at Aston University in Birmingham, UK, will open for the conference on the afternoon of Sunday 9 July 2017, with a welcome reception that evening so that delegates can begin to forge new contacts as well as renewing old friendships. The scientific conference begins with a full plenary session on the morning of Monday 10 July with delegates then selecting from concurrent sessions on bed bugs or invasive species for the afternoon. Over the subsequent two days there will be 60 concurrent sessions for delegates to pick from, plus over 40 poster papers with speakers from right across the globe. A wide range of themes will be covered from bed bugs to rodents and from invasive species to mosquitoes and termites.

Matthew Davies, chair of the Organising Committee, adds: “Although the main attraction of ICUP 2017 is quite rightly the quality science relating to urban pests, there remains ample time to enjoy oneself away from the lecture theatre. Accommodation on campus is included in the price of registration to allow delegates to get to know each other. Everyone being together on campus is a great way to enjoy networking. The best urban pest discussions sometimes take place outside of a lecture theatre. Let it be known too that the Organising Committee know how to throw a great party!”
Download a copy of the full programme from:

  • Australia: Pest control on the agenda

Warwick Madden, an independent research and development consultant for Australian-based Further Research and Consulting, will be one of the presenters at the 2017 Rapid Solutions conference, which is now one of the largest of its type in the Asia-Pacific region. Attendees from Australia and the South Pacific will include business owners, technicians and support staff from the pest management and building inspection industries.

The 2017 Rapid Solutions conference takes place on 10th August at RACV Royal Pines on the spectacular Australian Gold Coast.

Reflecting on his experience at Bayer, Mr Madden will present on changes in the use of pest control chemicals over the years and what the future holds. He will speak about the use of inorganic chemicals pre-WWII and the rise of the use of synthetic chemicals until the 1990s. There are four streams of seminars and workshops at the 2017 event, covering topics such as the latest pest control news and products to business operations, insurance and compliance, inspections and personal and professional development. There will be more than 35 sessions where presenters will offer invaluable knowledge and expertise in their chosen areas. Attendees will have the chance to pick the brains of academics, industry experts and the experienced team from Australian specialistinsurer, Rapid Solutions.
For tickets and more information about the Rapid Solutions conference, visit:

  • UK: Pests and pathogens could cost agriculture billions

The spread of pests and pathogens that damage plant life could cost global agriculture $540 billion a year, according to a report released by the Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG) at Kew, London. The report states that an increase in international trade and travel had left flora facing rising threats from invasive pests and pathogens, and called for greater biosecurity measures. “Plants underpin all aspects of life on Earth from the air we breathe right through to our food, our crops, our medicines,” said Professor Kathy Willis, RBG Kew’s director of science. “If you take one away, what happens to the rest of that ecosystem – how does it impact?” Researchers also examined the traits that would determine which plant species would cope in a world feeling the effects of climate change. “The interesting fact to emerge is that the suite of ‘beneficial’ traits are, on the whole, the same the world over and are as true in a temperate forest as in a desert,” Professor Willis said in a statement.

The report, which involved 128 scientists in 12 countries, found that 1,730 new plant species had been discovered in the past year. Nine new species of the climbing vine Mucuna, used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, were found and named across South East Asia and South and Central America. Plants with deeper roots and higher wood density are better able to withstand drought, while thicker leaves and taller grasses can cope with higher temperatures, the report found. Surprisingly, researchers also found that the traits that are likely to help species thrive appear to be transferable across different environments.
Read the full report here

  • Germany: Practical containers minimise environmental impact

A new packaging solution from aims to deliver easier handling and a reduced environmental impact for a broad range of liquid crop protection formulations from Dow AgroSciences. The bespoke 10 and 15 litre PET containers developed by RPC Promens Industrial and Innocan feature a specially-designed safety top that enables them to be auto-stackable and eliminates the need for an outer cardboard box. The new packs are also around 30% lighter than the HDPE containers the have replaced. The square design provides excellent strength and durability, as well as improved handling for the end user. It also delivers an efficient palletisation pattern for increased pallet loads, thereby optimising logistics in terms of both pallet-fill and truck-fill rates. The increased pallet load and bottle weight reduction is leading to a 20% carbon dioxide footprint reduction per litre over the lifecycle of the bottle compared to the currently-used HDPE jerrycan. The centred 63mm neck is compatible with closed transfer systems and allows easier pouring, while bore seal caps minimise operator exposure to concentrated product as no additional sealing has to be cut. The safety top can also be removed after use if a separation before recycling is desired.
For more information email: or

  • China: ChemChina raises $20 billion to fund purchase of Syngenta

ChemChina has raised $20 billion in perpetual bonds to finance its purchase of Swiss seeds firm Syngenta, with Bank of China becoming the single largest investor providing half of that funding, according to a regulatory filing. State-owned ChemChina, which took on short-term loans for the $44 billion acquisition, is restructuring the financing mix to reduce its debt burden by including more equity. The move comes as ChemChina has accelerated talks with state rival Sinochem to create the world’s biggest industrial chemicals firm. The ambitious Syngenta takeover is nearing the finish line after regulators last month granted the final approvals and as more than 90 percent of Syngenta shareholders have tendered their shares. The deal gives China a portfolio of top-tier chemicals and patent-protected seeds to improve agricultural output, but has also left ChemChina facing a hefty debt burden which it has been seeking to reduce by bringing in more equity investors and replacing short-term loans with longer-term debt.

  • UK: PelGar appoints John McGillivray as Commercial Director

Asked how he felt about joining PelGar as Commercial |director, John McGillivray replied. “PelGar is a serious international player with real growth aspirations. This brings with it an increase in size and complexity of the business, and I relish the opportunity of being part of the next step in the company’s development.” With a degree in Agriculture and periods with a leading fertilizer and agrochemical distributor in Zimbabwe, ICI Agrochemicals – Zeneca – Syngenta, since 2007 John has been in South East Asia and Australia working in the bio-ethanol and liquid fertiliser markets. In 2015 he returned to the UK joining Plant Impact plc as its Commercial Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa before joining PelGar in May this year. “I have substantial business and market development experience in overseas markets,” explains John. “In my role with PelGar I plan to draw on that experience to expand the company’s market position. Since PelGar acquired Agropharm there are several new and complementary business areas to pursue. There will be plenty of challenges and opportunities and I see PelGar smore agile, flexible and responsive to its customers than the multinationals. There are exciting times ahead for PelGar and I am pleased to be a part of it.”

  • And Finally…UK: A shocking tale for rats

Ras matA Cornish inventor has launched a crowdfunding campaign to bring an innovative new pest control product to market. Dr Toby Bateson, an emergency doctor at Royal Cornwall Hospital and founder of Hammer Technologies Ltd, has designed RatMat, said to be the world’s first humane electrified rodent repellent flooring. He is seeking £65,000 through the Kickstarter platform to manufacture the first order for the product, following six years of design work and two years of product testing. Using similar principles to an electric fence the device is made up of inter-lockable tiles with a conductive steel surface that lie flat on the ground. Dr Bateson said: “I have spent six years researching and developing the mat to provide classic and valuable car owners with a cost-effective and long-term solution to costly and inconvenient damage caused by rats and mice.

“I have a prototype and evidence that it works, but now I need help to raise the initial funds to help make this long-term, humane pest control a reality.”
Dr Bateson previously achieved a Guinness World Record in 2016 for the world’s smallest vacuum cleaner, at 5.7 cm in length, and also successfully brought ZenPlugs Moulded Ear Plug Kit to market in 2009.
For more information visit:

Published in International Pest Control – May/June 2017 issue

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Category: International Pest News, news in brief

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