Cooperative Extension Service
The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Your source for pest management and pesticide news

August 2003/Volume 26, No. 8

FOOD QUALITY PROTECTION ACT AND REREGISTRATION

The EPA is concerned that the risk assessment for DCPA (Dacthal) indicates concerns for groundwater and cancer risks.
The EPA has extended the use of chlorpyrifos-ethyl (Reldan) through 2005
Drexel Chemical Co. and Makhteshim Chemical Works, Ltd. have asked EPA to cancel all of their outdoor non-agricultural diazinon technical product registrations

HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT

The EPA has ordered Bug Source Inc. of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, to stop selling the unregistered pesticide "Bio-Stop" on their web site
West Nile virus is spreading more quickly than expected
What would you list as the top seven concerns for food safety
Up to 100,000,000,000 Mormon crickets are on the march in Nevada, Utah, and Idaho
Massachusetts will lift its five-year ban on herbicides for roadside weeds
The EPA is still struggling with label language to address drift concerns
Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) is a topic around which we tread lightly
Some applicators, confused by the product "QuikPro, powered by RoundUp technology," may not have been taking proper precautions

NEWS YOU CAN USE

The Office of Pest Management Programs reported an enquiry about the registration of finely milled volcanic ash for use in empty grain bins
In South Korea, mobile phone users can buy a service that claims to repel mosquitoes via the phone
In another offer that seems too good to be true, you can buy the Personal Mosquito Repeller
The EPA has exempted methoprene from the requirement of a tolerance in or on all food commodities when it is used to control insect larvae
We have gotten numerous calls about what pesticide to use for cicada killers

FEDERAL NEWS

The EPA and the American Association of Poison Control Centers are spearheading a campaign to reduce household poisonings from pesticides

DON'T DO IT

My local grocery is taking a terrible risk with their pesticide display
John T. Frederick of Warren, Michigan, pled guilty to violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act by knowingly violating a U.S. EPA Stop Sale and Use Order

OTHER NEWS

A rat outwitted pest control experts and flew back and forth across Australia for two weeks
According to an article in the New York Daily News (7-30-03), estimates of New York City's rat population range from 8 million to more than 50 million

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CropLife America and the European Crop Protection Association report that it is much more expensive to bring crop protection chemicals to market

Food Quality Protection Act and Reregistration

The EPA is concerned that the risk assessment for DCPA (Dacthal) indicates concerns for groundwater and cancer risks. The USDA is asking for information about how DCPA is used in these situations and potential alternatives to the chemical. If you care about DCPA, let us know right away. (OPMP Newest News, 7-30-03)

The EPA has extended the use of chlorpyrifos-ethyl (Reldan) through 2005. Reldan is commonly used to protect stored grain products. It caused regulatory concern after EPA began to estimate cumulative risks for Reldan and other organophosphates. (OPMP Newest News, 7-30-03)

Drexel Chemical Co. and Makhteshim Chemical Works, Ltd. have asked EPA to cancel all of their outdoor non-agricultural diazinon technical product registrations. Walla Walla Environmental, Inc. has requested to voluntarily cancel its residential end-use product containing diazinon. Agricultural products containing diazinon will remain available.

In a 2000 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), the diazinon technical registrants agreed to cancel registrations for all of their technical products permitting formulation for residential use, effective June 30, 2003. The cancellation of the residential technical products referenced in this notice will be effective after the 30-day comment period and upon issuance of the cancellation order, if there are no significant comments. Walla Walla will be allowed to sell and distribute their end-use product until August 31, 2003.

Distribution, sale, or use of existing stocks of Drexel's and Makhteshim's outdoor non-agricultural technical products will not be lawful after the effective date of the cancellation (i.e., after the date of the cancellation order), except for export or proper disposal. Walla Walla may not distribute, sell, or use existing stocks of their outdoor non-agricultural end-use product after August 31, 2003, except for export or disposal. Retail sale and distribution of the Walla Walla product will be prohibited after December 31, 2004, except for purposes of the product recovery program under the 2000 MOA, export, or disposal. Use of existing stocks of the Walla Walla product may continue until stocks are exhausted.

Earlier, Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc. also requested voluntary cancellation of registrations for all uses of diazinon, effective June 30, 2003. That Federal Register notice is available at EPA's website: http://www.epa.gov/EPA-PEST/2003/May/Day-30/p13436.htm.

Additional information on diazinon is available on EPA's website at: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/status.htm or http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/op/diazinon/summary.htm. (EPA-OPP Update, 7-17-03)

Health and the Environment

The EPA has ordered Bug Source Inc. of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, to stop selling the unregistered pesticide "Bio-Stop" on their web site. They claim that this product manufactured by BioChem Environmental Technologies eliminates toxic molds, bacteria, and viruses. BioStop is a mixture of bacterial enzymes used in the remediation of buildings. Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, products claiming to prevent, destroy, or repel pests, which includes molds and other microorganisms, are considered pesticides and must be registered. During EPA's comprehensive pre-market registration process, a company must first prove that the product is safe and effective for consumer use before a legal claim can be made that a product protects people from disease-causing microorganisms. The label of all EPA registered products must bear the EPA registration number along with directions for use and any safety precautions. (EPA-OPP Update, 7-31-03)

West Nile virus is spreading more quickly than expected. West Nile virus infected about 4,000 people in Canada and the United States in 2002; 284 people died. The virus has been detected in 32 states in the United States in 2003; at this time last year, only about 20 states had reported this level of virus activity. Because West Nile virus can also kill birds, the public should report dead birds to the local Health Department. (PCT Online, 7-29-03)

What would you list as the top seven concerns for food safety? According to an Ohio State University study, the top seven perceived safety risks (in order of concern): pesticide residues, drinking water contamination, growth hormones in meat or milk, bacterial contamination, bioterrorism, mad cow disease, and biotech foods. Additionally, consumers who are regularly exposed to print, radio, or television news are more likely to have concerns about food safety. (CropLife America Spotlight, 6-20-03 via Chemically Speaking, 7-03) A friend of mine told me that her concerns about street violence caused her to lose sleep. She stopped watching the TV news, and she sleeps like a baby. Which of the perceived food risks actually causes the greatest risk? Bacterial contamination probably outweighs all of the other risks combined.

Up to 100,000,000,000 Mormon crickets are on the march in Nevada, Utah, and Idaho. Mild winters and three years of drought provided ideal conditions for the insects, which hatch in the spring and feed through the summer. Experts say this year's infestation in Nevada, Utah, and Idaho could be the worst in decades.

Mormon crickets (actually a katydid) will eat just about any plant in their path, including sagebrush, alfalfa, wheat, barley, clover, seeds, grasses, and vegetables. With one cricket per square yard, they can consume 38 pounds of forage per acre as they pass through an area. Mormon crickets do not fly, but they crawl and hop up to fifty miles before they lay eggs and die in the fall. Infestations typically last five to seven years. The states are battling the crickets with a carbaryl bait; the other crickets will eat their poisoned companions and also be killed.

A 1939 state publication noted an infestation when trains were unable to travel the main line of the Central Pacific Railroad because the rails were too slick with crushed crickets. In the 1930s, one county reported a band of crickets 12 miles long and several feet deep in some places. (AP 6-13-03 and CropLife America 6-20-03) Thanks to Chemically Speaking. For some interesting pictures, search for "Mormon crickets" on the Web.

At one time, these insects were an important food source for natives in the West. It is really too bad our attitudes have changed. After all, a battered, deep fried cricket is not that much different from a shrimp. With a little clever marketing, the plague of Mormon crickets would become a gold mine.

Massachusetts will lift its five-year ban on herbicides for roadside weeds because manual weed control is considered more dangerous and more expensive. The ban, enacted by the Massachusetts Highway Department in 1998, was hailed by environmentalists and citizen activists for removing the chemicals from miles of roadway.

But Jon Carlisle, a department spokesman, said the manual weed clearing is not only more expensive, it creates unacceptable safety risks. Last year, for instance, a driver distracted by the highway work was hospitalized after slamming into the back on a police car on Route 1 in Revere. Another car then took a door off the responding ambulance, Carlisle said. Replacing manual weed control with herbicidal control will save more than $50,000 per year.

Some other people, including some Massachusetts lawmakers, think that manual control remains the better option even when you consider the risks associated with manual control. They cite the potential environmental impacts and the possibility that pesticides will get into drinking water. (U.S. Water News Online, 6-03)

The EPA is still struggling with label language to address drift concerns. These statements are proposed language for azinphos-methyl labeling.

  1. "Do not apply this product in a way that will contact people either directly or through drift. Do not apply this product in a manner that allows drift from the target application site that may cause adverse effects at non-target sites."
  2. "Do not apply this product in a manner that allows drift from the target application site that may cause an adverse effect to domestic animals, fish or wildlife, plants, public or private property, or other non-target organisms. In addition, do not apply this product in a way that will contact persons either directly or through drift."

The challenge for regulatory language is enforcement. From a legal perspective, the words "may cause adverse effects" are not well defined. Any competent attorney could argue that any type of drift, no matter how slight, may cause an adverse effect. User groups that depend on azinphos-methyl are understandably concerned about what the proposed language could mean for their liability.

Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) is a topic around which we tread lightly. Many people think that MCS is a psychological problem, and much of society does not place mental illness on par with other types of disease problems. However, medical research is looking at evidence that MCS is not "all in your head."

According to the Chemical Sensitivity Foundation, MCS is a medical condition characterized by debilitating sensitivity to some chemicals. Many of the components in everyday products (e.g., cleaners, perfumes, pesticides) will make people sick if the exposure is high enough. For people with MCS, even a small exposure to certain chemicals will produce debilitating symptoms.

Based on what I have read and heard, MCS can have both physiological and psychological components. I have talked with people who said that exposures to minute amounts of pesticides made them ill. For other people, the debilitation was not caused by actual exposure to a chemical; it was caused by the obsessive fear that they might be exposed. Regardless of the cause, many of these people become virtual prisoners in their own homes because of their condition. You can find out more about Chemical Sensitivity at this web site http://chemicalsensitivityfoundation.org/

Some applicators, confused by the product "QuikPro, powered by RoundUp technology," may not have been taking proper precautions. The QuikPro product tries to address the consumer complaint that RoundUp products do not kill the plant quickly enough. Most people want instant death when they use a pesticide; with that attitude, it is understandable why they fear pesticide residues.

QuikPro adds diquat to the RoundUp active ingredient, glyphosate. The diquat makes the weeds look sickly more quickly and satisfies the killer urge of the consumer. However, diquat also adds additional risks to the product. Before you buy any pesticide, check the human hazards, the environmental hazards, and the required protective clothing. If you are unwilling to wear the designated protective clothing, do not buy that pesticide. If you are unwilling to take the additional precautions indicated in the human/environmental hazards, do not buy that product.

News You Can Use

The Office of Pest Management Programs reported an enquiry about the registration of finely milled volcanic ash for use in empty grain bins. If the registration is successful (and if the treatment is effective), it might an alternative for protecting stored grains bound for the organic market. (OPMP Newest News, 7-30-03)

In South Korea, mobile phone users can buy a service that claims to repel mosquitoes via the phone. Subscribers can download a sound that is supposed to repel mosquitoes from about 1 meter. The noise would come from the telephone constantly; the sound is reported to be faintly audible to humans. It might work; the constant sound would probably drive another person insane, and they might kill you. Mosquitoes are not attracted to dead bodies. (Reuters 7-10-03) Thanks to Walter Reeves

In another offer that seems too good to be true, you can buy the Personal Mosquito Repeller. The following synopsis is straight (except for my comments in italics) from the advertisement they sent to my e-mail. "Undetectable by human ears, the Personal Mosquito Repeller produces powerful ultrasonic signals up to 25 sq ft that chase out unwelcome pests. Conveniently clips to clothing, backpacks, or even your key ring, and it's CHEMICAL FREE (What can you make with no chemicals? Light and space?). This is the PERFECT alternative to messy creams, stinky lotions and sprays. You'll never have to worry about mosquito bites again!

Small and lightweight this personal device emits an ultrasonic pitch that imitates one of mosquitoes natural enemies, the dragonfly, scaring them away. Amazing!!! (Amazing is right)

4 Operating Modes:

With an offer that is guaranteed, how can you lose? There are several ways to work this scam.

  1. Tricky advertising language. The ad clearly says that the device works up to 25 sq ft. This statement is true as long as the device does not cover more than 25 sq ft. Additionally, I am almost positive that mice and grasshoppers will never attack you when you wear this product.
  2. Make the refund process impossible or limit refunds to a very short period of time.
  3. Simply take the money and never respond to any inquiries.

The success of this type of scam depends on your gullibility. Be smart; do not be soon parted from your money.

The EPA has exempted methoprene from the requirement of a tolerance in or on all food commodities when it is used to control insect larvae. Apparently, the risk analysis showed residue tolerances are not necessary to protect human health or the environment. The EPA concluded there is a reasonable certainty that aggregate exposure to residues of methoprene will not result in harm to the general population, infants and children, and that methoprene can be used on all crop commodities. Methoprene, an insect growth regulator, prevents larval insects from developing into adults. (PCT Online, 7-16-03)

We have gotten numerous calls about what pesticide to use for cicada killers. Cicada killers are large, scary looking wasps that prey upon cicadas. The wasps do not make a community nest, but they form loose colonies in the soil. In other words, the wasps are in the same place, but they are not helping one another.

Most the cicada killers you see swarming about the yards are males defending their area against other males. Male wasps cannot sting! Although female cicada killers can sting, they are not aggressive. Growing up, my brothers and I were stung by every type of stinging insect (we deserved it), but I do not remember being stung by a cicada killer. Additionally, cicada killers are members of the Sphecidae family of wasps; this family is known for many members with very weak stings. Even if you are stung by a cicada killer, it probably will not hurt much.

Cicada killers do little or no damage to the turf. The holes they dig are free aeration, and natural weathering will make the holes and excavated soil disappear in a short time. Additionally, cicada killers are only visible for a couple of months a year.

So, what pesticide to you need. None. Do not create a human and environmental health risk by spraying a pesticide to control an insect that is no threat. A number of studies have shown that you are likely to track pesticide residues back into the house on your shoes.

Federal News

The EPA and the American Association of Poison Control Centers are spearheading a campaign to reduce household poisonings from pesticides. Posters to educate parents are being sent to hospitals and health departments around the country. You can review the poster at http://www.epa.gov/oppfead1/cb/csb_page/publications/lockitup-poster.pdf

Proper storage of pesticides is a simple but effective way to reduce childhood poisonings. The campaign is also publicizing the new, nationwide number for poison control. Calling 1-800-222-1222 will automatically connect you with your local poison control center.

Keep in mind that small children often mistake similar products. My friend's young child mistook a spray can of lubricant for a bottle and tried to suck on it. Another friend told me his child thought a shaker can of household cleaner was a shaker can of cheese because the color schemes were similar. Both situations could have been tragic.

Always keep pesticides locked away or high enough to keep them of the reach of small children. Many pesticides can harm a child in a very short time. Also remember that many children are poisoned away from home. Almost everyone entertains children in their home; check your pesticide storage.

If you want to know how much pesticide is sold or used worldwide or in the United States, here is the source. The EPA website used public and proprietary sources to estimate pesticide sales and usage. Currently, the estimates only go up to 1999. http://www.epa.gov/oppbead1/pestsales

Don't Do it

My local grocery is taking a terrible risk with their pesticide display. A pesticide is displayed between Whitman's chocolates and stuffed animals. The chocolates and the children's toys are within 6 inches of the pesticide. The managers do not understand there is a problem. Can you imagine the liability if someone fell ill after eating chocolate or holding a stuffed animal?

John T. Frederick of Warren, Michigan, pled guilty to violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act by knowingly violating a U.S. EPA Stop Sale and Use Order. Frederick sold a product called "Kritter Killer" that the defendant advertised as a rodenticide for killing prairie dogs. However, perchloroethylene is a suspected carcinogen, and EPA issued a Stop Sale and Use Order. Frederick ignored the order. He will spend up to nine months in jail and place advertisements in trade journals notifying customers that he violated the order and stating that he will no longer sell perchloroethylene. He must also send the same information to all customers who bought perchloroethylene from him since April, 2000. (EPA OPP Update, 7-23-03)

Other News

A rat outwitted pest control experts and flew back and forth across Australia for two weeks. The airline was forced to ground the Boeing 737 three times in efforts to catch the stowaway. The rat avoided poisoned baits, traps, and even airline food. Finally, the plane was pumped full of carbon dioxide, and the rat died. The airline said that they didn't mind bureaucrats, aristocrats, or even democrats; this rat, however, was frightening passengers and causing concerns of mechanical damage from the rat's chewing. I, for one, would also not like to think a rat might run across the pilot's foot during a critical stage of landing.

The rat was not the first problem animal on an Australian airline. In 1998, a snake killed a boy when he reached under the seat for his lost lollipop. Now, there is a thought that will help you relax on your next flight. (PCT Online, 7-23-03 via CNN)

According to an article in the New York Daily News (7-30-03), estimates of New York City's rat population range from 8 million to more than 50 million.Many professionals think the problem is getting worse. The biggest cause of the increased rat population is improper handling of garbage. Household garbage is often stored outside in plastic bags for several days before it is picked up. Rats eat through plastic bags very quickly, and rat populations increase rapidly when the situation provides plenty of food, water, and hiding places. Household garbage is an excellent diet for rats; water is abundant; and there are millions of places in NYC for a rat to call home. If I were a rat (no smart-aleck remarks), I would think that NYC wanted me there. (PCT Online, 7-30-03)

The purpose of this article was not to make fun of New Yorkers (I like a greater challenge). Our goal is to point out how we typically cause our own problems around the house. If you have a large population of rats, mice, roaches, fleas, etc., you have created conditions that provide the pests with a good situation. Try to determine the source of the pest and what you are doing to make your home attractive to it (this is the first step in IPM). If you cannot answer these questions, ask your pest control company. If they cannot provide the answers, change pest control companies. Your local Cooperative Extension Service office has a great deal of information about household pest problems. Our web site is a good source of information about many common household pests http://www.ent.uga.edu/ Look under "Publications."

$$$

CropLife America and the European Crop Protection Association report that it is much more expensive to bring crop protection chemicals to market. In 1995, it cost about $152 million and 8.3 years to bring a new pesticide to market. By 2000, the cost was $184 million, and it took more than nine years. The increased cost and time are attributed to new technology, stricter regulation, increased data requirements, and greater numbers of molecules screened. From 1995 to 2000, the average number of molecules screened to produce a new product increased from 52,500 to more than 139,000. (CropLife America Spotlight, 5-16-03 via Chemically Speaking, 6-03)

The appearance of any trade name in this newsletter is not intended to endorse that product nor convey negative implications of unmentioned products.

Dear Readers:

The Georgia Pest Management Newsletter is a monthly journal for extension agents, extension specialists, and others interested in pest management news. It provides information on legislation, regulations, and other issues affecting pest management in Georgia.

Do not regard the information in this newsletter as pest management recommendations. Consult the Georgia Pest Management Handbook, other extension publications, or appropriate specialists for this information.

Your input in this newsletter is encouraged.

If you wish to be added to the mailing list, just call us at 706-542-2816

Or write us:

Department of Entomology
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602

E-mail: pguillebeau@bugs.ent.uga.edu

Or visit us on the Web. You will find all the back issues there and other useful information.

http://www.ces.uga.edu/Agriculture/entomology/pestnewsletter/newsarchive.html

Sincerely:

Paul Guillebeau, Associate Professor & Extension Entomologist