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

Your source for pest management and pesticide news

October 2003/Volume 26, No. 10

KEEP GPMN COMING

This is the last snail mail edition of the Georgia Pest Management Newsletter

HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Bed bugs are back and biting bottoms in beds from Bangor to Baja
Two studies indicate that 2,4 D herbicide does not present a significant cancer risk to pesticide applicators
The World Health Organization's World Health Report for 2002 identifies the top ten global and regional disease and health risk factors
According to PANUPS (10-7-03), a recent U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study of water samples collected in California's San Joaquin Valley reveals troubling pesticide concentrations
People worry about Lyme disease, but it is not among the major reportable diseases in Georgia
In Ohio , 26 students went to the hospital after bees attacked them

IPM

Head lice are a prime example in which IPM techniques could eliminate nearly all of the pesticide risks

FEDERAL NEWS

Attorneys General from 11 states have filed a petition that would require federal agencies to use Integrated Pest Management
The EPA has issued their revised pesticide label review manual
The EPA is shuffling their management team
If you think you want to be the boss of EPA, this news might change your mind
Believe it or not, agricultural groups and environmental groups are banding together to support an increase in pesticide fees
Look for new labels for aluminum and magnesium phosphide

NEWS YOU CAN USE

We do not advocate particular products, but I had to mention a new flamethrower to use against rodents
Although herbicides account for most of DuPont's sales, the company is shifting its focus to insect control products

CANCELLED

The registrants have asked EPA to cancel registrations for some creosote and acid copper chromate wood preservative products

Keep GPMN Coming

This is the last snail mail edition of the Georgia Pest Management Newsletter. Due to budget constraints, we can no longer afford to stuff envelopes and lick stamps. However, we will not leave the readers high and dry. You will have three options to receive GPMN. 1) Sign up for e-mail delivery. 2) Read the newsletters via the Web. 3) Ask a friend to print out a copy for you.

We hope that electronic delivery will not be overly inconvenient. Our only other option was a subscription fee, and that alternative was not very attractive to us. Our readership would probably drop like a lead balloon, and it was just not worth it just to send my mom a copy. To tell you the truth, I felt guilty about charging her.

Electronic delivery has one distinct advantage. You can send us an irate response or worthless suggestion before you forget about it. We would like to receive more reader feedback. We do not know if we are delivering the information you want, and you may suggest other programs that we can provide. Keep in mind that extension works for you. Please let us know what you need.

To subscribe to electronic delivery, send an e-mail to tall@bugs.ent.uga.edu with the subject "Pesticide Newsletter." We will do the rest. We will not send you any junk, and no one will get your e-mail address from us. If you want to read GPMN on the Internet, visit http://extension.caes.uga.edu/wnews.html

Health and the Environment

Bed bugs are back and biting bottoms in beds from Bangor to Baja. With the introduction of DDT and other insecticides in the 1940s, bed bugs became an oddity. A survey by Orkin indicated a 300 percent increase in bed bug reports between 2000 and 2001. Bed bug complaints increased another 70 percent the next year and another 70 percent from 2002 to 2003.

There may be several reasons for the increase. Some people think that the reemergence is due to a lack of "strong" insecticides like DDT. Other people point to increased public concern about pesticides, so hotel and apartment managers are reluctant to use insecticides. Still others point to an increase in international travel.

Bed bugs are dorsoventrally flattened, like a pancake. They start off as very small insects and grow to about 0.2 inches. Bed bugs hide in cracks during the day and crawl out to feed on blood at night. Their bite usually causes itching and a small bump. You may also identify an infestation by the spots bed bugs leave on the sheets.

These insects can be a formidable enemy. Bed bugs can live for more than a year, and they can go without food for months. Females lay hundreds of eggs. Because the adults and the nymphs hide in cracks, it can be difficult to reach them with an insecticide. Bed bugs infestations occur in two basic ways. Some species feed on animals, but they will feed on humans if the host is removed. At least one species prefers to feed on humans; they are usually introduced in the home from a hotel, with used furniture, etc.

On a more positive note, bed bugs are not known to carry human diseases. When bed bugs come crawling into your bed, they do not want to hurt you; they just want to be close to you for a few minutes.

If you want to know more, visit these web sites.

http://www.badgerherald.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2003/09/30/3f7Se7eed7dd7
http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7454.html

If you think you have bed bugs, consult your extension agent. We do not advise applying pesticides or taking other drastic actions until your problem has been positively identified.

Two studies indicate that 2,4 D herbicide does not present a significant cancer risk to pesticide applicators. Some earlier data had suggested that 2,4 D exposure was associated with non-Hodgkins lymphoma; a reanalysis of pooled data refuted this correlation. The researchers also reported that current data suggest that many pesticides present no cancer risk. However, the report indicated that few data were available to determine cancer links for specific pesticides, and some pesticides may be a cancer risk. An Agricultural Health Study of 55,332 male pesticide applicators concluded that the cancer incidence among farmers and pesticide applicators is significantly lower than cancer incidence in the general population. (The Industry Task Force II on 2,4-D Press Release, 9-25-03)

The World Health Organization's World Health Report for 2002 identifies the top 10 global and regional disease and health risk factors, in terms of the diseases they cause.

  1. Underweight
  2. Unsafe sex
  3. Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  4. Tobacco use
  5. Alcohol consumption
  6. Unsafe water, poor sanitation and hygiene
  7. Dietary iron deficiency
  8. Indoor smoke from solid fuels
  9. High cholesterol
  10. Obesity

You will notice that pesticides do not appear on this list. I understand pesticide risks better than most, and I spend a lot of my time reminding people to be careful with pesticides. However, pesticides are not the fourth horseman of the apocalypse as they are often portrayed.

An overview of the full report is at: WHO World Health Report 2002 Overview http://www.who.int/whr/2002/en/Overview_E.pdf

A tip o' the cap to Bob Bellinger for this news item.

According to PANUPS (10-7-03), a recent U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study of water samples collected in California's San Joaquin Valley reveals troubling pesticide concentrations. From the winter of 2000 through 2001, USGS researchers collected samples of rainfall, storm-water runoff, and river water to investigate concentrations and water travel patterns for the organophosphates diazinon and chlorpyrifos.

Of the water samples collected by USGS, a total of 78 (60 for diazinon and 18 for chlorpyrifos) out of 220 samples contained pesticide concentrations that exceeded concentration baseline limits established by the California Department of Fish and Game. These baseline limits were established to help maintain a healthy aquatic environment.

The sources of the pesticides are thought to be primarily drift from agricultural applications made by air and ground equipment. In river samples, USGS scientists attributed 68 percent of diazinon concentrations to rainfall.

The California Department of Pesticide Regulations (CA DPR) has initiated concentration limits through the proposed Dormant Spray Water Quality Initiative. When the USGS study results are compared to these proposed guidelines, pesticide concentrations in water samples exceeded limits by up to a factor of 10 for diazinon and 7.4 for chlorpyrifos. Although the CA DPR states that these levels are of no consequence to human health, they may threaten aquatic life. In addition to establishing concentration limits, the CA DPR initiative would require mandatory controls to limit drift and water run-off of these pesticides and provide ongoing monitoring of concentration levels.

The USGS report is part of an ongoing effort to monitor pesticide levels in water. Initiated in 1991, the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program conducts surveys of various water quality indicators, including pesticide levels.

You can find more information at these web sites.

Diazinon and Chlorpyrifos Loads in Precipitation and Urban and Agricultural Storm Runoff during January and February 2001 in the San Joaquin River Basin, California, Celia Zamora, Charles R. Kratzer, Michael S. Majewski, and Donna L. Knifong, USGS, 2003, http://water.usgs.gov/pubs/wri/wri034091/

The Quality of Our Nation's Waters: Nutrients and Pesticides, USGS NAWQA, 1999, http://water.usgs.gov/pubs/circ/circ1225/

Water Quality in the San Joaquin-Tulare Basins, California, 1992-95, Neil M. Dubrovsky, Charles R. Kratzer, Larry R. Brown, Jo Ann M. Gronberg, Karen R. Burow, USGS, 1998, http://water.usgs.gov/pubs/circ/circ1159/index.html

People worry about Lyme disease, but it is not among the major reportable diseases in Georgia. In the years ending in June 30, 2001, 2002, and 2003, the average number of cases of Lyme disease reported is seven. Compare that with more than 55 thousand cases of sexually transmitted diseases reported for the year ending June 30, 2003. It is still important to protect yourself from ticks, but the best advice for people out in the woods is to keep your hands to yourself. (Georgia Epidemiology Report, 9-03)

In Ohio, 26 students went to the hospital after bees attacked them. The students were hiking at a 4-H camp as part of an outdoor educational program. This will be a lesson that they will not soon forget. (PCT Online, 9-10-03)

What could these students have done to protect themselves? Not much. If you are outdoors, it is impossible to predict when you will walk too near a wasp or bee nest. Although this story reported "bees," the attackers were more likely yellow jackets. The colonies are often large and aggressive during the fall.

Anyone that is highly allergic to stings should carry appropriate first aid when venturing outdoors. Even for the rest of us, it is a good idea to carry first aid to relieve the pain and swelling associated with insect stings, particularly if small children are part of the outing. For more information, visit our web publication, Protect Yourself from Bites and Stings at http://www.ent.uga.edu/publications/protect_against_bites.htm

IPM

Head lice are a prime example in which IPM techniques could eliminate nearly all of the pesticide risks. However, people simply will not hear, and advertisers are encouraging parents to create unnecessary pesticide risks.

Here are the facts. Head lice are not considered to be an important health problem. They are not reported to transmit human disease. Most health providers label head lice as a nuisance and embarrassment for uninformed parents. Head lice are not an indicator of household cleanliness or childcare. Actually, head lice seem to prefer a clean head.

Head lice are a highly evolved human parasite. They cannot live away from the human head for more than a day; nearly all human-less head lice probably die within a few hours. Head lice cannot live on pets; they cannot colonize carpets, furniture, or the lawn.

According to IPM principles, pesticides are only used when necessary, based on the biology of the pest. Clearly, pesticide applications are not needed to control head lice on furniture, bedding, etc. However, you can readily buy products advertised to treat furniture and bedding. The most common products contain the active ingredient permethrin, a chemical that is known to exacerbate asthma. It is difficult to understand how to justify treating a child's bedding with any pesticide.

Many parents and some schools have still not understood the message. DO NOT treat your home, school, buses, etc. with pesticides to control head lice. If you need more information, visit http://pubs.caes.uga.edu/caespubs/pubcd/c851.htm and http://www.headlice.org/ (NPA Press Release10-01-2003)

Federal News

Attorneys General from 11 states have filed a petition that would require federal agencies to use Integrated Pest Management and to promote IPM through procurement and regulatory activities. The petition refers to a provision of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) that is obscure to many people.

More specifically, the attorneys general want the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to stop using pesticides as the first response to pest problems in low-income housing. The petition asks HUD to implement IPM instead. A coalition of environmental, housing, and public health organizations also filed a petition calling on HUD to implement IPM. (Beyond Pesticides, October 9, 2003)

These petitions may create some interesting challenges and opportunities. It may be challenging to explain IPM to widely diverse audiences. There is considerable debate among professionals about the definition of IPM and the relative risks associated with different pesticides. For example, a pesticide may be quite toxic as an acute exposure but pose a relatively small risk of long-term illness. Another pesticide may not be acutely toxic, but it may increase the risks of long-term illness. Many of the pests themselves also pose risks to human health. Additionally, the foundation of IPM is sanitation and maintenance. It may be impossible to implement IPM if some tenants are unwilling to cooperate.

Pest control companies should recognize this petition as a source for future opportunities. Companies should develop an IPM strategy that will minimize the use of chemical pesticides. It will not be adequate to simply call your company "IPM Pest Control." The Cooperative Extension Service and other agencies are helping customers understand how to recognize a company that can really implement IPM.

The EPA has issued their revised pesticide label review manual. The third edition of the Label Review Manual updates previous editions. The manual serves as a training tool and resource for employees in EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs who are responsible for reviewing pesticide product labels. This manual also may be useful for state label reviewers, registrants and others interested in producing readable, unambiguous pesticide product labels.

The EPA is shuffling their management team. Anne Lindsey is going to be the Deputy Office Director for the Office of Pesticide Programs. Lois Rossi will become the Director of the Registration Division. Debbie Edwards will be the Director of the Special Review and Reregistration Division.

If you think you want to be the boss of EPA, this news might change your mind. Utah Governor Michael Leavitt was nominated to become the next administrator of EPA. A vote on the nomination was postponed because Committee Democrats boycotted the session saying Leavitt failed to adequately answer their questions. Without the Democrats present, the committee did not have a quorum and was unable to proceed with the vote. The Democrats wanted to the delay the vote by two weeks to allow time for Leavitt to sufficiently answer the more than 400 questions that were posed to him. I am not sure I know 400 answers if you exclude elementary math problems. (PCT Online, 10-08-03)

Believe it or not, agricultural groups and environmental groups are banding together to support an increase in pesticide fees. If enacted, the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act would generate user-fee derived funds to improve and expedite pesticide regulation and the registration process. The bill would raise $85 million to $90 million in new enhanced registration and service fees during the next five years. It also would extend pesticide product maintenance fees for five years, generating an additional $116 million.

Funds raised by the proposal would provide immediate and predictable funding to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Pesticide Programs. The bill would also ensure that the Food Quality Protection Act's (FQPA) 2006 deadlines for completing pesticide tolerance reassessment of all food use pesticides and re-registration eligibility decisions are met.

Dedicated revenue from the fee increases would provide the EPA with additional resources to review all available scientific data and evaluate pesticide safety using the legal and scientific standards established in the Food Quality Protection Act and other existing laws. The bill also includes provisions to protect small business and minor use products, fund efforts to protect workers and promote expedited review of pesticides that have reduced risks. (PCT Online, 10-3-03)

This type of legislation is important. If EPA does not have enough money, the entire process is bogged down. Reviews of existing pesticides take too long, and new products are slow to arrive on the market. As EPA activities become slower, one or more groups are likely to file lawsuits to push their favorite agenda, further slowing the evaluation of older products and introduction of new tools.

Look for new labels for aluminum and magnesium phosphide. The EPA has approved 19 new labels. In a word of explanation, these products release phosphine gas, a highly toxic chemical that is essential to manage pests in stored grains. The gas is readily removed from the grain and leaves no harmful residue.

Much of the focus on phosphine products has resulted from the deliberate misuse of these pesticides. In several tragic cases, people have obtained phosphide products illegally and accidentally killed people. With some type of inexplicable logic, these people thought phosphide products would be useful to control household pests.

Bottom line, aluminum and magnesium phosphide would already be cancelled if they were not so important. If you use these products, keep them locked up and never give them away. Keep in mind that there are some newer phosphine products that are packaged as compressed gases in tanks rather than the more portable (and more easily stolen) tablets. These products are suitable for some, but not all, situations.

News You Can Use

We do not advocate particular products, but I had to mention a new flamethrower to use against rodents. I have no idea if the Rodenator is effective. The basic idea is that this device shoots propane and oxygen down in the hole, and the operator sparks the flame. According to the advertisement, the resulting shockwave kills the pests quickly and humanely. I hope my teenage son does not see the ad; it would be the top item on his Christmas list. It would be only a matter of time before the Guillebeau household reenacted Sherman's march to the sea.

Although herbicides account for most of DuPont's sales, the company is shifting its focus to insect control products. Sales for insecticides and fungicides currently hold the greatest promise, while weed control opportunities seem to be flattening or even diminishing.

Sales of seeds designed to tolerate Roundup are reportedly peaking in the United States, so DuPont's loss of market share to Roundup is expected to slow.

DuPont plans to expand use of its farm chemical indoxacarb in homes as a pest control for ants, termites, and roaches. Indoxacarb is mostly used in cotton, fruit, and vegetable crop protection. (PCT Online, 9-12-03)

Cancelled

The registrants have asked EPA to cancel registrations for some creosote and acid copper chromate wood preservative products. Unless the requests are withdrawn by October 29, 2003, EPA intends to issue orders granting these requests to cancel certain products and to amend to terminate certain uses. The cancellations will be finalized December 31, 2004.

Osmose, Inc., the sole registrant of Acid Copper Chromate, is requesting immediate cancellation of its product without provisions for existing stocks. For the past two years, Osmose has not sold or distributed this product. Prior to that time, the registrant limited its sales and distribution of the product to one customer for the sole purpose of treating wood that was used in water-cooling towers.

For further information please contact Connie Welch at 703-308-8218. The entire text of the Federal Register Notice announcing this action may be found at http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-PEST/2003/September/Day-29/p24560.htm

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:  mailto:pguillebeau@bugs.ent.uga.edu

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

http://pubs.caes.uga.edu/caespubs/entomology/pestnewsletter/newsarchive.html

Sincerely,

Paul Guillebeau, Associate Professor & Extension Entomologist