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

Your source for pest management and pesticide news

June 2005 /Volume 28, No. 6

NEWS YOU CAN USE

With dry weather upon us, many people are reconsidering their landscaping to conserve water
Summertime means ticks, and tick populations are reportedly high this year
We may have misled our readers regarding the Georgia DHS Division of Public Health tick program
Summertime also brings out mosquitoes
Check out the redesigned Southern region IPM website

FOOD QUALITY PROTECTION ACT AND REREGISTRATION

Watch for preliminary risk assessments for a number of soil fumigants
The manufacturer’s metam-sodium alliance has submitted a new bystander risk assessment of metam-sodium and submitted it to EPA
Aldicarb and Carbofuran have been under scrutiny for some time due to concerns about risks to the environment and human health

HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT

As if fire ants were not bad enough . . . African honeybees are on the way to becoming established in Florida

FEDERAL NEWS

With strong encouragement from EPA, the Hartz Mountain Corp. is canceling several flea and tick products
The Supreme Court reversed lower and White House attempts to prevent farmers from suing chemical companies for product damages

BIOTECHNOLOGY

Genetic engineering of plants may lead to a vaccine against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome

DON’T DO IT

Saving seed is a time-honored tradition for many farmers, but saving genetically engineered seed may land you in court
We don’t lend a lot of space to humor, but you rarely hear a funny pest control joke

News You Can Use

With dry weather upon us, many people are reconsidering their landscaping to conserve water. Two University of Georgia publications will help you do more with less water.

http://pubs.caes.uga.edu/caespubs/pubcd/B1073.htm 

http://pubs.caes.uga.edu/caespubs/horticulture/coastalgarden/resourceful.htm 

Summertime means ticks, and tick populations are reportedly high this year. We get many calls during the summer from people who are concerned about a tick they found on themselves or some member of their family. This image is from an excellent public-domain collection maintained by USDA at http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/graphics/photos .

The good news is that Lyme disease is not common in Georgia. Additionally, tick-borne diseases are not usually transmitted unless the tick remains attached for a number of hours.

The bad news is that ticks also transmit other potentially serious diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever and ehrlichiosis. However, a few simple rules can help you reduce your risk of tick-borne diseases.

To reduce tick populations around your home, treat your dog with an approved pesticide for ticks, keep the grass cut short, and fence the yard to keep out other dogs. If you need to use a pesticide, consult your local Extension office for recommendations. Dogs can serve as a reservoir for both Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Rocky Mountain spotted fever does not seem to affect dogs, but Lyme disease can cause joint pain in dogs.

You can find more information at http://pubs.caes.uga.edu/caespubs/pubcd/L417.htm

We may have misled our readers regarding the Georgia DHS Division of Public Health tick program. We thought (and wrote) that everyone that sent in a tick would receive a response indicating whether the tick carried a disease. However, the ticks are tested at random; the tick you submit may or may not be included in the study. If your tick is not selected, you will not receive information from the Division of Public Health. We apologize for any inconvenience.

For those of you that missed the original story, you can submit ticks that you find attached to a person to the DPH for possible inclusion in this study of tick-borne diseases in Georgia . If your tick is included in the study, the Division will contact you regarding any disease discovered in the tick. You can get more instructions for removing and submitting ticks by calling Poison Control (800-222-1222).

Summertime also brings out mosquitoes. The good news is that the risk of catching a mosquito-borne disease is pretty small. The bad news is that some mosquito-borne diseases (e.g., encephalitis) can be devastating. These recommendations will help you protect your family.

Minimize mosquito-breeding sites. Empty any containers that hold water once a week, including, bird baths, toys, saucers under flower pots, rain gauges, tire swings, etc. Ask your neighbors to do the same.

Keep ground covers trimmed. Cutting grape ivy around my house greatly reduced the number of adult mosquitoes because they did not have an attractive place to rest.

Use mosquito dunks (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis) in water that cannot be emptied weekly, such as ornamental ponds. If you have fish in your ponds, you may not need to use any control method. Many fish eat mosquito eggs and larvae. If the larvae and pupae are abundant, you will see them.

Use insect repellents. Products containing DEET are the most effective against mosquitoes. This publication will give you information about using repellents properly http://www.ent.uga.edu/publications/protect_against_bites.htm. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently added two new active ingredients to their guidelines.

The CDC now accepts picaridin, or KBR 3023, and p-menthane 3,8-diol (PMD), or oil of lemon eucalyptus, as viable alternatives for people who object to using DEET.

Both of these new active ingredients have been used in Europe and Australia for a few years. It should be noted that oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under age 3.

Keep household screens in good repair.

Wear light colored clothing. Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors. Dress like Mr. Clean, but stand near the Goth crowd.

Bug zappers do not kill many mosquitoes, but they kill a lot of beneficial insects. Bug zappers are useful against some insects but not mosquitoes.

Ultrasonic devices are almost worthless for insect control. Don’t waste your money.

Bats and birds. We love bats and purple martins, but they don’t eat many mosquitoes. They prefer insects with a little more meat on them.

Automated insect applicators. The risks of an unmonitored pesticide application almost always outweigh the benefits.

Mosquito foggers. Foggers can be used to greatly reduce mosquito populations in a small area for a few hours. Be sure to use a pesticide that is labeled for your use site and ALWAYS follow the pesticide label directions.

Mosquito traps. These traps usually catch a lot of mosquitoes, but they may not catch enough to keep mosquitoes from biting you. In a small, somewhat enclosed area, a trap may be useful. If mosquitoes are coming to your party from all over, you may not think a trap is worth the money. If I spend more than $200, one mosquito bite will probably seem like too many.

Check out the redesigned Southern region IPM website. You will find a tremendous amount of information there. http://www.sripm.org/

Food Quality Protection Act and Reregistration

Watch for preliminary risk assessments for a number of soil fumigants, including dazomet, metam sodium, methyl bromide, 1,3-D (Telone), chloropicrin and a new active ingredient, iodomethane. The EPA is holding a technical briefing for the first three on July 13 in Washington . The assessments for chloropicrin and iodomethane are expected in a few weeks. If you care about soil fumigants, take the time to read the assessments and provide feedback. http://www.epa.gov/oppfead1/cb/csb_page/updates/fumigants_meeting.htm

The manufacturer’s metam-sodium alliance (Amvac Chemical Corporation, Taminco, Inc., and Tessenderlo Kerley, Inc.) has submitted a new bystander risk assessment of metam-sodium and submitted it to EPA.  The new risk assessment results in risk estimates that are between 20-200 times less than EPA’s risk analysis. Additionally, the Alliance filed a Request for Correction (RFC) petition under the Information Quality Act (IQA) on June 24, 2005, requesting that EPA both correct errors in the risk assessment and require that the new bystander risk assessment completed by the registrants be reviewed, incorporated, and considered in any revised risk assessment on metam-sodium before EPA releases it to the public.

This situation illustrates the difficulty of assessing risks. Both the EPA and the Alliance are using models to estimate the “real” risks of metam-sodium to bystanders. It is no surprise that the Alliance prefers a model that produces a lower risk estimate than the EPA model. The problem is that no one knows for sure which model is more accurate. Metam-sodium carries substantial risks, but it is a very important tool for some commodities. The phase-out of methyl bromide has only increased the benefits of metam-sodium. It is the often-thankless job of EPA to balance the benefits with the risks.

Aldicarb and Carbofuran have been under scrutiny for some time due to concerns about risks to the environment and human health. The EPA risk assessments for both of these pesticides are available for comment until August 23. You will find the assessments and the instructions for commenting at these web sites.

Aldicarb: http://docket.epa.gov/edkpub/do/EDKStaffCollectionDetailViewByID?collectionId=OPP-2005-0163

Carbofuran: http://docket.epa.gov/edkpub/do/EDKStaffCollectionDetailView?objectId=0b0007d4807f3e2f

Only the determined reader will persevere to find the documents and provide feedback. Undoubtedly, the new system is supposed to be better, but the process is no longer quick or convenient. If you go to the web site, add your complaints to mine.

Even though many people will complain about EPA action against aldicarb and/or carbofuran, we have created most of the problems. People continue to use both of these chemicals to deliberately kill nuisance animals. It is already illegal to use aldicarb and carbofuran in this manner; EPA is left with few choices to reduce environmental risks. DO NOT use pesticides illegally, and do not give pesticides to other people with a wink and a nod. The end result will be the loss of valuable pesticides.

Health and the Environment

As if fire ants were not bad enough . . . African honeybees are on the way to becoming established in Florida . Unfortunately, the bees (also known as killer bees) are well suited for the Florida climate. It is also reasonable to think that the bees may move across the Southeast.

Although the bees have been intercepted and stopped at Florida ports several times in the past, Dr. Glenn Hall at the University of Florida thinks the Africanized bees are here to stay this time. If the bees spread across the state, there could be substantial impacts on beekeeping, agriculture, recreation, and tourism.

“However, new finds in the Tampa area suggest that African bees are spreading and becoming established in the state, and they are being found farther inland from the ports,” Hall said. “We did not believe that enough bees could arrive on ships to form an established population, but they did so in Puerto Rico, and now appear to be doing the same in Florida.”

He said the infestation around Tampa is still small, and the bees are not unusually aggressive. As isolated swarms enter one by one through the ports, daughter African queens from the swarms have no choice but to mate with the resident European male drones. Fortunately, the hybrid offspring are not as aggressive as their African parents.

“Once the combination of hybrids and new introductions reaches a critical mass, bees of African descent will likely start to mate with each other, resulting in offspring with more African-like characteristics,” Hall said.

He said that the arrival of African bees is not unexpected and should not be viewed with undue alarm at this time.

“Concerns about the bees have been exaggerated, with some media and motion pictures portraying swarms of deadly, stinging insects invading cities,” Hall said. “Nevertheless, it’s important to be aware. African bees have attacked and killed people and livestock in Africa, in South and Central America , and in other states.” There have been 14 fatalities in the United States , and hundreds of nonfatal stinging incidents have been reported. (UF/IFAS News Release 6-20-05)

Federal News

With strong encouragement from EPA, the Hartz Mountain Corp. is canceling several flea and tick products that may be associated with a range of adverse reactions, including hair loss, salivation, tremors, and numerous deaths in cats and kittens.The agreement with EPA calls for new labeling followed an end to all new production of these products by September 30, 2005. Sales and distribution will stop at the end of 2005, and retail sales will stop March 31, 2006. The new labeling will recommend that products not be used on cats and kittens that weigh less than six pounds, on cats older than 13 years, or on kittens less than 5 months old.

Here are the affected products.

Hartz® Advanced Care™ 4 in 1® Flea & Tick Drops Plus+ for Cats and Kittens
Hartz® Advanced Care™ Brand Flea and Tick Drops Plus+ for Cats and Kittens

Advanced Care™ 3 in 1® Flea & Tick Drops for Cats and Kittens Hartz®
Advanced Care™ Once-A-Month® Flea and Tick Drops for Cats and Kittens

If you have these products, you may legally use them according to the label. If you do not wish to use them, you can probably return them to the retailer for a refund or replacement product. You can also call the Hartz company at 800-275-1414.

The Supreme Court reversed lower and White House attempts to prevent farmers from suing chemical companies for product damages. About five years ago, some Texas peanut farmers tried a new herbicide that killed the weeds but caused substantial crop damage. The farmers tried to sue the company, but the federal court and the appeals court ruled that federal law prevented the suit in state court. Other courts had made similar rulings. In 2001, the Bush administration said that federal law shielded pesticide manufacturers from these lawsuits.

Essentially, these decisions prevented anyone from suing a pesticide company for damages, even if the person used the pesticide exactly as the manufacturer directed. Other cases that had been dismissed included suits alleging that children had been sickened by pesticide drift and a man had been killed after riding a horse that had been treated with pesticide.

The Supreme Court ruled that the lower courts erred in their rulings. The new findings do not mean that farmers or other plaintiffs would win compensation from chemical manufacturers; they would still have to prove their claims. At least now, the people alleging damages will have their day in court. (LA Times, 4-28-05)

Biotechnology

Genetic engineering of plants may lead to a vaccine against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). You probably recall a worldwide SARS scare about two years ago. SARS is caused by a coronavirus, and one of the viral proteins is a strong candidate to produce a vaccine.

Scientists used tomato and tobacco plants to produce the protein and fed the transformed plant material to mice. The mice showed increased levels of antibody after feeding on tomato. Feeding on tobacco did not increase the antibody level, but a shot with the peptide produced an immune response. You can read all about it at http://www.pnas.org/cgi/reprint/102/25/9062

We will say it again about biotechnology. You ain’t seen nothing yet. It is imperative that we realize the benefits, but we must not let the science get too far ahead of regulation. After all, the hallucinogenic drug LSD was legal for a time because there were no regulations in place for the newly designed compound.

Don’t Do It

Saving seed is a time-honored tradition for many farmers, but saving genetically engineered seed may land you in court. Monsanto has filed nearly one hundred lawsuits in 25 states since 1997. The company is suing a Mississippi soybean farmer for several hundred thousand dollars alleging technology piracy for saving Roundup Ready soybean seed. (Chemically Speaking, 2-2005)

Many people will automatically side with the farmer against the big chemical company, but Monsanto is justified in protecting their investment. The company invested a great of resources to develop the genetically modified seed, and the shareholders are entitled to a return. Additionally, companies are unlikely to invest additional resources in research/development if they cannot expect to make money from their discoveries. Finally, farmers that buy genetically modified seed have agreed that they will not save the seed for future planting.

We don’t lend a lot of space to humor, but you rarely hear a funny pest control joke. One day, a man arrived home unexpectedly, surprising his wife and her paramour, the local exterminator. The woman pushed her “friend” into the closet, but the husband soon discovered the naked man.
"Who are you!?”
"I’m the exterminator from Bug-Out.”
"Why are you in my closet?”
"Inspecting for clothes moths, sir."
"Well, what happened to your clothes?”
The exterminator looked down, aghast. “Good thing I came right over. The infestation is worse than we thought.”

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:bugman@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:

Dr. Paul Guillebeau, Associate Professor & Extension Entomologist