Dan Fleischer, president of PestEx, Newton, Mass., authored the September PCT column “My Biggest Mistake,” in which he discussed some of the lessons he’s learned in growing his business from a one-man operation to a successful 10-person operation, serving the Boston area. Fleischer shares some of these tips in the following podcast.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of “Silent Spring,” Rachel Carson’s controversial book that launched the environmental movement. Since its publication a half century ago, “Silent Spring” and its author have been a lightning rod for individuals on both sides of the pro- and anti-pesticide divide, prompting countless debates about the merits of one of the industry’s most important tools in combating pests, safeguarding property and protecting public health.
Regardless how you feel about the scientific validity and long-term cultural impact of “Silent Spring,” there is no denying that the book is one of the seminal works of the 20th century. As PCT developed its editorial calendar for 2012, we wanted to examine the historical impact of “Silent Spring” on the pest management industry, while at the same time assess how Carson’s most widely read work is perceived by today’s generation of PMPs. So, we conducted an online survey of our readers and asked two former NPMA presidents — Hal Stein and Vernon McKinzie — to share their memories of this tumultuous time. “In retrospect, I think it (“Silent Spring”) made our industry better, because we had to be more precise in applications and had to learn more about pest habits and behavior, which resulted in the fact we are now providing better and safer services, not to mention we learned how to do it with less active ingredients,” McKinzie writes. “Would we have grown the same had we not had ‘Silent Spring?’ Would we be as professional as we now are? I don’t think so.” Stein observes that “Silent Spring” was the catalyst for the creation of the EPA, one of the industry’s key regulatory bodies. “I remember many of the fine scientists in USDA, our previous regulator with whom we had always worked so well, transferred to EPA in the belief that, as in the past, they could assist in regulating with wisdom,” he recalls. “But in the wave of public outcry, to a measurable extent prompted by the shock and emotional impact of Ms. Carson’s dire warnings, EPA inducted into its ranks a cadre of environmental activists who quickly drowned out the scientists.”
While the debate continues to this day, one thing is certain. If we don’t aggressively defend the benefits of responsible pesticide use; if we don’t actively promote our role as “Guardians of the Environment”; if we don’t act responsibly in applying these essential pest management tools; and if we don’t support the efforts of the Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA), RISE, UPF&DA and the NPMA, we only have ourselves to blame if the industry finds itself under siege from anti-pesticide special interest groups or over-zealous regulatory officials.
The pesticide industry responded pro-actively to “Silent Spring” and the burgeoning environmental movement of the late 20th century not only because it was in its self interest to do so, but because as scientists who innately value the environment, they were up to the challenge. In the past 50 years, these same scientists have developed generations of highly effective active ingredients that perform at lower concentration rates, leaving an ever-smaller environmental footprint, while at the same time continue to feed an ever-growing global population. These are world-class scientists working for world-class organizations who understand that healthy debate, based on sound science, is the foundation of technological innovation.
Perhaps Dr. Jerome Goddard, who contributed to our coverage of this topic, puts the debate in proper perspective at its most basic level — human life. “We need to keep in mind that pesticides are public health tools,” he writes. “As a public health entomologist, I have seen first-hand the devastating effects of arthropods and the diseases they cause. Through the years...we investigated and tried to manage disease clusters and outbreaks due to Rocky Mountain spotted fever, St. Louis encephalitis, eastern equine encephalitis and West Nile virus. I have personally visited with grieving family members of those who died from these diseases, as well as patients who are now permanently disabled from them, so no one is going to tell me that pesticides are not important in public health and effective disease prevention.”
It’s up to all of us to continue the debate, vigorously defending our respective positions, while holding out hope that sound science and a shared desire to protect the environment and safeguard human life ultimately wins the day.
Verifi Bed Bug Detector Now Available
FMC Professional Solutions recently released its Verifi bed bug detector, what the company calls a breakthrough in bed bug inspection technology.
Verifi provides up to three months of active detection before re-activation is required with replaceable components, allowing for long-term monitoring.
According to FMC, Verifi allows pest management professionals to provide their customers with ongoing bed bug service while generating a valuable recurring revenue stream. The device is small, and can be installed on walls or behind furniture.
Components of the new device include:
- A CO2-generating cartridge which mimics a living host for 24 hours
- A liquid kairomone lure that works to attract bed bugs seeking a meal
- A liquid pheromone lure that encourages bed bugs to aggregate in the device.
For more information and to view a video about the Verifi bed bug detector, visit www.verifibedbug.com.
Bed Bug Flyer Aimed to Allay Customer Fears
Compelling Communications is now offering an informative flyer with bed bug facts and statistics to educate customers and ease their fears of bed bugs.
“We’ve created this full-color, high quality flyer to give pest control companies another communication tool they can use to educate their customers,” said June Van Klaveren, owner of Compelling Communications. “The flyer can be customized with a company’s logo, phone number and website and is available in a variety of quantities to meet the needs of even the smallest pest control company.”
Additional information and an order form can be found at www.HowToMarketPestControl.com
Speakers for North American Bed Bug Summit Announced
Speakers for the 2012 North American Bed Bug Summit, set for Sept. 6-7 in Las Vegas, have been announced.
The conference is a BedBug Central learning event that provides education and information on all things bed bugs, including sessions and presentations led by industry experts. Topics will range from the latest bed bug research findings to practical, hands-on tips for the control of bed bugs.
- Dr. Michael Siva-Jothy, University of Sheffield
- Dr. Camilla Ryne, Nattaro Labs AB — Sweden
- Dr. Paul Waggoner, Auburn University Canine Detection Research Institute
- Paul Ashton, Anticimex — Denmark
- Jeffrey White, BedBug Central
- Richard Cooper, Rutgers University and BedBug Central
- Dr. Dini Miller, Virginia Tech University
- Dr. Michael Potter, University of Kentucky
- Dr. Phil Koehler, University of Florida
- Dr. Roberto Pereira, University of Florida
- Dr. Stephen Doggett, Westmead Hospital – Australia
- Dr. Ed Vargo, North Carolina State University
- Dr. Klaus Reinhardt, University of Tuebingen & University of Sheffield
- Christian Hardigree, UNLV Legal Specialist
- Jeff Lipman, Lipman Law Firm
- Joel Greenwald, Greenwald Doherty LLP
- Denise McCurry, Gordon & Rees LLP
- Tom Jarzynka, Massey Services
- Kevin Sweeney, senior entomologist, EPA
- Susan Jennings, public health coordinator, EPA
- Marion Johnson, insecticides branch chief, EPA
- Kerry O’Brien, attorney, FTC
- Allie Taisey, BedBug Central
For a complete description of each of these speakers’ topics visit http://bit.ly/Phn8Fi.
To register for the Summit visit http://bit.ly/MwjpVC.
Can Bed Bugs Jump?
It’s no surprise the “Ask the Orkin Man” section of Orkin.com is being inundated with bed bug questions. Here’s how the Orkin Man answered the question “Can bed bugs jump?”
Bed bugs do not have wings and are not capable of flight. Unlike other wingless insects such as fleas, bed bugs also are not equipped to jump long distances. Bed bugs may move from host to host, although this is typically accomplished by crawling.
However, bed bugs are skilled climbers. Some studies show that they climb great heights in order to drop themselves down to lower surfaces that were otherwise inaccessible to them. Bed bugs may scale walls in order to descend upon beds and other places to find food.
Detroit Bus Drivers Battling Bed Bugs
About 50 Detroit bus drivers have reported bed bugs on city buses within the past year, The Detroit News reported.
The union representing the city’s bus drivers has asked City Council to put pressure on the Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) to help curb the problem and stop the spread of the beg bugs. DDOT Chief Executive Ron Freeland told the newspaper the problem was not widespread, but said any buses reported to have bed bugs will be cleaned and fumigated.
However, the bus drivers’ union wants more aggressive action. Union president Henry Gaffney told The Detroit News DDOT should be taking preventative measures by treating the city’s bus fleet and terminals.
Terramera Offers Cirkil Product Line
Terramera has announced two new neem-based biopesticides for the control of bed bugs, bed bug eggs and cellar spiders to be marketed under the Cirkil brand name.
Cirkil products kill bed bugs and prevent bed bug eggs from hatching. Residual effectiveness has been shown to last up to two weeks in killing live bed bugs and up to three weeks in killing eggs, Terramera reports.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency registered the Cirkil products, Cirkil CX1 and Cirkil RTU, which will be available to U.S. pest management professionals in the fall. Cirkil CX1 is an emulsifiable concentrate containing 22 percent cold-pressed neem oil. It has a flexible, whole-room application, and is labeled for use in hand-pump sprayers.
Cirkil RTU is a ready-to-use formulation containing 5.5 percent cold-pressed neem oil. It is a quick-dry formula, flexible label, for spot treatments. Cirkil RTU will be available for professionals to sell to customers.
For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
BedBug Chasers Franchises Bed Bug Killing Business
New Jersey-based firm BedBug Chasers announced in May it is franchising its service business.
The business features a low entry cost, is 100 percent chemical-free, and will be offered through the BedBug Chasers Franchise Corporation, the company said.
The company said the cornerstone of the new franchising program is its patented BedBug Chasers heaters and proprietary process. The heaters have shown a high return on investment by substantially decreasing treatment times and the ability to treat a larger area per heater, the company said.
For more information about BedBug Chasers visit the company’s website at www.BedBugChasers.com.
Entomologists Say 2012 is Pivotal Year in Bed Bug War
Entomologists, pest professionals and manufacturers of products designed to stem the bed bug tide agreed that 2012 is a critical year in the fight against bed bugs, according to a release from Protect-A-Bed.
“Each year the challenges of fighting bed bugs change and grow,” said James Bell, CEO of Protect-A-Bed, a manufacturer of bed bug-fighting mattress encasements. “Now that the industry has begun working together it’s easier to see the best way forward.”
While anyone can be affected by bed bugs regardless of income level or where they live, the ability to deal with the situation can vary. “People with means tend to get bed bugs once, pay the costs to eliminate them quickly and learn ways to avoid them,” said Jody Gangloff-Kauffman, senior extension associate with the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program at Cornell University. “But for people that live in moderate-income, multi-family housing, it becomes less feasible to eliminate bed bugs once a certain number of units are infested.”
Wayne Walker, owner of Walker Pest Consulting, said bed bug treatments have become so expensive it is difficult for many Americans to afford the $500 to $1,000 cost of bed bug treatments. Home remedies are typically ineffective and can worsen the situation, he said.
“Even before an infestation occurs, people can protect themselves by using entry, escape and bite-proof mattress and box spring encasements,” Bell said. “They help people see the signs of an infestation while keeping the bugs from spreading to other areas of the home.”
For more information about Protect-A-Bed visit www.protectabed.com.
Pest Barrier Introduces Green Bed Bug Killer
Pest Barrier has introduced Cimi-Shield, a product that kills bed bugs on contact, the company announced.
Cimi-Shield leaves a non-smelling, non-staining, non-toxic residual in cracks and crevices, and on textile surfaces like mattresses, furniture, drapes and carpeting that will kill for up to 12 months in managed sanitation sites, Pest Barrier said.
Cimi-Shield is available in two formulations: Knock-Out, for active infestation, and Protect, for sites where there is constant pressure such as healthcare facilities, hotels or dressing rooms. Cimi-Shield is not recommended for hard surfaces because the insects cannot make effective body contact with the residual, the manufacturer said.
Cimi-Shield is non-toxic, FIFRA 25 (b) exempt. The product’s active ingredient, Residulen, is derived from soy bean oil and dissolves the cuticle of the insect. Because it acts mechanically and is not dependent on entering through a receptor site, it is not believed to contribute to resistance, Pest Barrier said.
For more information, visit www.PestBarrier.com.
Suppliers: If you have a bed bug control control product you’d like see featured in an upcoming issue of PCT, please send a press release and high-resolution photo to email@example.com.
Terminix Ranks Most Bed Bug-Infested Cities
Philadelphia won the dubious title of most bed bug-infested U.S. city, according to the Terminix annual ranking.
Philadelphia took the top spot from New York City, which had held the title for two years.
The 2012 Most-Infested Cities include:
The 2012 ranking proves bed bugs continue to be a problem across the country, with five cities — Cleveland, Houston, Indianapolis, Miami and New Haven — joining the top 15 this year. Other cities, such as Columbus, Dallas, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., saw growing bed bug populations this year.
Ohio continues to be a hotbed of activity, with three cities in the top 15.
“Bed bugs continue to increase their presence across the U.S.,” said Stoy Hedges, entomologist with Terminix. “While major metropolitan areas are most at risk, it is important to note that bed bugs have been spotted in cities and towns across the country.”
Terminix released its first bed bug ranking in 2010. The company said it expects bed bugs to continue to plague the nation throughout the summer as travelers encounter the tiny pests in hotels, airports and public transportation.
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has issued its final new surface water regulations governing the use of pyrethroid pesticides by pest management professionals.
Effective July 19, according to the regulations, “applications to vertical structural surfaces, such as walls, foundations, and fencing, must be made using only . . . (1) Spot treatment (2) Crack and crevice treatment (3) Pin stream treatment of one-inch wide or less (4) Perimeter band treatment up to a maximum of two feet above grade level.”
Pest management professionals will not be allowed to make broadcast applications to hard horizontal surfaces (such as driveways and concrete walkways). And PMPs applying granules will be required to sweep any granules that land on hard surfaces back onto the treatment site. Additional restrictions also apply.
According to California Department of Pesticide Regulations Director Brian R. Leahy, the new regulations will “significantly limit the amount of pesticides applied outdoors, especially to concrete and other hard surfaces more susceptible to runoff.”
Many California pest control operators had been preparing their businesses for these changes, including Jim Steed, owner of Neighborly Pest Control, Roseville, Calif., who said his company has been discussing the changes for the last 18 months, and adjusting equipment accordingly. “When the final standards were released we had a thorough review of them on July 2, at our office, and on July 17, we did a hands-on training meeting at my home,” he said. “All of the technicians participated in evaluating the sight and making the correct type of application to the correct area. Although we had discussed this in detail for some time, many of the technicians had trouble grasping the principles until we did the hands-on training.”
Steed said he does not believe the new labels will impact his company’s bottom-line, noting, “The primary expense of any pest service is the labor. After we established an application pattern that seemed to be in compliance, the total time to service a home seemed to stay the same. The unknown cost factor here is callbacks. We may have to make adjustments in product or technique if we see a spike in callbacks.”
California’s new regulations closely mirror the sweeping changes the U.S. EPA is making to pyrethroid labels nationally. There were two important issues surrounding new pyrethroid labels that the National Pest Management Association asked EPA for clarification on:
(1) Whether or not certain label directions were advisory or mandatory, to which EPA responded, “EPA confirmed that those statements are ‘best management practices’ and ‘not written to be mandatory, enforceable statements.’”
(2) An amendment to labels allowing products to be used “to treat building surfaces for brown marmorated stink bugs, kudzu bugs, boxelder bugs, spiders, cluster flies, multicolored Asian ladybeetles, clover mites and carpenter bees, provided that the application does not exceed the point of runoff, and the surface being treated is above a permissible treatment site like a lawn, soil, turf or other vegetation, and not above an impervious surface or other use site that may not be treated.”
EPA has denied this second request, a point of consternation for many PCOs, especially those who do a lot of treatments for overwintering pests. “Under the new federal label language, on the siding of a house the only thing you can do is a crack and crevice or spot treatment, or treat up to 3-feet high, or treat up in the eaves,” said NPMA Senior Vice President Bob Rosenberg. “What PMPs are saying is that there are situations where you want to be able to do more than a crack and crevice or a spot treatment or treat the eaves.” (Note: New California pyrethroid labels differ in that PMPs will be restricted to applying pyrethroids up to 2-feet high.)
Rosenberg said he’s hopeful EPA will re-consider NPMA’s proposed amendment regarding overwintering pests, and he noted that this proposal has the support of ASPCRO (the Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials); SFIREG (the State-FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group) and the PWG (Pyrethroid Working Group) — groups whose opinions carry weight within EPA.
In the meantime, PMPs can continue to use existing stock in accordance to existing stock label directions. The only exception is California; however, as Neighborly’s Steed noted, “That exemption will be very important for those in areas where these pests are a big problem. Boxelder bugs used to be a big problem around here, but not so much in the last 10 years. Carpenter bees can be controlled with spot sprays. The other pests are not a problem in our part of the state.”
The author is Internet editor of PCT and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s been four years since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued its Rodenticide Risk Mitigation Decision (RRMD) — a decision that included important revisions to rodenticide labels. While some questions about these label revisions remain, for the most part, manufacturers, distributors, pest management professionals and other stakeholders are adjusting.
Background. The 2008 RRMD included a number of key risk mitigation measures for the professional market that went into effect on June 4, 2011. Thanks to a collaborative effort by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and the Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials (ASPCRO), in March 2012 EPA made important additional revisions to rodenticide labels that provide pest management professionals with much-needed flexibility to manage rodent infestations. Specifically, the new label language:
- Extends the distance from which rodenticides can be placed from buildings from 50 feet to 100 feet and replaces the word “building” with the term “man-made structures” (Note: the phrase “man-made structures” is broadly defined, however, it expressly excludes “fence and perimeter baiting, beyond 100 feet from a structure…”).
- Permits the use of first-generation anticoagulant and non-anticoagulant professional products to treat burrows that are further than 100 feet from buildings and man-made structures.
While this outcome has generally been viewed as a positive for the pest control industry, a number of questions surrounding new (and old) rodenticide labels still exist. When are products with the new labels going to be available? Can I still use products that have the old labels? Has my state approved the amended labels (the new labels need to be approved by both EPA and states)? PCT contacted rodenticide manufacturers to get clarification on these and other issues related to the rodenticide label changes.
AB Bait Company — The manufacturer of Brigand bait products had four products that needed label amendments. These were submitted on April 20 and approved by EPA on May 8. The products also are registered in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. AB Bait Company President Andrej Branc said the products (with the label changes) were expected to be available in August.
Bell Laboratories — Bell Laboratories has 21 products whose labels needed to be amended, and all products were submitted to EPA from April to May. Todd Butzow, vice president of marketing, Bell Laboratories, said that the label revisions to the company’s two top-selling rodenticides — Contrac All-Weather Blox and Final All-Weather Blox — were approved by EPA (and states) in the May/June timeframe and began shipping out of its facility in mid-July. Butzow added, “While the label amendments were being sought, Bell implemented a variety of inventory management techniques to minimize or eliminate stocks of the previous labels. These techniques included short buys, expedited deliveries, product promos, etc., which have resulted in Bell’s ability to transition its top-selling items into the updated labeling without the need for massive overlabeling.”
J.T. Eaton — J.T. Eaton has submitted six registrations to EPA and is awaiting approval. Dale Baker, vice president of sales, J.T. Eaton, said he anticipates products with the new labels to be available market-wide in 2013.
Liphatech — Liphatech submitted a revised label for every bait product it has registered. This includes all of the different products the company actively sells (about 20), and also products Liphatech has registered with EPA but does not actively sell, according to Thomas Schmit, manager of regulatory affairs, Liphatech. At press time, EPA had approved 18 labels with five more labels pending. Lipha-tech Technical Support Manager Ted Bruesch said, “We will get newly registered products on the market as soon as we can after we get the registrations.” Bruesch added that should Liphatech decide to overlabel existing product, the company will do so from its facility.
Syngenta — Pat Willenbrock, brand manager, Syngenta said the company has submitted amended labels for its Talon G and WeatherBlok rodenticides. Willenbrock said Syngenta is working through the process with EPA and the states, all while communicating with its customer base. “Our recommendation is that PMPs stay in touch with their distributors, visit syngentapmp.com and communicate with our reps,” she said.
Woodstream — Woodstream’s Victor Multi-Kill is the company’s only single-feed second-generation rodenticide for professional use. Woodstream Sales Manager Mike Goldstein said the label is currently being reviewed by EPA and then will go through the state registration approval process. Goldstein added that Woodstream will not oversticker existing product, but make available new product with the updated label.
The Distributor’s Role
Distributors play a critical role when any pesticide label is amended, both in terms of making PMPs aware of what products are available and how to comply with the label directions when using these products.
Karl Kisner, director of marketing, Univar Environmental Sciences, said as soon as the company receives both a current label and MSDS for any newly amended rodenticide product, it will begin stocking and selling that product immediately.
Even after distributors begin receiving new label rodenticides from manufacturers they can continue to sell old label rodenticides, provided they still have them in inventory. “First and foremost, we are going to sell what the manufacturing and regulatory environment is asking us and looking for us to sell,” said Kisner. “If there is old label material available we are going to continue to sell it as long as the customer continues to ask for it. So, in this situation we’ll make the customer aware of his options and, as usual, let the customer make the ultimate decision.”
Kisner added that he does not anticipate a scenario in which PMPs stock up on old label materials, as sometimes is the case when pesticide labels change. “The reality is that PMPs have known about these changes and I think that a lot of them have planned appropriately,” he said.
Multiple generations of rodenticides. One of the challenges brought about by the RRMD and subsequent revision is that nearly every rodenticide product will be available in three different versions. In other words: (1) Labels prior to the June 2011 RRMD that DO NOT include items such as the 50-foot restriction; (2) products manufactured after the June 2011 RRMD with labels that DO include items such as the requirement to use the product within 50 feet of a building; and (3) labels that came out (or are soon coming out) after EPA made its March 2012 revisions that change the application restriction to 100 feet from a man-made structure. There are also three generations of use directions for application to rodent burrows.
It’s conceivable that PMPs could have all three generations of products in their arsenal, so it will be important for them to manage their stock wisely. For example, PMPs would be wise NOT to use old label products in situations where they don’t need to use old label products. It’s also important for them to know which label is on the product they are applying and use it in accordance with the label on that product. — Brad Harbison
PCT will be providing updates on this issue as they become available both in PCT and on our website, www.pctonline.com.
The author is Internet editor and managing editor of PCT and can be contacted at email@example.com.