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CURRENT READER POLL
PCT keeps a pulse on the industry with timely Reader Poll questions. Below is the most recent question for pest management professionals at www.pctonline.com: Do you offer a 401 (k) or comparable retirement savings plan for employees?
READER POLL RESULTS
Here’s a look at results from a recent Reader Poll:
Is your company seeing more or fewer driver incidents than it was five years ago?
Source: PCT Reader Poll, May 2018
As reported in this month’s Rearview, the earwig is the “origami champion of the animal kingdom.” Watch a video of university researchers re-creating this bio-inspired origami.
Sponsored PODCAST: Mosquito Control Primer
PCT Online includes a variety of podcasts featuring leading technical experts, including those from industry suppliers. In May, PCT caught up with Nicky Gallagher, technical services manager, Midwest and Northeast U.S., Syngenta. Gallagher has conducted extensive lab and field research on mosquitoes and in a new podcast she reviewed important components of effective mosquito control programs. Download the podcast or access it from Online Extras on the PCT Online homepage.
Five New Online Label Training Modules Now Live
In May, PCT announced the addition of the following label training modules: Ensystex’s IV Bithor SC, Part 1; Ensystex’s IV Bithor SC, Part 2; Bell Laboratories’ Contrac Soft Bait; Control Solutions Inc.’s Fuse Termiticide/Insecticide, Part 1; and CSI’s Fuse Termiticide/Insecticide, Part 2. The courses can be accessed here and from Univar’s ProTraining library available at.
The way that an earwig insect folds its wings could be applied to how engineers pre-program technology to perform certain tasks, according to research published on March 23 in the journal Science.
The earwig has more folds in its wings than any other organism in the animal kingdom, but uses minimal energy to move. Through simulations and creating a 4-D replica of these folds, researchers from ETH Zürich in Switzerland and Purdue University have likened the wing to self-folding origami that could inform how to make machines be more adaptable and responsive with less energy used.
“The theory of origami assumes that you have 2-D, unstretchable materials,” said Andres Arrieta, Purdue assistant professor of mechanical engineering, whose Programmable Structures Lab contributed to the study. “But imagine that you have a piece of paper and you try to stretch it, and you store some energy there. That stretching creates bistabilities.”
Like conventional origami, the folds of an earwig’s wing enable it to change shape. The earwig’s origami design, however is far more complex; trying to stretch at folds would break paper, whereas stretching is central to the earwig’s ability to self-fold and lock into specific geometries.
“It’s like having an arm-wrestling contest. Each arm is pushing in a different direction, and then you reach some sort of equilibrium,” Arrieta said. “For an earwig’s wing, the crease has been stretched, but it is also constrained to lie in a particular geometry.”
This simultaneous stretching and tension at a crease line led the researchers to coin this behavior as “spring” origami as opposed to how paper-like materials fold. This spring either extends or rotates at a crease by design as determined by the distribution of the protein resilin. The resulting bistability, or the ability to attain two stable shapes, means that the wing can unfold to fly or fold to crawl into the earwig’s underground habitat.
“Bistability not only allows this pattern to have two stable configurations — one fully folded and one fully deployed — but it also allows each of these stable states to sustain loads,” Arrieta said, meaning that no extra energy is required for each state to lock and hold the earwig’s weight during flight, or to maintain the wing tuck when walking.
The ability of an earwig’s wing to quickly fold into shapes automatically and lock into these conformations without the need of an actuator, or “hand” as with paper origami, could be preprogrammed into the designs of robots, packaging, spacecraft and biomedical devices.
“This means that we could get a robot gripper to lift something and hold it without any extra energy, or enable the robot to conform to the shape of whatever it’s interacting with while still being able to hold that object,” Arrieta said.
The researchers also envision self-folding tents that don’t require assembly and space satellite sails that hold specific shapes. In addition, Arrieta’s lab is working on the designs of stents that could extend, conform and lock into the shapes of arteries more compatibly.
Editor’s note: The incorrect photo ran with the following product releases in the April issue. The correct text and photo appear below. PCT apologizes for the error.
BirdBuffer says its products control flying birds in open spaces by emitting a lighter than air, invisible vapor created from liquid bird repellent. These fluids contain the active ingredient methyl anthranilate (MA). MA is concentrated grape skin extract and is FDA-approved for many uses, including bird control, the firm says. BirdBuffer Q-4 and TD-II systems are electrically controlled, automated machines, programmed to vaporize MA and keep fresh vapor in the air at pre-set intervals. They are strategically placed in zones where birds are actively flying. The machines emit micronized vapor particles at up to 60 mph, allowing protective coverage over large areas, using a small amount of fluid.
Tiny particles of vapor (less than 10 microns) penetrate the flying bird’s mucus membranes. BirdBuffer says the vapor penetration causes a safe, yet irritating response in birds’ trigeminal nerves. The firm says this process acts as a natural, eco-friendly repellent, causing birds to fly away and relocate. When birds try to return, they breathe the irritant and fly away. Birds remember there’s an irritant in the area and will stay away as long as the vapor is in the air. This is the key element in keeping birds away from target areas, BirdBuffer reports.
To educate customers, Bird-X has created a page on its website dedicated to how solar power works with its products, which products are compatible and what size solar panel is necessary for each device. In remote areas or places without constant electricity, bird and pest control can be difficult and usually must be handled manually, which takes time and labor.
Kness Mfg. Co.
Kness Mfg. Co. announced the release of Flies-No-More Solar Trap, a product custom designed to trap house flies, cluster flies, barn flies and other flying pests.
Kness says Flies-No-More features an innovative solar-powered LED light attractant and a banana-scented glueboard, which are designed to attract flies and other insects. The durable, molded-plastic construction of the trap comes in a blue color. Kness’ new fly trap is easy to inspect and the scented glueboard can be quickly replaced when it has reached its capacity, the manufacturer says.
Made of polypropylene, a thermoplastic polymer, and resistant to stains and odors, Flies-No-More Solar Traps are easy to clean and can be reused, Kness Mfg. says. The pre-formed openings on the base allow for easy vertical or horizontal installation on an exterior wall.
EcoVia WH Stinging Insect Killer jet aerosol, a new FIFRA 25(b) exempt and research-based botanical insecticide, is now available from Rockwell Labs. EcoVia WH aerosol delivers fast knockdown of wasps, yellowjackets and hornets, Rockwell Labs says. Its foaming jet spray reaches up to 18 feet to ensure thorough coverage of the nest and it is also effective on spiders. Like other FIFRA 25(b) products, there are no notification requirements (PMPs should verify with their state regulations), and no pyrethroid application restrictions. Since it is a water-based formula, it will not leave behind an oily residue. EcoVia WH is available in a 16-ounce can.
Avitrol Corporation is inviting visitors to explore its new website at www.avitrol.com. The site features intuitive search features for finding information on bird control quickly, an improved navigational menu, full mobile compatibility for access to bird information on the go, improved access to purchase Avitrol bird control products, unique information on pest birds with high-resolution images and treatment suggestions. The site also features the ability to find the best bird control treatments, quick access to the Avitrol Bird Control App complete with bid calculator, easily accessible video tutorials and more, the firm says.
SenesTech recently announced the issuance of its patent on “Reducing The Reproductive Capacity Of Mammals.” This intellectual property is a key aspect of ContraPest, SenesTech’s flagship product that targets the reproductive capabilities of Norway and roof rats. The patent application was filed in August 2013 and was issued earlier this year. The patent describes a composition that can be used to reduce the reproductive capacity of mammals. In particular, the compositions induce ovarian follicle depletion when administered to female mammals as well as having an impact on male mammals. The patent also describes methods of reducing the population of mammals with the use of the compositions.
“This patent is the key of our intellectual property portfolio. It protects use of the combination of two active ingredients in causing both ovary and testis to fail. To simplify the science, rats that consume our bait, ContraPest, do not reproduce, ultimately reducing the population,” said Dr. Cheryl A. Dyer, co-founder, president and chief research officer of SenesTech. ContraPest targets the reproductive capabilities of Norway and roof rats. As a highly palatable liquid, the formulation promotes sustained consumption, helping to reduce fertility in both male and female rats, bringing populations down and keeping them down.