Clients will, and must, play an important role in the success of the pest management program at their food plant. Their assistance is necessary in pest prevention, and it often helps in solving pest problems that occur. Pest prevention starts with proper facility design, and whenever possible, the PMP should be consulted on new designs and renovations. Key pest-prevention considerations in building design include:
- Location. Facilities in areas that are heavily wooded, or border farm fields or bodies of water, will be subjected to pest pressures.
- Cleanability. Equipment and structural components should be selected based on their ability to be cleaned. Equipment should be placed in a manner that will facilitate cleaning, so there are no areas between equipment and walls or floors that cannot be easily or effectively cleaned.
- Durability. Structural surfaces and equipment should be able to withstand the processing that occurs in the area. For liquid-processing plants, this could include heavy use of sanitizers, heat and water (often applied with high-pressure cleaning equipment). Deterioration, such as loss of tile grouting and breakdown of epoxy floor coverings, can be a major issue in wet-processing areas.
- Lighting. Especially around the exterior of the building, lights can serve as attractants to insects. Use sodium-vapor versus mercury-vapor lighting. Install lights off or away from the building where permissible, and direct lights toward the structure as needed. Use daylight or motion sensors when feasible to reduce the time that lighting remains on.
- Other considerations. The use of air curtains and quick roll-up doors can add additional pest barriers. Water-management systems and drains should be designed so they can properly accommodate wastewater generated, and ensure that floors are constructed so water is properly funneled toward floor drains.
Ongoing actions for pest prevention need to be addressed once the site is constructed. Many of these duties are outlined in FDA’s GMPs for food plants. Assistance that clients should provide to pest managers include:
- Making sure that all doors, windows, vents and other entry points to the plant are maintained in a pest-proof condition.
- Keeping unscreened doors and windows closed when not in use.
- Developing and adhering to cleaning schedules for all areas, including areas where product residues may accumulate.
- Maintaining sanitation aisles around product storage areas to facilitate inspection and monitoring/control equipment placement.
- Reducing clutter and unnecessary equipment storage.
- Storing equipment in a clean and sealed condition.
- Sealing structural components that may serve as harborage sites for pests. Sealants should be monitored regularly for integrity.
- Using fans or squeegees to avoid moisture accumulation and to dry floors.
- Following first in/first out systems (FIFO) of stock rotation to avoid keeping any materials, products or ingredients past their intended shelf life.
- Reporting all pest sightings.
- Storing personal items like lunches only in designated storage areas.
- Eating only in designated areas.
- Inspecting all incoming goods for signs of pests. Have a detailed procedure in place for the inspection of incoming and outgoing shipments, and action to take if a pest is found.
- Replacing any pest management equipment in its correct place (if moved during cleaning or other activities).
- Maintaining vegetation-free barriers around the immediate perimeter of the building exterior to avoid providing harborage or attractants for pests to these areas.
Pat Hottel is technical director at McCloud Services.
Copesan is an alliance of pest management companies with locations throughout North America. To learn more, visit www.copesan.com.
The All Beetle Trap from Insects Limited is a sturdy polypropylene insect trap designed to catch a variety of beetles, the firm says. The All Beetle Trap Kit with Pheromone Gel Attractant has 10 complete All Beetle traps and 10 PantryPatrol Pheromone Gel packets. The All Beetle Trap consists of a clear view lid for easy inspection, a sturdy polypropylene base with multi-textured sides that allows beetles of all types access into the pitfall trap area and a removable tray that is easily replaced when filled with beetles or when new attractant is needed, Insects Limited reports. The All Beetle Trap will attract red flour beetles, confused flour beetles, cigarette beetles, warehouse beetles, rice weevils, saw-toothed grain beetles and nearly 20 other species of stored product beetles.
FMC Professional Solutionswww.fmcprosolutions.com
FMC Professional Solutions announced Dragnet SFR Termiticide/Insecticide will be reintroduced to the U.S. market and made available to pest management professionals in early 2019. Dragnet SFR Termiticide/Insecticide is a multi-purpose insecticide formulated with permethrin for fast-acting, long-lasting control of fleas, termites and 75 other pests, FMC says. It will be available in a 1.25-gallon container with an attached measuring chamber for fast and convenient use.“We are pleased to bring Dragnet SFR Termiticide/Insecticide to new customers and those who had relied on it for many years,” said Evan Parenti, FMC insecticide product marketing manager. “This valued solution has been highly rated among our customers for many years.” Dragnet SFR Termiticide/Insecticide is formulated with FMC’s SFR technology to help provide continued protection against fleas, termites, occasional invaders and other pests. Labeled for both pre- and post-construction termite control, Dragnet SFR Termiticide/Insecticide kills termites by contact and works as a repellent, preventing them from crossing treated areas. Dragnet SFR Termiticide/Insecticide features a broad, flexible label for use in and around residential and commercial structures, including schools, nursing homes, hospitals, restaurants, hotels and food-processing establishments.
Syngentawww.pestpartners365.com Syngenta says its 2019 PestPartners 365 Program reinforces the firm’s commitment to helping PMPs grow their businesses. As of Oct. 1, PMPs can begin working toward qualifying for yearlong rebates, no matter how large or small their company.
PMPs simply purchase any combination of products from the entire Syngenta Professional Pest Management (PPM) portfolio to generate at least $200 in base rebates during the qualification period (Oct. 1, 2018-April 30, 2019). This year the program features a new, longer qualification period to give PMPs more time to make their purchases. No forms are required to redeem rebates, and PMPs will automatically receive rebates on all Syngenta purchases made during the entire program year (Oct. 1, 2018-Sept. 30, 2019).
Other program benefits include:
- The opportunity to defer payment on select products with SummerPay terms until June 28, 2019.
- Access to an online rebate calculator that creates sample orders to help estimate rebate savings.
- Higher base rebates on select products to help more companies qualify.
- Sample purchase orders that can help businesses qualify within the introductory (or “Partner”) level.
Additionally, PMPs who purchase Syngenta products to generate at least $500 in base rebates between Oct. 1 and Dec. 7, 2018, will earn a special one-time Early Order Bonus rebate.
NPD Products says The Boss products provide unmatched flexibility for interior and exterior spraying needs. The sprayers have the ability to perform liquid and foam treatments. All of the products in The Boss family have been designed to work as an interior and exterior application system, the firm adds.
Key features of The Boss line include:
- Lithium Ion Battery — Provides a reliable power source lasting a full day or longer depending on the application. Shoulder, elbow and back fatigue or injuries will be reduced, NPD says, and there’s no hand pumping.
- Battery Storage — Located between the tank and the back of the operating technician, providing easy access. The electronics are placed in this area to keep them out of direct sunlight and rain, which will cause damage within months.
- Adjustable and Removable Shoulder Pads — Provide for a more comfortable fit for all body types and can be replaced easily from the wear and tear of everyday use.
- Slim Line Tank — The complete design is flat and as close to your back as possible.
- Translucent Tank — The non-pressurized tank provides a window to accurately measure chemical usage faster and easier.
- Telescoping Extension Wand — Technicians’ height varies dramatically. In addition, certain jobs require different tools; the telescoping extension wand allows technicians to access hard-to-reach areas.
- Soft Flow Technology — Innovative Boss technology provides for a one-applicator approach for interior and exterior applications. The low-flow setting reduces the output rate to as low as 13 ounces per minute and the high-flow rate delivers 60 ounces per minute, reaching a height of 25 feet.
- 11/16 Standard Thread — The Boss uses an industry standard 11/16-inch brass threads.
- Extension Hoses — The Boss spray applicators provide a removable trigger gun, using dripless brass hydraulic connectors for long life. This feature allows connection to the extension hoses and the ability to spray 100 feet away from the applicator. In addition, it allows the Boss applicator to be used for all exterior power spraying in lieu of a truck-mounted sprayer, providing enhanced treatment flexibility for pest management professionals.
- Plug and Play Repair Design — The Boss applicators have a modular design using components that snap together with nylon and push type fittings, so no wire cutting or soldering required.
EcoRaider has introduced ER-3, its next generation mosquito and pest control product. EcoRaider ER-3 is a triple-action formula that knocks down adult mosquito populations, offering spatial repellency to keep mosquitoes from an area, and kills larvae to prevent future generations, the firm says. EcoRaider ER-3 is a green, 25b exempt product that does not require spray notifications. This formula is effective, yet green and non-toxic for children, pets and wildlife, according to the manufacturer.
EcoRaider ER-3 can be diluted down to 4-8 ounce per finished gallon and used for triple action mosquito treatment as well as other dilution ratios — for general pest control purposes. Pest management professionals can use EcoRaider ER-3 to treat for special events such as outdoor parties, weddings, festivals and more. As a triple-action formula, EcoRaider ER-3 reduces treatment times, delivers lasting spatial repellency, and provides cost-efficient results in one treatment, the manufacturer reports.
AMVAC Chemical Corporation announced the launch of its new customer-facing website, www.amvac-chemical.com. The website design includes a robust search function for the company’s complete line of products, distributors and field representatives, as well as marketing and sales campaigns and product promotions.
Market pages for pest and vector control, turf and application technology, and agriculture provide product information, how to purchase products, news and promotions. Product search functions are specifically tailored to each market, which allows users to find products by region and category or by crop and insect. Product pages also feature access to labels, photos, videos and other instructional materials, providing a valuable educational resource for PMPs.
Additional enhancements include ‘Find a Retailer’ and ‘Find a Field Rep’ capabilities, which generate quick links to local contact information for pest management professionals.
Ants rule our world! There are 20 to 25 structurally invasive pest ant species in the United States. Of these pest ant species, a few are categorized as wood-infesting organisms, such as “moisture” ants (Lasius spp.) and carpenter ants (Camponotus spp.). However, there is one wood-destroying ant group that isn’t as celebrated as a moisture or carpenter ant: Velvety tree ants (Liometopum spp.).
There are three North American velvety tree ant species: Liometopum apiculatum, L. luctuosum and L. occidentale (Del Toro et al. 2009). The omnivorous velvety tree ants are members of the ant subfamily Dolichoderinae. The ants possess a single node, are polymorphic and their colonies contain multiple queens. The ants received their “velvety” name designation because their abdomens are covered with numerous hairs (Klotz et al. 2008) but I still like to imagine that they are cloaked in velvet smoking jackets. Further, do not confuse velvety tree ants with colloquially termed “velvet” ants, which are wingless wasps found in the family Mutillidae.
Liometopum apiculatum are primarily found in the Southwest U.S. and Mexico (Hoey-Chamberlain and Rust 2014) and aren’t characterized as pests. In fact, the larvae of these ants are a Mexican delicacy (Ruiz-Cabrera et al. 2015). (If you find yourself traveling south of the border, stop by a restaurant and order a round of escamoles cooked in butter!)
However, Liometopum luctuosum (also known as the pine tree ant) and L. occidentale are considered to be structural pests (Hoey-Chamberlain et al. 2013). The ants are commonly encountered in the Pacific Northwest, Southwest U.S. and California. Liometopum luctuosum is uniformly brownish-black in color, ranging in size from 2.5 to 4.5 mm, while L. occidentale are 2.5 to 5.5 mm and bi-colored with a black head/abdomen and red thoracic region (Del Toro et al. 2009). Colony sizes for both species range from 40,000 to 60,000 workers (Hoey-Chamberlain et al. 2013).
Velvety tree ants tend to construct shallow nests in the soil, under fallen timber or within trees (Klotz et al. 2008). Due to their appearance and close association with timber, velvety tree ants are commonly misidentified as carpenter ants. Like carpenter ants, their nests are composed of “carton” but frass produced by the ants can be used as a diagnostic tool to separate the ants from one another. Carpenter ants produce coarse frass while velvety tree ants produce frass with a finer consistency (Klotz et al. 2008).
In addition to carpenter ants, velvety tree ants (specifically L. luctuosum) also may be confused with odorous house ants (OHA). The two ants possess similar morphological characteristics and produce similar smelling odors, but velvety tree ants are more aggressive, biting and releasing defensive secretions when provoked. PMPs often crush ants and smell the odors as a species identification method. The method is beneficial at times, but some ants produce similar smells, so technicians should learn additional distinguishing characteristics to prevent misidentification.
CONTROL TIPS. At this point, you should be prepared to swim through the “velvety tree ant biology” category on Jeopardy! Well, until that day comes, let’s focus on a few velvety tree ant management tips.
First, speak with the customer to gain some intel regarding the issue. Customers can provide information pertinent to ant management such as pest sighting location, duration of pest activity and if there were any recent moisture problems. Any moisture-related issue needs to be identified and corrected because the ants will always seek out moist areas. Any leaks or puddles of standing water could lead to further structural issues in the future. Information provided by the customer also can be used to support identification efforts. Accurate information and a proper identification leads to the selection of appropriate control strategies. After the proper identification has been made, a thorough inspection should be completed. Start the inspection on the interior of the structure beginning with the locations where velvety tree ant activity has been documented.
Velvety tree ants are wood-chewing machines so take note of any piles of wood shavings or frass. The ants also are fond of insulation, which may appear in frass/wood piles as well. Velvety tree ants will construct nests within wall voids, but these nests aren’t permanent and may not contain reproductive ants. As a result, every attempt should be made to follow the ants’ foraging trails to locate their primary nest(s) outside the structure.
Nests may be found in trees, within fallen timber or tree stumps. These items can be treated with an appropriately labeled liquid or dust pesticide. To provide greater residual control, a liquid bait station can be placed near the nest(s). To prevent recurrent issues, a perimeter liquid treatment may be applied and any trees and shrubs in contact with the structure should be pruned. Ants take the path of least resistance into a structure and untrimmed limbs could serve as a highway into a building. Inside structures, dust formulations can be applied to satellite nests and baits can be used near foraging trails.
The author is director of training and technical services, Senske Services, Kennewick, Wash.
Del Toro, I., Pacheco, J.A., and Mackay, W.P. 2009. Revision of the ant genus Liometopum (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Sociobiol. 53: 299-369.
Hoey-Chamberlain, R. and Rust, M.K. 2014. The survivorship and water loss of Liometopum luctuosum (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and Liometopum occidentale (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) exposed to different temperatures and relative humidity. J. Insect Sci. 14(249). http://doi.org/10.1093/jisesa/ieu111
Hoey-Chamberlain, R., Rust, M.K., and Klotz, J.H. 2013. A review of the biology, ecology and behavior of velvety tree ants of North America. Sociobiol. 60: 1-10.
Klotz, J., Hansen, L., Pospischil, R., and Rust, M.K. 2008. Urban ants of North America and Europe. Ithaca, N.Y., Cornell University Press.
Ruiz-Cabrera, M.A., Anda-Salazar, A.D., González-García, R., Abud-Archila, M., and Grajales-Lagunes, A. 2015. CYTA-J Food. 13: 188-195.
Editor’s note: In early October, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued a press release about an outbreak of flea-borne typhus in downtown Los Angeles. National news coverage, including stories on CNN, NBC and CBS, followed. A slightly edited version of the LA Department of Public Health’s release appears here, as well as information about fleas and typhus from the Mallis Handbook of Pest Control.
Murine typhus is an important flea-transmitted human disease caused by Rickettsia typhi. Transmission occurs when the bodies of crushed fleas or their feces are scratched into an open wound or onto mucous membranes. Symptoms include fever, headache, rash and malaise.
Murine typhus is a cosmopolitan and endemic zoonosis, most prevalent in warm regions with suitable flea vectors along with rats and opossums serving as reservoirs. Although current prevalence of the disease is fewer than 100 cases per year, murine typhus is still the second most frequently reported rickettsial infection in the United States. Murine typhus is perceived as a clinically mild disease, and cases often go unrecognized.
In the U.S., murine typhus is most prevalent along the southeastern, southwestern and Gulf coasts, with Texas and regions of Southern California having the highest prevalence. Epidemiological studies have indicated that typhus reservoirs and vectors are spreading.
Historically, X. cheopis has been considered the main vector of murine typhus, but outbreaks of endemic typhus transmitted by cat fleas from opossums have been reported in suburban areas of Texas and California (Civen and Ngo 2008). A similar disease, flea-borne spotted fever caused by Rickettsia felis, is maintained in opossums and transmitted to humans by cat fleas (as well as C. canis and Pulex irritans) (Pérez-Osorio et al. 2008). Because symptoms of flea-borne spotted fever are similar to those of murine typhus, diagnoses may be misattributed. Flea-borne spotted fever appears to be cosmopolitan, occurring where cat fleas are found. Source: Mallis Handbook of Pest Control