Washington State Entomologists Eradicate First U.S. Asian Giant Hornet Nest

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November 3, 2020

Washington State Department of Agriculture
Washington State Department of Agriculture entomologists vacuumed out 85 Asian giant hornets from their nest in October. They collected another 13 live hornets with a net.

BLAINE, Wash. — Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) entomologists successfully eradicated an Asian giant hornet nest by vacuuming the hornets out of the nest Oct. 24, just two days after finding the nest in a tree on private property in Blaine, Wash., officials reported.

In all, the entomologists with WSDA’s Pest Program removed 98 worker hornets. During the early morning extraction, 85 hornets were vacuumed out of the nest and another 13 live hornets were collected with a net while observing the nest the day before.

“The eradication went very smoothly, even though our original plan had to be adapted due to the fact that the nest was in a tree, rather than the ground,” managing entomologist Sven Spichiger said. “While this is certainly a morale boost, this is only the start of our work to hopefully prevent the Asian giant hornet from gaining a foothold in the Pacific Northwest. We suspect there may be more nests in Whatcom County.”

The operation began at about 5:30 a.m. with the team donning protective suits and setting up scaffolding around the tree so they could reach the opening of the nest, which was about 10 feet high. The team stuffed dense foam padding into a crevice above and below the nest entrance and wrapped the tree with cellophane, leaving just a single opening. This is where the team inserted a vacuum hose to remove the hornets from the nest.

The work proceeded slowly at first, with very few hornets emerging. The team members used a wooden board and some smart whacks against the tree to encourage more hornets to leave the nest. This proved successful. When the hornets stopped coming out of the nest, the team pumped carbon dioxide into the tree to kill or anaesthetize any remaining hornets. They then sealed the tree with spray foam, wrapped it again with cellophane, and finally placed traps nearby to catch any potential survivors or hornets that may have been away during the operation and returned to the tree. The work was completed by 9 a.m.

“This weekend’s successful operation is due in large part to the careful planning and hard work of our Pest Program team,” WSDA Director Derek Sandison said. “I also want to thank the landowners, all those who have reported Asian giant hornet sightings to us, and the citizen scientists who set traps, as well as staff with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington State University and the University of Washington who have assisted in these efforts.”

Washington State Department of Agriculture
Washington State Department of Agriculture entomologists vacuumed out 85 Asian giant hornets from their nest in October. They collected another 13 live hornets with a net.

“We congratulate the Washington State Department of Agriculture for eradicating this nest,” said Osama El-Lissy, deputy administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Plant Protection and Quarantine program. “Thanks to their expertise and innovation, this nest is no longer a threat to honeybees in the area. We are also pleased that the radio tags we provided worked so well, allowing state entomologists to tag and track a live Asian giant hornet back to the nest. It’s a strong example of our close cooperation in combatting this pest.”

As of press time, the WSDA Pest Program intended to cut the tree down and open it to see how big the nest was. The entomologists also want to determine whether the nest had begun to produce new queens or not.

WSDA will continue setting traps through at least November in hopes of catching any more Asian giant hornets still in Whatcom County and potentially locating any other active nests.

Reports of sightings in Washington state can be made online at agr.wa.gov/hornets, via email at hornets@agr.wa.gov or by calling 800/443-6684.

WSDA has been searching for Asian giant hornet nests since the first hornets were caught earlier this year. The first confirmed detection of an Asian giant hornet in Washington was made in December 2019 and the first hornet trapped in July of this year. Several more were subsequently caught, all in Whatcom County.

Using a network of traps, some set by WSDA staff and hundreds more placed by citizen scientists and other cooperators throughout the state, the entomologists have been tracking sightings of the Asian giant hornet in an ongoing effort to find nests and eliminate them.

Asian giant hornets, an invasive pest not native to the U.S., are the world’s largest hornet and a predator of honeybees and other insects. A small group of Asian giant hornets can kill an entire honeybee hive in a matter of hours.

PMPs or the public can visit agr.wa.gov/hornets to learn more about Asian giant hornets and the state’s trapping and eradication project. Source: Washington State Department of Agriculture

Industry Mourns Loss of Dean May

May

PLANO, Texas — Dean May, a board certified entomologist and sales manager for AMVAC Environmental Products, passed away unexpectedly on Sept. 18 on a fishing trip in Colorado.

May graduated from California State Polytechnic University – Pomona in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural biology/pest management/entomology. He became an integral member of the AMVAC Environmental Products sales team in 2007; however, his dedication to the pest control and turf care industries spanned more than 30 years.

With a quick mind and a wealth of technical knowledge, May was known by his colleagues and customers as a great problem solver. And to many, he was known as a great friend.

At the time of his passing, May was a resident of Plano, Texas. He is survived by his mother, Lisa; brother, Gary; and two sons, Eric and Kevin. May’s final resting place will be at Rose Hills Memorial Park in his hometown of Whittier, Calif.

 

Bayer, Woodstream Announce Collaboration

CARY, N.C. — The Pest Management and Public Health business of Bayer, part of the company’s Environmental Science business unit, announced a collaboration with Woodstream to enable Woodstream’s Victor VLINK rodent traps to function with the Bayer Rodent Monitoring System platform. The rodent monitoring devices will be available Q1 2021, Bayer reports.

“This is an important advance in electronic monitoring for pests,” said Peter Jardine, head of marketing and strategy for the Bayer Digital Pest Management team. “Collaborating with other strong forces in electronic monitoring allows for the development of premium innovations within our technology ecosystem and Woodstream’s — ensuring PMPs are getting top-level products. VLINK will greatly complement what the Bayer Rodent Monitoring System can do for PMPs.”

The Bayer Rodent Monitoring System allows for sensors to be retrofitted on multi-catch traps, snap traps and bait stations to offer service providers the flexibility to use existing multi-catch, snap traps and bait stations, the company says. VLINK offers an all-in-one sensor and tunnel trap design for mice and rats.

“Victor has been the leader in the trap market for over 100 years, continuing to innovate and deliver best-in-class rodent control solutions to the market. Relying on our rich history of world-class engineering and a deep understanding of the unique needs of PMPs, we developed VLINK, a cutting edge remote notification system that offers effective, versatile, and dependable control,” said Ashley Brown, senior director for commercial pest control at Woodstream.

For more information, visit www. beyondsmarterbusiness.com.

 

PCO M&A Specialists, William Blair Join Up for Pest Index

NEWTON, N.J. — PCO M&A Specialists, a division of PCO Bookkeepers, has teamed up with equity research house William Blair & Co. to create the William Blair/PCO M&A Specialists Monthly Pest Index.

“This index is a collaboration between the fundamental research and insights from the Blair team and the hard data from PCO M&A Specialists’ sister firm, PCO Bookkeepers,” says Dan Gordon, managing partner of PCO Bookkeepers and PCO M&A Specialists. “The index tracks industry growth, supported by historic data and vetted by Wall Street experts.”

The index, which is available at SellMyPCOBusiness.com, debuted on Sept. 29 with August data. It tracks the monthly performance of 140 privately held pest control companies across 30 states with combined annual 2019 revenue of $320 million.

William Blair equity researchers Tim Mulrooney and Sam Kusswurm will issue a monthly report on the index, summarizing the results and other factors that affect the U.S. pest control industry, such as seasonality and weather. The purpose of the report is to track the performance of several pest markets. In addition to U.S. pest control, the researchers will track the Residential Pest Index, the Residential Door-to-Door Pest Index, the Commercial Pest Index, the Wood Destroying (Termite) Index and the Bed Bug Index.

“Our data is compiled by our internal experts, who have more than 25 combined years of M&A experience across multiple industries, including more than 100 transactions with market values totaling $45 billion,” Gordon adds. “The historic data and reports pulled from our PCO Bookkeepers’ client records provide strategic buyers and PMPs looking to sell with the components that are most important to building their models, including tracking of customer growth, retention and the all-important recurring revenue, as well as selling, general and administrative costs they can use to build their profitability analyses.”

Learn more at www.sellmypcobusiness.com.

 

85th Annual Purdue University Pest Management Conference Goes Virtual

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The 2021 Purdue Pest Management Conference is going virtual.

The event, sponsored by the Center for Urban & Industrial Pest Management, Department of Entomology, Purdue University, will be held the week of Jan 11. Presentations will be followed by a 1-hour live webinar with the speakers. To earn CCH/CEU credits, attendees will be provided with a link to complete a survey after each talk to verify attendance. All presentations will be available on demand through Jan. 16. Register by phone or online 866/515-0023 or www.purdue.edu/conferences/pest2021.

 

BASF Divests Vector Portfolio to AP&G

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — BASF announced the divestiture of its entire global Vector insect light fly trap business to AP&G/Catchmaster. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Vector insect light fly trap business had been part of BASF’s Agricultural Products, Professional & Specialty Solutions division. The company says its portfolio includes a wide range of niche customer segments such as urban and rural pest control, professional vegetation management, public health and other specialty markets.

“We are thrilled to add the Vector brand to the Catchmaster portfolio,” said Jonathan Frisch, vice president of sales and marketing. “The Vector brand is iconic in the pest control industry and combining their innovative insect light traps with trusted Catchmaster glueboards allows us to further our goal of providing intelligent pest solutions to pest management professionals.”

“This decision to divest the Vector light business to AP&G will ensure our focus is on our key brands and advances our global product portfolio strategy,” said Ron Kehler, vice president of the Agricultural Product Professional & Specialty Solutions division.

 

Agri-Turf Tournament Raises $70,000 for the American Cancer Society

SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. — The Agri-Turf Tri-West 6th Annual Charity Golf Tournament held on Oct. 1 at the Tustin Ranch Golf Club in Tustin, Calif., raised more than $70,000 for the American Cancer Society. In the past six years, tournament has raised more than $339,000 for the American Cancer Society.

The original tournament date of June 4 was moved to Oct. 1 due to the pandemic. The look and feel of the tournament changed in accordance with the pandemic, but golfers turned out just the same, and were eager to support the American Cancer Society, Target reports.

American Cancer Society. Left to right: Rich Records, president, Agri-Turf; Lon Records, CEO, Agri-Turf; Kristen Strauch, executive director, American Cancer Society–Western Region; Allen Gage, president, Tri-West Distributing; and Aaron Rhoderick, commercial sales and marketing manager, Tri-West.

After a round of 18 holes that included a car contest hole sponsored by Orange County Mazda, and a cash prize hole, guests enjoyed an online silent auction and barbecue dinner.

Agri-Turf President Rich Records announced the tournament awards, and introduced Kristin Strauch, executive director of the American Cancer Society — Western Region. Strauch stated, “This has been a tough year for the American Cancer Society. We have had to down-size, and make significant changes, but the goal and the mission of the American Cancer Society remains unchanged — we are here 24/7 to provide support and services to cancer patients and their families, and to support cancer research. We appreciate everyone’s involvement in this tournament. The funds you have raised today are so greatly needed. Thank you for your dedication.”

Agri-Turf President Rich Records recognized Allen Gage and Aaron Rhoderick of Tri-West Ltd. for co-hosting the event. He also thanked the participants who remained supportive of the event in a challenging year.

Platinum sponsors of this year’s tournament include Bell Laboratories and Paradigm Flooring. All event proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society in its effort to provide funding for leading cancer research, and patient support services.

 

PMi’s Techtime Allows Customers to Video Chat with Company

Customers can connect with PMi technicians via the company’s Techtime program.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — PMi, Greensboro, N.C., is letting people video chat with their pest management professional to help identify insect and wildlife issues, as well as moisture-related issues.

Techtime is a new way customers can get advice they need quickly and safely, the company says. If there is a stable connection, customers will be able to connect with a PMi pest professional to identify pests and provide advice. PMi will be using existing applications for both Android and iPhone, which means customers will not need to install additional applications or programs.

Techtime adds a new level of convenience for people needing help with a pest- or moisture-related issue and helps keep both customers and technicians at a safe distance, the company says.

 

The NYPMA created “essential worker” patches for those in the pest management industry.

NYPMA Creates ‘Essential Worker’ Badge for PMPs

NEW YORK CITY — In early March as the COVID-19 pandemic began to take hold, the New York Pest Management Association successfully advocated for pest management to be included in those services deemed essential.

Technicians and office support staffs continue to provide professional pest management services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential services required to protect residences, business, food production, food service, health and other essential facilities. In honor of these men and women, NYPMA created a unique, industry-specific patch that they may wear to remind others of the important role professional pest management continues to play in our society.

The concept and patch were created by Gil Bloom, director of NYPMA Public Affairs and executed by Executive Director Harriet Schary. For more information, contact Schary at hschary@newyorkpma.com.

 

ICUP 2021 Conference Postponed

BARCELONA, Spain — The organizing and executive committees of the International Conference on Urban Pests (ICUP) have decided to postpone the 10th ICUP Conference.

The event had earlier been rescheduled to September 2021 in Barcelona, Spain. The intention is still to hold the next ICUP in Barcelona, but it is not possible yet to propose an alternative date, conference organizers reported.

This postponement of the event is based on the continued spread and impact of the COVID-19 virus. The health risks to ICUP attendees, together with the continuing uncertainty and disruption of worldwide travel, effectively prevent the planning and organization of a successful international conference, conference officials said.

As Dr. Rubén Bueno, chairman of the International Conference on Urban Pests organizing committee, explained: “These are unprecedented and challenging times. We will be in contact again as soon as we have more positive information. In the meantime, we value the support of the ICUP community during this response to the unprecedented global situation. We wish you all well in these challenging times.”