If you're a pest management professional in the bed bug business, I suspect the last thing you might want to hear about is a good consumer treatment for bed bugs. But the latest study published the Journal of Economic Entomology by Changlu Wang's lab at Rutgers University may hold a little good news for everyone.
In the study results recently reported in PCT magazine, Narinderpal Singh, Wang and Richard Cooper identified two low-toxicity, over-the-counter products that are surprisingly effective against both bed bugs and their eggs. EcoRaider™ and Bed Bug Patrol™ are essential oil-based insecticides available both in retail stores and via the Internet.
We all know the toughest life stage of bed bugs to kill is the egg. Singh et al. applied each of the sprays directly to exposed 2-3 day-old eggs. EcoRaider™ controlled 86% of eggs, better than any other product, including the professional standards which gave less than 17% control.
Of course a good insecticide should not only kill on direct contact, but should leave a residue that continues to kill, and not repel, after it dries. Singh and colleagues pitted EcoRaider™ and Bed Bug Patrol™ against the two pyrethroids by confining bed bugs for five minutes on one-day old residues on cotton fabric. They then removed the bugs, placed them in clean dishes and observed. After ten days, EcoRaider™ and Bed Bug Patrol™ provided an impressive 93% mortality, equivalent to Temprid® SC, and significantly better better than Demand® CS. However when bed bugs were allowed to choose between resting on treated or untreated surfaces, the two professional products were significantly better.
So don't dump your Temprids, Transports and Tandems just yet. Bed bugs always have a choice where to rest and walk in the real world, and these results suggest that when given a choice they might avoid spots treated with plant-oil products. And even the researchers admit that all spray exposures in this test were applied under ideal conditions. It's likely that results in the field, where bed bugs are almost always protected in cracks and crevices of furniture and bedding, will not be as good. Perhaps most importantly, even the best bed bug treatments miss directly contacting all bed bugs. Hence residual control is very important and rightly remains the holy grail of bed bug control. Today's modern insecticides may not always excel at long-term residual control of resistant bed bugs; but they are likely to be better than the best essential oil-based insecticide. The plant oil-based sprays in this test were only aged for a day, and given the volatility of plant oils I would not expect them to last much longer.
Nevertheless, low-toxicity "organic" pesticides have established a strong niche in the professional pest control business today. I applaud the efforts of the Rutgers researchers in sifting through the many "natural" products vying for bed bug market share. Singh et al's work may not be the last word on the subject of which green products work and which don't; but the methodology appears sound and the work thorough. Based on what I read in the paper, if I were looking for a green insecticide to supplement my bed bug program (even one that was available to consumers), I would take a hard look at their top two performers.
The other insecticides evaluated in this study included Bed Bug Bully, Bed Bug Fix, Ecoexempt IC2, Essentria, Rest Assured, Green Rest Easy, and Stop Bugging Me. The two detergents tested included Eradicator and Bed Bug 911 Exterminator.
Please note that mentions of trade names in this article does not imply endorsement, but are included for educational purposes only.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Friday, December 5, 2014
|Inspections are never fun, but are mandated for every school|
district, non-commercial applicator and commercial business
Fortunately, you don't need to have a bad inspection. At last month's Structural Pest Control Advisory Committee meeting, the good folks at TDA provided a list of the most common mistakes being found by regulatory inspectors during routine business and school inspections. As you'll see, most of these mistakes relate to paperwork and record keeping--stuff that's relatively simple to correct. So as the end of the year approaches, it might be a good time to use these non-compliance lists as checklists to see where your team stands. Take the test and see if you pass:
Most Common Mistakes for Commercial Pest Control Businesses in 2014
- Are the name and license of the person(s) applying pesticides or using devices, recorded on use records stored at your business location? (21% failure rate)
- Do your service report forms have a jurisdiction statement? (18% failure rate)
- If you present a termite bid, do your forms include the required definitions for partial, pier and beam, slab construction, spot treatments, baiting systems and barriers? (16% failure rate)
- Are all your employees getting the necessary continuing education units (CEUs)? (15% failure rate)
- When providing a termite bid are you providing your termite customers with a diagram, blueprint or building plat with a description of the structures to be treated? (8% failure rate)
- When conducting WDI inspections for real estate transactions, does your paperwork record the name and affiliation of the person purchasing the inspection, as well as the owner/seller of the property? (7% failure rate).
- For WDI reports, are you providing all customers with a properly labeled diagram of the structure inspected? (6% failure rate)
- Do you provide all termite customers with the required termite treatment statement?
- I'm surprised this failure rate isn't higher: Do your service report forms record the purpose for which pesticides or devices were used (e.g., the target pest)?
- Can you document on a verifiable training records (paragraph n) form that your technicians have received the required training?
Most Common IPM Rule Mistakes for School Districts in 2014
- Are you creating and maintaining records showing approval of use of Yellow Category pesticides? (d)(6)(B)(ii) (30% failure rate)
- Do you maintain written guidelines defining action thresholds (a)(1)(f), at least for your key pest problems? (24% failure rate)
- Are you maintaining your IPM records for two years (b)(3)(B)(do you even have all your records?)? (16% failure rate)
- Do you have a system for storing and retrieving all records (b)(3)(B) of facility inspection reports, pest-related service reports, pesticide applications and pesticide complaints? (14% failure rate)
- Do you keep training records for all employees approved for incidental use of pesticides? (10% failure rate)
- Would you be ready to provide all your IPM program records on the spot to an inspector if they were to request them? (b)(3)(B) (9% failure rate)
- Are you creating and maintaining records showing approval of use of Red Category pesticides? (d)(6)(C)(ii) (8% failure rate)
- Have you the IPM Coordinator provided the required training for any employee on the District making incidental use applications of pesticides? (e.g., electricians carrying wasp spray for when they open electrical panels with a wasp nest inside) (8% failure rate)
- Do you have a plan for educating your employees about their role in an IPM program? (a)(1)(E) Note, this includes teachers, administrators and staff outside your pest control staff. (8% failure rate)
- Do you have a pest monitoring program in place? (a)(1)(B) Word to the wise: if you don't have properly-maintained sticky cards in your school kitchens you definitely do not have a monitoring program! (8% failure rate, and I'm surprised this isn't higher)
- If you're a new IPM Coordinator, have you got proof of taking your 6 hour mandatory IPM Coordinator training? BTW, we can help with that. (8% failure rate)
- When any pesticides are applied outdoors, is your staff in the habit of posting pest control signs (d)(2) at the time of application until the minimal reentry time? (8% failure rate)