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September 2016 Pesticide Update


Underlining the importance of proper use of personal protective equipment when applying pesticides, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences linked several pesticides to chronic wheezing, including glyphosate, 2,4-D, carbaryl, and pyrethroids. In a dissertation for a doctorate in epidemiology from UCLA, Kimberly Carol Paul found that, "widely used organophosphate pesticides . . . are reported to increase (Parkinson's disease) risk, and may be involved in symptom progression.


Though a new paper by a team from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology attributed half of the total decline in wild bees in England to neonicotinoid insecticides, the authors admit that their study only shows an association and does not prove a cause and effect link. Manufacturers of the chemicals counter that a lack of pollen and nectar sources, and nesting sites may also be critical factors. The researchers acknowledge that a holistic approach to the use of neonicotinoids must be taken since it is likely that other pesticides will have to be used in its place with unknown consequences.

With locations primarily on the West Coast, in the Mid-Atlantic and central U.S., Target Specialty Products has acquired the Detroit-based, specialty chemical distribution business Residex, doubling the market reach of the wholesale distributor of professional pest control and turfgrass management supplies. The purchase expands Target's operations to the Midwest, Southeast, and Northeast as it gains 25 warehouse locations across 14 states.


The EPA is currently re-examining atrazine, which is the second most used herbicide in the US behind glyphosate. A ban or restriction of its use might not be a big detriment to the industry as reports from Wisconsin, which has had restrictions in place for years, indicate that a 50 percent reduction in its use has not greatly affected the ability to control weeds in that state.


Responding to criticism of pesticide use at golf courses, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America countered with these assertions:

Golf course managers have adopted integrated pest management practices combining biological, cultural, physical and chemical tools to minimize economic, health and environmental risks.

Golf course monitoring programs (conducted in New York) indicate little to no risk of water contamination of pesticides applied to golf turf.

The application of pesticides is made with low concentrations of active ingredients, often between 1% to 5% solutions.

An approved pesticide product has typically undergone more than 120 studies at a cost of $50 million before it is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency.


A relatively new pest, crapemyrtle bark scale, which produces a white waxy coat that is colonized by a fungus that blackens trees' trunks and limbs, is reported to be increasingly spreading across the lower U.S. with cases identified from New Mexico to Virginia. Matthew Chappell, associate professor and state extension specialist for nursery crops at the University of Georgia states that while treatment options are fairly limited, systemic insecticides have showed the most promise in tests. Chappell advises applying pesticides to the root zone as a soil injection or drench.

As seen in LC/DBM magazine, September 2016.

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August 18, 2019, 12:43 am PDT

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