Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Sentomol's first appearance at the 21st Birthday PestTech

I've been to PestTech many times over my career. It is the largest one day pest control exhibition in the UK, if not Europe, and is organised by the National Pest Control Technicians Association (NPTA). The equivalent of a pop-up shop for the pest control industry it takes over the National Motorcycle Museum (just off junction 6 of M42 Birmingham) for the day.

This year was a first for me to exhibit as Sentomol having been an exhibitor with previous companies over the years.

The Horsefly Trap was an instant hit, with most visitors uncertain as to what it was for.

We were pleased to include the range of Trécé Storgard insect monitoring products and especially the new Quick Change range for ease of handling.

As always it was a busy and extremely full day.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

International Pest Control - November / December 2013

Keats viewed autumn as a season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. For the pest management industry it has been a season of exhibitions and conferences. So during this mild autumn, that extended all the way into mid-November, we found ourselves at several key meetings in the US and Europe that are covered in this month’s issue: Pestworld, CropWorld, ISNTD Bites, PestTech and ABIM. Our roving reporting does not finish here and next issue we will cover also the pest control events in Morocco and Korea, taking place in November. 

In between the many meeting reviews, we also find space for our usual mix of International News stories, including updates from BPCA and CEPA. We also provide a special mention of the 20th anniversary meeting of the Hungarian pest control association. With growers struggling to control soil pests and diseases, in the face of increasingly strict regulations and stewardship requirements, Certis Europe explains their CleanStart programme, designed to respond to calls from the value chain, for reduced-residue produce
and how it is possible to start crops in clean, pest free soil.

In advance of the 15th China International Agrochemical & Crop Protection Exhibition(CAC) to be held March, 2014 at the Shanghai New International Expo Center, China, Rob Fryatt interviews Ma Chunyan, Vice Chairman CCPIT Chem, the organisers of the CAC Agrochem Show. Our Technical Consultant, Terry Mabbett provides an insight into the unknown life of avocado anthracnose, revealing how the complexity of disease management in avocado has an extra dimension, as major disease and damage do not show up until after picking, due to the development of latent infections established weeks or months before, while the fruit was on the tree.

2013 has certainly been a full year and as I complete my first 12 months as editor, the publishers, our technical consultants and I have been reviewing what features have gone well, what could be improved and which articles should we feature for 2014. I trust you have enjoyed the magazine and as we constantly look at ways to improve and develop our content, please feel free to contact me with any thoughts and suggestions you may have.

And finally, as we head into the holiday season, I would like to wish all our subscribers and other readers a restful end of year and I hope 2014 brings you many future successes. 

Friday, 30 August 2013

International Pest Control - September / October 2013

Whichever your pest interest, we have a diverse and broad range of subjects in this issue. Scorpions are not often covered in pest control papers and whilst not a global pest you may encounter these if you travel abroad. Our Technical Consultant Clive Boase provides an insight.

In agriculture, rusts diseases make a very significant contribution to crop loss on a wide range of crops globally.
Our Technical Consultant, Martin Redbond provides a review. Post harvest losses of materials in storage can
be a considerable contributor to loss of harvest value
for foodstuffs. We look at how Australia currently copes
with grain storage to minimise pest outbreaks. We also examine Brinjal Shoot and Fruit Borer. The insect is the most destructive pest of brinjal or aubergine, a popular vegetable grown throughout the entire tropical and subtropical regions of the world. We review how a novel biocontrol agent can help reduce pest damage.

The UK project to reduce bovine tuberculosis in UK cattle is a subject that spans public health, animal health and vertebrate pest control with politics thrown in for good measure. We provide an overview of this serious disease and look at how the bacterial infection is being tackled in the UK and US.  

Finally, in the northern hemisphere, autumn is a time of harvests and conferences. CropWorld, PestWorld and ABIM all take place in the coming months, as do several other important regional meetings and events such as the first Parasitec in Morocco and the 21st Pesttech. The IPC Technical Consultants and I will be out and about at these events, aiming to capture the news about recent important technical and commercial development with plans to report back our findings within these pages. Should you have information which you wish to share, please get in contact.

We have again updated and extended our rolling calendar of pest control and pest management events. If you see a key meeting that is missing, drop me an email.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Fruit Focus, East Malling Kent, 24th July 2013

East Malling Research, Kent, on 24 July and hot sunny weather shone on the 1200 visitors that attended Fruit Focus 2013 and Sentomol were again among the 126 exhibitors (a record).  The event provides an great opportunity to keep abreast of the latest developments on show and has become the UK’s leading showcase for the fruit sector. Although this year was the latest ever start to the season, soft fruit continues to be a crop increasing in yield and value.  Strawberries this year are giving above average yields, up to 40t/ha while raspberry sales are hitting around 400t per week. 

Sentomol was at Stand 66 and our stand saw a continuous flow of visitors over the day. Exhibiting our full range of soft fruit traps for raspberry beetle, raspberry midge, Lygus and Lygocorus and strawberru blossom weevil discussions also covered what was new for Drosophila suzukii.

A great second year and we look forward to returning in 2014.

Monday, 22 July 2013

International Pest Control Magazine - July / August

Summer is well and truly upon us in the Northern hemisphere and the rains and winds of 2012 have been replaced by the heat and sun of 2013.    Pest management is all about coping with changing situations that confront us and the weather certainly makes forward planning a challenge.

One of the challenges of Editor of International Pest Control magazine is to decide what articles to include each month.  We are always open to receive press releases, scientific articles and news stories from around the world and we aim to reflect our global readership and breadth of markets in the material we include in each issue.  In addition to our normal news stories, we have this month added a ‘News in Brief’ section where we summarise some additional stories from around the world.
This month we examine plant defences and how plants communicate.  Covering vector management, we consider progress in combating malaria and a novel tool for dengue vector monitoring.  Under urban pests, we provide discussions on bed bug monitors and termite baits, while also casting our eye over the challenges facing archivists with a review of June’s  ‘IPM in museums’ meeting.  We spotlight two minor pests, where studies on control could have broader applications.  Essential oils and plant extracts are often discussed as part of the growing biopesticide markets and we look specifically at how these agents are used against the Red Palm Mite in Trinidad and, with invasive weeds in mind, we look at how in the UK, local river groups are coping with Himalayan Balsam.  Having covered insects and weeds, we also look at fungal pests with a review of how rusts present a food security risk.  And finally, we consider a little known pest that is a problem in tree crops, tropical epiphytes and collateral control.
Our company profile this month is PelGar International.  If you would like your company to feature in these pages and you have a successful story to tell, then get in touch.
I hope you enjoy your summer reading.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Monmouthshire Beacon 17th July, Page 35

Victoria Hallifax, Reporter at the Monmouthshire Beacon attended the SWHP Open Day and having spotted the the two H-Traps that were working hard at keeping horsefly numbers down, contacted us to run an article.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Horsefly Trap working well at SWHP

We were busy over the weekend catching horseflies.  Our neighbours The Society for the Welfare of Horse and Ponies ( are holding an open day on Sunday 7th July and we've installed 2 traps on site in an effort to get the local horsefly population down so the current equine residents, staff and visitors can enjoy the day more.  I had just set up one extra trap on Saturday and left the trap to fetch some soapy water the fill the catch chamber and was amazed to see the pot already alive with caught flies when I retruned 10 minutes later.  The original trap had been emptied that morning and by lunch time there was a considerable collection.  Most were our common 'Notch-horned Cleg - Haematopota pluvialis  but there were a few large Tabanus species also although I wasn't able to identify which.

See our Youtube video below to see the catch for yourself.

Friday, 28 June 2013

A happy horse is a fly free horse

The Agriline indoor fly trap range is especially developed to trap flies in animal housing.  Equally suited to stables and cattle sheds, chicken houses or pig sheds, the robust card and special insect glue are enhanced with the unique 3D design to entice flies to land on the sticky surface. 

No wonder he has a smile on his face.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Soft fruit trapping for Raspberry Beetle and Strawberry Blossom Weevil - Switzerland

Byturus tomentosus, the Raspberry Beetle and  and Anthronomus rubi the Strawberry Blossom Weevil are two important insect pests of soft fruit such as strawberry and raspberry.  Agroscope, near Martigny in the Rhone Valley in Switzerland have been trialling different trap and lure combinations over a couple of seasons and I was pleased to visit this week to see how trials were progressing.  Open field raspberries are getting more difficult to find in the UK so standing high up on the valley wall looking out over to Verbier on a warm June afternoon made the journey well worthwhile.

In strawberries, the blossom weevil attacks the flower buds at all heights and the optimum height to deploy the traps is not yet understood.  Placing the traps at the edges of field next to hedges where weevils are likely to have overwintered will give the most sensitive, early warning of the start of crop invasion.  For tunnel grown crops, traps should be set at the ends, near the entrance, where weevils are likely to enter from hedgerows or adjacent infected crops.

Adult Raspberry Beetles can cause damage early in the season by feeding on blossoms, buds or new leaves of host plants.  This rarely causes serious problems unless beetles occur in large numbers, when significant crop losses and poorly developed, malformed fruits may result.

Raspberry Beetle Monitoring Traps should be placed in the field before the first beetles appear, typically 4 to 6 weeks before first flower appears and the traps maintained until at least the end of the flowering period.  This is normally between April and July but flowering can be longer in protected cropping systems or with autumn fruiting varieties.  Where the crop has an extended flowering and fruiting season, it is beneficial to continue to trap beetles during the fruiting period.  The exact time of insect emergence will vary with location and season.

We will follow the trials with interest and aim to improve our recommendations as the data comes in.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Horseflies are not the only new arrivals in Monmouthshire

The wet weekend over and the warmth forecast for the rest of the week is bringing  a fresh growth to the local vegetation and the first catches of horseflies in our locally placed H-Traps.  This years Spring and Summer seasons have been reportedly 3-4 weeks later than 'normal', whatever that may be.  Horseflies are a seasonal pest and will look for blood meals from a variety of sources.  Alpacas, because of their thick coats and lighter colour are less likely to be bothered by them, but this not apply to other animals or their owners who may be nearby.  Young 'Dewi' (left) was born 2 days ago and is already exploring his paddock. So too will the newly emergent adult female horseflies looking for blood meals that they need to help in egg production.  Placing traps out now will help keep population numbers down, both for this and subsequent 

Monday, 10 June 2013

Himalayan Balsam - If you see it - pull it out!

A catchment wide partnership project 'Going Native' is designed to rid our rivers of invasive non-native species.  Aimed at specifically establishing effective catchment wide control of American mink and the weeds Himalayan Balsam, Japanese Knotweed and Giant Hogweed. These weeds, through their vigorous growth out compete native plants and so limit the biodiversity of the river banks and, as they die back in winter, expose the bare banks to increased erosion. Over the next 4 years the volunteer group aims to expand the control of Himalayan Balsam from the current core work on the River Honddu and achieve effective control along the River Monnow and her tributaries by 2013, using contractors and then by coordinating the follow up voluntary effort to hand pull it. More information is available at Monnow Rivers Project.
Himalayan Balsam - If you see it - pull it out!

Monday, 3 June 2013

Trapping the Raspberry Beetle, Byturus tomentosus

In the UK and elsewhere in Europe, Spring has developed much slower than normal and as June arrived, we seem to be at last experiencing warmer and sunnier conditions. With the warmth comes also the threat of insects pests and so we wish to highlight the need to be well prepared in advance to ensure good pest control..  

The Raspberry Beetle, Byturus tomentosus is a serious pest of Raspberries and other similar fruits such as Loganberry and Blackberry.  The adult females are attracted by the colour and smell of the host plant’s flowers.  The larvae feed on ripening fruits but can also damage buds and shoot tips.  They burrow into the fruit berries to feed on the plug and often go undetected until the fruit is harvested.  Sometimes localised areas of attacked berries become shrivelled, hard or distorted as a result of the larval feeding and pathogens can enter the developing fruit at beetle feeding sites.

Adult beetles can cause damage early in the season by feeding on blossoms, buds or new leaves of host plants.  This rarely causes serious problems unless beetles occur in large numbers, when significant crop losses and poorly developed, malformed fruits may result.

There is usually one generation each year in field grown crops.  Adults emerge in April to early June but can be earlier in tunnel covered crops.  With warm weather (above 13°C) the beetles mate from early June and in June/July the eggs are laid in flowers.  The local climate and cultivation method can affect emergence times and duration of attack.

Work by The James Hutton Institute on commercial farms, together with collaborative on-farm trials in Norway, Switzerland and France, indicates that traps using key visual and olfactory characteristics of the raspberry flower are effective in trapping and controlling damage caused by raspberry beetle, particularly with low to moderate populations of raspberry beetles.  The traps mimic the white colour of raspberry flowers, while the chemical attractant is based on floral extracts.
Sentomol has developed an easy to use trap based on the years of field research and is making this available to UK gardeners. See our product page for more details.

The trap consists of a green funnel trap with white cross vane attachments into which an attractant is inserted.  The trap is designed so that insects are attracted by both the white colour of the cross vanes (simulating a giant raspberry flower), and the chemical parapheromone dispenser.  Beetles fly into the cross vanes and fall into the funnel shaped catchment area down into the bucket below, from where they can be regularly collected, counted and disposed.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

International Pest Control Magazine - May/June

This month we featured an eclectic mix of pest control articles, which included, a review of two Industrial Pest Control events on opposite sides of the globe - PestEx UK and the CPCA event in China; a discussion on the minefield that is the EU regulatory environment; how carpenter ants can be destructive in Norway; the origins of pesticide smoke generators in Spain; and the trials of a new A&K fruit fly system.  We feature two ongoing Forestry stories that although based in the UK, have a resonance across Europe: the ongoing march of the Oak Processionary Moth and spread of the Chalara, Ash tree die back fungus.

We continue to develop the IPC magazine content and should anyone feel they have a contribution to make in the form of a technical paper, a press release, news story or just want to respond to something you have read in this month’s issue, please do get in touch with me via

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Horsefly or Cleg up close

There are over 30 different species of horseflies, horse flies or horse-flies in the UK. They are the most obnoxious of flies but also have strikingly colourful eyes.  Haematopota pluvialis, also known as the Cleg, moves with absolute silence, selects a suitable exposed area of skin, and sinks its mouthparts into our flesh - the first indication we have of its presence and by then its too late.  The 30 species are spread over 3 genera; Haematopota sp, Tabanus sp and Chrysops sp. 

See our products page for more information about how to control these pests or visit
© H Haraldseide

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Article in Organic Farming magazine

The benefits of insect pheromones and monitoring tools are still little understood. In an effort to help explain the basics and encourage more of the UK to try these IPM solutions, the following appeared in Organic Farming magazine in Spring 2013.

Article that appeared in the Soil Association magazine, 'Organic Farming' Spring 2013

Monday, 20 May 2013

The ease and importance of protecting trademarks

It is a small amendment but the change from after a brand name to ® may seem a small difference but it means a lot in trademark law.  My understanding is that anyone can put  after a name but it does not provide any security.  It is not until the brand - in word form or as a design or device mark - is registered with the appropriate Intellectual Property office that true ownership is conferred on the owner.  Sentomol has now registered both the word 'Sentomol' and the image above as a brand device. It was an easy process and one that I would encourage any SME to follow.  The UK trademark authority website was very easy to use and paying direct meant that no extortionate agency fees were required.  All that is needed is a basic understanding of how trademark classes work.  There are 35 categories within which a brand may have an attribution and it is worth registering a brand in all the appropriate sections for maximum protection.

I was amused (and the IPO do alert you to this) that on application, several requests came in from other European countries with very serious looking invoices for the trademark to be registered abroad.  The IPO recommend ignoring these...which I rightly did.

We now are trawling through our material to gradually update our brand identity.  Another step forward.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Sentomol launch new trap for horseflies - the H-trap

Courtesy Vera Mendes, Flickr

Horseflies, breeze flies, clegs or clags, deer flies or gadflies are all common names for members of the insect family Tabanidae that habitually attack humans and livestock and are widely regarded as pests because of the bites they inflict and the diseases and parasites that some species transmit.  Surprisingly, adult flies normally feed on plant nectar and pollen, but female flies also require a blood meal before they are able to reproduce effectively and to aid in their egg development.  Female horseflies have specially adapted mouth parts which they use to rip and slice flesh apart.  Males do not.  The bite causes the blood to seep out so the fly can lick it up.  It is a secretive insect, with an annoying ability to land without being detected and escaping before the victim begins to experience any pain.  The subsequent bite can be extremely irritating.

The female horsefly’s primary sense for locating a suitable prey is by sight and they have large compound eyes that serve this purpose well.  They are attracted to large, dark objects, to certain animal odours and carbon dioxide.  They are also attracted by motion, their eyes being well adapted to its detection.  Horseflies are most active in hot weather, mostly in summer and autumn during the daylight hours.  Most species also prefer a damp environment, which makes it easier for them to breed.  Eggs are generally laid on stones close to water or on plant stems or leaves and on hatching, the larvae fall into water or moist earth, feeding on other invertebrates, such as snails and earthworms.

The new H-trap system is an effective control solution aimed to reduce horsefly numbers to an absolute minimum and comes complete with everything needed to be erected (except a hammer to drive in the ground spike).  The H-trap is designed to be placed outdoors, where it works without the need for chemicals or electricity.  The attraction is purely physical.  Extensive independent trials have shown that with continued use over several seasons, there is potential for a reduction of 90-95% in horsefly numbers in areas protected by the H-trap.

As the female horsefly’s primary sense for locating a suitable prey is by sight, they are attracted to large, dark objects and by motion, their eyes being well adapted to prey detection.  The H-Trap mimics an ideal target for horseflies to land upon.  A free standing structure, the H-trap comprises a metal frame from which is hung a large black plastic ball and a funnel trapping mechanism.  The insects are tricked into mistaking this ball as a large animal, such as a horse.  They are attracted to the ball since it warms in the sunlight and emits infra-red radiation or heat, exactly like the body of a large animal.  Once they land on the black ball, they will investigate and try to bite it.  Since they will be unsuccessful in finding a blood meal, they will follow their natural behaviour and fly away.  As horseflies naturally fly upwards on take off, they are caught in the surrounding hood system and funnelled upwards into a centrally placed collection bin, where they are caught in soapy water and die.

In combination with launching the trap to the UK market, we set up a trial at our local charity horse hospital (Society for the Welfare of Horses and Ponies at the end of May so we can monitor both performance and the progress of the horsefly season

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Enterprise Europe Network and NRI Biopesticide Meeting - Greenwich

I dashed down to the Old Royal Naval College, University of Greenwich, London from the Excel centre on Thursday morning to take part in the Enterprise Europe Network Biopesticide event.  It would have been good to have stayed all day had the event not clashed with PestEx.  This Enterprise Europe Network SE UK and the Natural Resources Institute joint event was designed to provide an opportunity to hear from a range of pest management stakeholders on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and the drivers for change in pest management technologies and practices in European agriculture and horticulture and to bring these together with representatives from companies in different parts of the industry wishing to learn about and exploit new markets for alternatives to conventional chemical pesticides

The event was aimed at stakeholders in the current and new technologies and regulatory aspects of biopesticides and IPM along with the companies engaged in the manufacturing and supply chains that will be affected by changes in legislation, technology and associated farming practices and of course the farmers themselves and representative bodies from the Agricultural Sector. 

PestEx 2013 - Excel Centre, Docklands, London

PestEx 2013 at the Excel centre, London was the first major pest control exhibition for us to attend since taking on the distribution options for the Trece range.  Trece Inc, from Oklahoma, USA is a long established supplier of top quality insect monitoring systems especially designed for the food industry.  I was joined by Jean-Luc Scalabre a former colleague from my days at Sandoz and who is supporting Trece in their European development from his base in Nice, France.

The show was very well attended over the 2 days, with certainly more visitors apparent on day 1.  The organisers, the BPCA, provided visitor stats of 2300, for the 10th and 11th meeting dates.  We had visitors from the UK and overseas and even thought his is a bienniel event, was well worth participating in. We had great feedback for the Squeeze and Snap Wasp and fly Trap and we will be running a promotion on this item very soon.  As always there is just as much to do post exhibition as there was before.

Visitors at the BPCA lounge
The Sentomol Stand - number 97
Jean Luc and myself at the stand
Kumar manning the International Pest Control Magazine Stand

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Pest Magazine Pest-Ex 2013 Preview


The March issue of Pest hit the digital shelves today. We featured among the new exhibitors on page 23.  Looking forward to April 10th and 11th.

Friday, 29 March 2013

International Pest Control Magazine - March/April

The second 2013 issue of IPC magazine went out this week.  Some tweaks and additions included a global calendar of pest management related events.  Should time and money allow, it is possible to travel the globe and attend some interesting conferences and exhibitions.  For Sentomol, our focus is on Pest-Ex at the ExCel Centre in Docklands, London on 10-11 April 2013.  This will be our first pest control exhibition, presenting a full range of insect monitoring traps to the UK pest control market.  It has been advertised as potentially the busiest Pest-Ex yet, so should be a good couple of days.  

Having put the IPC Mar-Apr issue to bed, as Editor, I now turn my focus on May-June. Some good ideas and articles already submitted so looking forward to reading these and compiling the next issue.  Hoping to include a full review of Pest-Ex as part of the contents.

Monday, 21 January 2013

International Pest Control Magazine - Jan/Feb

Jan-Feb 2013 Issue
In November, I was pleased to accept the invitation of Research Information to take on the role of Editor for International Pest control Magazine.  This long established journal of 55 years has been a firm fixture in the world of pest management and one that has been a part of my reading since I first graduated in 1984.  It was a daunting task, but with support from the team of contributing Technical Consultants, I was pleased when my first issue as Editor  hit the internet shelves.  Copies are available by subscription and can be found at

Should you be reading this and wish to get in touch, email me at