Wednesday 22 July 2015

A cleaner, more reliable approach to Spotted Wing Drosophila (Drosphila suzukii) or SWD Trapping

With the current monitoring systems in use, growers and advisors are generally relying on wine and vinegar based blends of liquid attractants to both monitor and catch Spotted Wing Drosophila (Drosphila suzukii) or SWD. The liquids have a short life, as the attractive volatile components dissipate quickly often leaving a sticky gel like substance.  These attractants are also not specific to SWD.  In some presentations, the entire trap needs to be replaced, creating considerable waste.  Another problem is that the wine and vinegar blends attract many other insects, so that identifying SWD caught in the liquid can be tedious and messy.

Following extensive laboratory and field evaluations in the US, researchers have isolated the key attractant chemical components that are contained within liquids which SWD prefer and in turn, the insect pheromone specialist Trécé Inc has created a novel dispenser that can neatly contain and release the chemicals consistently.  After a few false starts, testing over 2014 and 2015, in both in Europe and the US have delivered great results against commercial standards and now the Trécé product, called the Pherocon SWD Lure is available in the UK and EU markets from Sentomol Pest Management Solutions.

The product was on display at the Sentomol stand and proved a popular discussion at the 2015 Fruit Focus event at East Malling, Kent, 22nd July.

With ease of handling a prime consideration, the SWD lure is simply suspended under the lid of the trap before adding a catching liquid. One advantages of the Pherocon SWD Lure is that it can be used with a clear drowning solution, such as with soapy water or antifreeze which significantly aids in the identification of fly capture as well as removing the need to regularly change the liquid bait. 

In addition, the new Pherocon SWD Lure has demonstrated captures of SWD a good 2 weeks earlier versus natural baits in areas where adults do not overwinter and as the long lasting dispenser will work over 7-8 weeks, there is no need to change baits weekly, saving time and labour.

The new lure is also more specific to SWD than liquid baits, attracting far fewer moths, flies, wasps and other drosophila species than a wine and vinegar blend and the capture of SWD is made all the more convenient when the lure is used with the Pherocon SWD Trap which specially designed with wide aperture mesh cover entrance holes to further limit the ingress of non-target insects.

More information is available from David Loughlin at Sentomol (01600 713396

The difference is clear.
The image on the table compares fly catch in apple cider vinegar
 to water with the Pherocon SWD lure

Thursday 26 March 2015

PestEx 2015 - biennial pest control exhibition of the BPCA

PestEx 2015 at the ExCel centre was attended by over 2000 visitors over two days in March.  It was a first outing for our new banners.  Thanks to Octopus Design in Whitchurch, Cardiff for all their hard work.

Thursday 9 January 2014

International Soft Fruit Conference 2014 - Den Bosch, Netherlands

With 500 delegates, coming from 25 different countries, 16 speakers and 65 exhibitors the soft fruit industry was well was represented at this fourth international meeting held  in the 1931 Congrescentrum in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Holland. Better known in some regions as berry fruits or small fruits, the soft fruit industry comprises crops such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries and cherries. Several of these crops have developed rapidly in recent years and on several of the presentations special mention was made to the increased yields being achieved in modern cropping systems such as 14 Kg per m² for strawberries and 30 tonnes per hectare and 100 flowers per plant for raspberries.  With such yields come the potential for increased losses.  Among the presentations, 25% of the talks were directly addressing pest problems, highlighting the importance of pest management in this ever expanding and high value market.

Catherine Baroffio of Agroscope, Switzerland helped start the morning session with a review of Drosophila suzukii and the three years of experience in Switzerland.  Whilst it has not reached pest status in all European markets, it is well established across all of Switzerland. The Spotted Winged Drosophila (SWD) is normally found April to October but Catherine reported that adult insects were still being caught during this mild winter.  Mass Trapping is being encouraged to growers as an all year round approach, using traps at boundaries to plantations between the nursery perimeter and the crop with only a few traps located inside the plantation, if at all.  Many trap designs are in use, some better for monitoring rather than mass trapping.  Whilst good attractants were available none yet provided the ideal combination of an attractant that limits attraction to only D suzukii and a trap that prevents ingress of non-target species.  Catherine revealed how mass trapping was being developed as a technique and if combined with good sanitation appears to give reasonable control of the fly.  Catherine expressed concern however about the ability of the pest to survive in natural hedgerows and that private gardens and wild areas do represent a huge reservoir for the insect.

Gijs van Kruistum of Waginengen Plant Research looked at thrips control.  With the label changes to Decis (deltamethrin) in the Netherlands limiting applications on strawberries to three sprays pre-flowering, growers are keen to find solutions for thrips.  Five species Aeolothrips intermedius (banded thrips), Frankliniella intonsa (Intonsa flower thrips (IFT)), T tabaci, Thrips fuscipennis (the rose thrips) and T. Major are all of concern, with the latter two most common in open field situations. Gijs reviewed efforts at attracting Orius majuscules (Reuter) as a natural predator into crops and the use of white film mulching to provide protection against thrips. Both options showed good possibilities.

With the removal of methyl bromide and the need to maintain a viable certification system for plant material, a physical approach to pest control has been developed and was explained by Bert Evenhuis also of Waginengen. Strawberry plant material, produced by Dutch growers mainly for export, on ac 1100ha, in The Netherlands, must be destroyed if Strawberry Tarsonemid Mite (Phytonemus pallidus) or infection by the plant parasitic nematode Meloidogyne hapla is found by the Dutch Quality Board. The presence of tarsonemid mites in plant material can result in a considerable loss of production. Until 2007 mother planting stock was treated with methyl bromide (MeBr) to eliminate tarsonemids but this was banned in 2008. From 2007 Controlled Atmosphere Temperature Treatment (CATT) was developed to provide a non-chemical and sustainable method for future disinfestation.  By using CATT for 48hrs at a temperature of 35°C and 50% CO₂, mortality of the tarsonemid mites is over 99.8% and there are no harmful irreversible results of the CATT on the vitality of mother plants. Since 2009 CATT has been up-scaled to a commercial level and widely applied by Dutch producers of planting stock. Bert also considered the potential for the spread of Xanthomonas fragariae and whilst CATT does not control or eliminate Xanthomonus (if plants go in infected they come out infected), spread within the treatment chamber does not occur between infected and uninfected plants, unless there is a very high pressure.

From Biobest, Jurgen Bouveroux provided his experiences and latest research for the biological control of redberry mite, thrips and spider mites. Two sprays of avermectin appear to limit the pest and Biobest are continuing to test options for predatory mite.  Nutramite, using eggs of the stored product moth, Ephestia spp, is a recent development to provide a food source to predatory mites enabling early introduction of predators before the pest arrives and giving the predatory a head start over the pest

Among the busy exhibition hall, were stands from Biobest, Koppert, Alton Horticulture, Viridaxis and Vlamings.
Rianne Lek of Koppert explained about the NatuGro system (abbreviation of Natural Growing). Using the soil as a starting point, the system uses a four point approach including micro-organisms such as Trichoderma harzianum T-22 (Trianum); products that stimulate the beneficial organisms present in the soil; analyses of the microscopic life present in the soil or substrate; and personal, tailored advice. Koppert makes a distinction between bacteria, fungi, protozoa (single-cell organisms) and nematodes living around and interacting with the plant’s roots and their new products steer the underground ecosystem in the desired direction and monitoring the effects via soil analyses.

Meanwhile at the other end of the hall, Lode Van Schaeren of Biobest was answering questions about the Flying Doctors programme and the Nutramite product.  The latter is based on eggs of stored product moths of the genus Ephestia and helps establish predatory mites early in crops and get a head start before pests arrive.  Nutrimite is used for pollen feeding phytoseid predatory mites: A. andersoni, A. californicus, A. cucumeris, A. degenerans and A. Swirskii, to accelerate and enhance population development and to help populations survive periods of low prey or pollen.

Hugh Struth from Aston Horticulture has a long history of promoting garlic as a plant treatment.  The benefits of garlic are long documented and there is anecdotal and user evidence that supports its use to boost a plant’s ability to withstand pest attack.  Aston products are a method of growing crops with zero residues in a sustainable way, reducing or eliminating the need for chemical treatment.  Further opportunities for horticulture to improve garlic’s green credentials lie ahead, especially in the production of edible crops, including soft fruit and top fruit, protected salads and field vegetables. Growers must adhere to the protocols that have been developed for success with Aston products. The use of garlic in conjunction with crop management systems, leads to a much reduced reliance on conventional pesticides with the added benefits of a reduction or elimination of pesticide residues in the resultant food crop.

Viridaxis, a Belgian company specialized in mass production of parasitoids to control aphids in a natural way were on hand to discuss aphid parasitoids.  Viridaxis hold an exclusive patent for biopolymer capsules containing powdered crustacean and algae extracts that reproduce the physiology of the aphid. The parasitoid is lured to the target by an ingenious concoction of odours, laying its eggs inside the capsule. The artificial food inside the capsule allows the parasitoid larva to develop as it would in a real aphid.

Vlamings is a Dutch supplier to farmers and growers with a portfolio that includes fertilizers, crop protection, seeds and seedlings.  On the stand, Vlamings were promoting their own Drosophila suzukii trapping system (see  D suzukii was first found in the Netherlands in 2012.  The Vlamings trap utilises a small bottle with a horizontal bar entrance tunnel that helps eliminates non-target pests.  This coupled with the special liquid attract and tablet formulation, is claimed to be more attractive and selective than apple cider vinegar. With the mild winter temperatures, flies were still being caught in January and the testing programme will be continuing in 2014tohelp develop an optimum monitoring and hopefully effective mass trapping solution.
On the Friday following the event, in what the organisers expected would be a field trip for 30-40 people, plans had to be hurriedly amended as 180 people expressed an interest in attending the nursery visit.  An overwhelming number which was bravely and successfully accommodated.

Finally as successful one day event drew to a close, the organisers issued a special thank you to the companies that made the conference financially possible; principal sponsor Swissgrow-Campag, the four co-sponsors, Bayer CropScience, BerryFresh, Genson and Plant Sciences and the many “Friends” of the ISFC. All presentations are published on the website
The hall originally was used by local farmers to exhibit their livestock
Today the hall was turned into a modern and efficient exhibition hall for the soft fruit industry

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.