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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Aphids' Category


Neonicotinoids Regulators Criticized by UK Parliament

(Beyond Pesticides, December 14, 2012) Decision making advice by the Advisory Committee on Pesticides (ACP) and insecticide regulator, the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra), were harshly criticized on Wednesday by Members of Parliament (UK), as they discussed the problems associated with neonicotinoids, a group of neurotoxic insecticides linked to serious declines in bee and pollinator populations. The meeting was attended by Members of Parliament, members of the Advisory Committee on Pesticides, Lord de Mauley, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, the Department for Environment, the Food and Rural Affairs and officials, bringing neonicotinoids and their impact on bees to the attention of the international community as well as at home. The discussion focused on the evidence used to make a decision on the allowance of neonicotinoids and plans for the future. ACP members indicated that evidence for future draft plans would be based on new studies developed in 2012 on the effects of neonicotinoids at the colony level, as well as the impact of neonicotinoids exposure in field tests, rather than in the lab. Research will likely fill the extant data gaps, the most important of which were identified by officials of Defra, the environmental regulatory agency in […]



Lights Out for Aphids

(Beyond Pesticides, November 13, 2012) There’s a new tool in the fight against aphids. Research published in the journal Horticultural Science discovered that reducing the amount of ultra-violet (UV) light in an environment can shrink the population of an aphid infestation. This study is encouraging as it has the ability to dramatically reduce pesticide applications. Scientists carried out their study in two “tunnel type” greenhouses over three separate lettuce growing seasons. The crops in one greenhouse were covered with standard mesh netting, while crops in the other greenhouse were covered with netting that filtered radiation in the UV spectrum (the product ‘Bionet’ was used in the study). Researchers then artificially introduced aphid pests into the environment, and tracked their dispersal patterns and overall population weekly through a statistical analysis. Although the aphid population grew exponentially in both environments, it was significantly lower in the greenhouse where the aphids were covered by the UV-absorbing material. This has important implications for greenhouse-grown greens. Using this technique, farmers can reduce the costs associated with pesticide use, concurrently protecting the health of the surrounding environment and consumers purchasing their crops. The researchers note that UV radiation acts as an important visual cue not only […]