Insect monitor madness – but you can help stop this

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The European Commission is threatening the future of insect monitoring traps that contain an attractant. It’s not the traps themselves that have caught the Commission’s attention but the pheromones used in them to attract the insects to the traps and thereby turn them into such effective monitoring tools. But if we act IMMEDIATELY, there is still a chance that we can save these monitors.

The argument from Europe is that the tiny amounts of synthesised pheromones used in such traps should be treated as biocides and therefore put through the long and expensive approval and authorisation process, before they can be sold and used.

Should this proposal go ahead it will effectively remove from the market all the monitoring traps that actually work. The reason? Because the costs involved in progressing them through all the required regulatory hoops are just too high to make it an economic proposition for any of companies that have developed them.

The proposal will be voted on at the next Standing Committee on Biocidal Products, part of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Health and Food Safety. This meeting takes place over three days -10, 11 and 12 May – so comments need to be sent in before 10 May.

   Insect monitors

All insect monitors that contain an attractant are likely to disappear, so act now to help prevent this

Email your views to Alfonso Las Heras explaining how you use these products and why they are so important to pest management in general and your business in particular. Put your comments in context by including something about your business too. And remember, comments from small businesses and self-employed pest controllers are as important in this process as those from bigger businesses. Your couple of paragraphs could make all the difference.

This proposal will be catastrophic for the food industry as, for example, without these monitors no one will know which sites have moth infestations. A rapid rise in insect-related food contamination will almost certainly result. Likewise, how are environmental health inspectors going to be able to monitor insect numbers in food establishments?

Also, for the cash-strapped museum and heritage sector, irreplaceable historic collections will inevitably suffer extensive damage as the result of the loss of these effective, but inexpensive, early warning devices.

Insect monitors with attractants are an essential part of Integrated Pest Management. Without them it is inevitable that insect infestations will have grown much larger by the time they are discovered. This will mean the use of more insecticide, over a wider area, to bring such outbreaks under control – if you are looking for an example of the damaging effect of the law of unintended consequences, look no further! Biocides legislation was supposed to reduce the use of toxic chemicals; not encourage it.

When you see this sort of nonsense there is no wonder the UK voted for Brexit!

Read more about how the European Commission is proposing to hinder professional pest management in a sneak preview of our article from the next edition of Pest magazine: Madness strikes at pest control.

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