December 2013






Make Plans to Attend the 2014 Annual Conference

The Structural Pest Management Association of Ontario (SPMAO) invites you to join us January 29-30 for our 35th Annual Conference at the Hilton Toronto Airport Hotel in Toronto, Ontario.

With the holidays right around the corner, we have extended the early bird discount to December 20 as our gift to you. REGISTER TODAY!

 View the educational program.

Hotel Information
The Hilton Toronto Airport Hotel & Suites in Ontario is conveniently located directly across from Pearson International Airport and the local area is full of attractions to discover. Reserve your room now at the SPMAO group rate of only $145 (plus applicable taxes) online at: Hilton SPMAO Reservation or call 1-800-HILTONS and mention the group code: STRU14.  


Call for Industry Data in Attempt to Save Boric Acid Uses 

In October 2012, a draft re-evaluation document was published by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) for Boric Acid and its Salts titled Proposed Re-evaluation Decision PRVD2012-03, Boric Acid and its Salts (Boron). For more information about the re-evaluation from PMRA click here.  

This re-evaluation includes the active ingredients boric acid, borax (pentahydrate), borax (disodium tetraborate decahydrate), disodium octaborate tetrahydrate and zinc borate.
The document makes the following recommendations:
  • Most product types containing boron do not present unacceptable risks to human health or the environment when used according to revised label directions. As a condition of the continued registration for these particular boron uses, new risk-reduction measures are proposed for inclusion on the labels of certain products. Additional data are being requested as a result of this re-evaluation.
  • Some uses of boron are being proposed for removal because the human health risks do not meet current standards. These uses are:
    • All dust/powder formulations for both commercial and domestic class products (including pressurized dust products).
    • All uses involving brush, trowel and/or putty knife application of the paste formulation for both commercial and domestic class products.
    • Uses involving brush application of the solution formulation for both commercial and domestic class products.
    • Uses of granular formulations involving application by pressure sprayer and seed spreader (commercial class products only). 
The Canadian Pest Management Association (CPMA), being concerned about the loss of these tools, has reached out to PMRA to determine what can be done to impact the re-evaluation decision. As a result, CPMA has been asked by PMRA to gather real-world application data from professional users to aid in the boric acid re-evaluation process. While it may not be possible to save all of the formulations slated for removal, if PMRA can base it re-evaluation on actual use data, rather than conservative assumptions, some uses may be saved.

It is very important CPMA provide the most accurate use data on boric acid formulations to PMRA. If your company has access to electronic application records and can assist CPMA in the data gathering process, please immediately contact Dominique Stumpf, Executive Director of SPMAO, at [email protected] or 866-630-2762.
This information must be submitted to PMRA before the end of 2013. If you have boric acid data please contact Dominique as soon as possible.


IMPORTANT: FICAM D 1% Dust Insecticide Cannot be Used After 31 December 2013 

REMINDER: the registration for FICAM D 1% Dust Insecticide, PCP # 16080, will expire on 31 December 2013.  After this date you may no longer apply FICAM D 1% Dust Insecticide.
The last date for sale for FICAM D was 31 December 2005. Since 2005, Health Canada under the authority of the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has allowed existing stocks of the product to be used by the professional pest management industry. However, after 31 December  2013, any remaining stock of the product cannot be applied and must be disposed of according to local hazardous waste disposal guidelines. (FICAM D 1% Dust was registered by Aventis, also known as AgrEvo, until Bayer took over the registration in 2003.)
SPMAO, knowing this was an important product for control of stinging and other insects, will be publishing an article this spring that discusses alternative products and methods to replace this formula in your pest management toolbox.
Should you have any questions, please contact Dominique Stumpf, Executive Director of SPMAO at [email protected] or 866-630-2762.


Rodenticide Risk Mitigation Reminder  

With the calendar turning to a new year, and with so many changes taking place at the beginning of 2012, now is a good time to review your rodent control program ensuring compliance with the Rodenticide Risk Mitigation Measures for Eight Rodenticides (REV2010-17).  
The main items to consider for commercial class products containing Brodifacoum, Bromadiolone, Bromethalin, Chlorophacinone, Difethialone, Diphacinone, Warfarin or Zinc Phosphide are listed below. (excerpted from REV2010-17)
  • Tamper- resistant bait stations are required if the bait placement is within reach of pets, domestic animals, non-target wildlife, or children under six years-of-age.
    • These requirements also apply to products registered for field use sites where Pick-Your-Own activities can occur (including cropland, orchards, nurseries, ornamentals, garden and similar sites.
    • To further clarify, commercial class rodenticides MUST either be placed in tamper-resistant bait stations or in locations not accessible to children, pets, livestock or non-target wildlife.
  • Unless you are using the rodenticide in strict accordance with label direction, that specifically allow the rodenticide to be placed without a station, all outdoor, above-ground placements of bait products must be contained in bait stations.
  • Combination indoor and outdoor use products can be placed indoors and outdoors within 15 metres of buildings. These products must be places with strict adherence to station requirements.
  • Commercial class rodenticide products, labeled for outdoor use, may also be placed along the fence line of properties, outside of the 15-metre limit, but within a 100 metres of buildings, if the bait station is securely fastened (nailed down) to the fence or the ground. PMRA considers the placement of bait up to 15 metres from structures, OR along fence lines within 100 metres of structures, to help reduce the risks of rodents entering these structures.
    • To mitigate risks to non-target animals, fence-line baiting outside of the 100-metre limit is not allowed.
    • Remember, a patio block along is not sufficient to secure a station to the ground.
  • The outdoor use of commercial class, concentrated products (such as, solution, emulsifiable concentrate, dust, powder) to be diluted into solid or liquid bait is prohibited.
  • The use in residential settings of commercial class, concentrated products (such as, solution, emulsifiable concentrate, dust, powder) to be diluted into solid or liquid bait is prohibited.
  • Be sure to read the label every time you use a rodenticide.
    • Commercial class products with new labels will reflect the requirements for placement of commercial class bait products.
    • The directions among active ingredients may be different, so don't assume because you have read one label, the restrictions and allowance are the same for all rodenticides.
  • The use of difethialone is restricted to indoor use only.
  • Labels of bromethalin and difethialone commercial class products include additional precautions/first aid/storage label statements. 
Other items to consider:
  • The end user must know the various tier definitions, and then select or construct the appropriate bait station for each placement.
  • All bait stations now require an information sticker. Some product manufactures are providing these, otherwise each firm must provide their own. These stickers must include the following information:
    • Product name
    • Active Ingredient
    • Guarantee
    • Registration number
    • The skull and crossbones symbol. 
For additional PMRA questions and answers on mitigation measures for rodenticides, click here.
Should you have any questions, please contact Dominique Stumpf.  


Snow Fleas

Snow fleas are not really fleas at all, but a type of insect called a springtail. Springtails get their name because they jump by means of a structure on their abdomen called a furculum. When alarmed, the springtail snaps this appendage down onto the surface below and bounds into the air. This is where the common name "springtail" is derived, rather than the appearance of these critters in the springtime. Springtails are found around moisture in and around structures and are often found to invade homes; they are a nuisance pest and their presence can indicate a plumbing leak or moisture problem. They can be extremely common outdoors in the springtime, and some species may even emerge when patches of snow remain on the ground.


Snow Fleas are very small, about 1/16th inch long. They are usually dark and have short antennae. They must be near moisture and certain species prefer snow. But, snow fleas and other springtails are ubiquitous and can live outdoors in snow, soil, leaf litter,mosses, fungi, and in areas by pools and heavily watered lawns. Indoors, they often indicate a moisture problem or plumbing leak and can be found in bathrooms or kitchen areas. Their numbers often explode into large populations that can become quite annoying by their presence. They eat dead plant matter, bacteria, fungi, algae, and pollen. Springtails do not feed upon the blood of mammals or other hosts like real fleas do! In fact, they cause no harm, but their presence alone in great numbers can be considered a nuisance by a homeowner. Snow Fleas mate in the spring, and the females lay eggs in the soil. These will hatch into nymphs, a smaller version of the adult. By winter, the nymphs are full grown adults. During very cold winter days they are not very active. But if it warms up, snow fleas will become active, hopping around on snow mounds and banks looking for food. They may even crawl from out on the surface of the snow and make their way into a home. People notice them, like a fine black dust or pepper, against the white background of the snow. Predators of snow fleas, and other springtails, include: beetles, ants, mites, centipedes, and other small insect-eaters. Snow fleas are very important in the ecology and food chain of an area's soil system, as they are decomposers, and help break down old dead plant matter and other items in the ground. However, in large numbers they are not welcome.


Management of springtails is usually achieved by habitat modification and moisture control measures. Snow banks piled next to buildings can harbor snow fleas, as can accumulated leaves or other decaying plant matter. Removal of food and harborage areas can reduce populations and invading springtails can be kept out by making sure that cracks and crevices are sealed tight.



This Job is For the Birds 
The Record, December 7, 2013
Julia Staines, a 32-year-old bird control technician and her partner, Honey, a four-year-old Harris hawk, patrol the local garbage dump, working eight-hour shifts to chase away the hundreds of gulls and crows attracted by the veritable feast thrown in the trash by Waterloo Region's residents. Read more...