West Virginia University

Extension Service


June 2001

Dr. John F. Baniecki, Extension Specialist in Plant Pathology/Entomology,
Pest Management Program


The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has Revised it's Guidance Concerning West Nile Virus

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has revised its guidance concerning West Nile virus. This virus is a potentially serious disease that is transmitted by mosquitoes; birds serve as a reservoir and indicator for the disease. The disease is also a serious threat to horses; it not known if small mammals are susceptible or harbor West Nile virus. Unexplained dead birds could indicate the presence of the virus. The CDC recommends source reduction as the first line of defense. Keep in mind that mosquitoes must have water to reproduce; minimizing the available breeding areas can reduce mosquito populations. In many places, however, it is not feasible to eliminate all mosquito breeding sites. The CDC recommends controlling the larvae. Larviciding is "typically more effective and target specific" than killing adults. There are bacterial products and insect growth regulators that will kill mosquito larvae with little or no effect on other organisms. Spraying pesticides for adult mosquitoes also remains an important component of the program. The Center recommends applications based on surveillance data and strategies to prevent the development of resistance. You can review the CDC guidance at www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/resources/wnv-guidelines-apr-2001.pdf


 Worldwide, There are More than 500,000 Tons of Obsolete Pesticides

Without proper disposal, these pesticides will eventually contaminate the environment. Unfortunately, pesticide disposal is expensive, and many countries do not have the resources or expertise for pesticide disposal. Pesticide companies are doing the responsible thing. The Global Crop Protection Federation (GCPF) pledged to help developing countries dispose of obsolete pesticides. The GCPF is a group of about a dozen major pesticide companies. Certainly these companies bear some or most of the responsibility for this enormous amount of pesticide waste, but it is refreshing to hear multinational companies step up and pledge to fund cleanup. I hope the program is effective, and I hope the companies get the credit they deserve if cleanup is successful. (Pestic. & Tox. Chem. News, 5-14-01)


 Scientists with USDA are Investigating Yeast as a Biological Control Agent for Wheat Scab

Scab causes more than $3 billion in losses annually in the U.S. A number of biological controls have been identified for insects, but it has been more difficult to find biocontrols for diseases. Researchers have identified several promising candidates that work by competing with the disease for resources and space. If the 'good' microbes have already colonized the wheat, the disease organism cannot become established. You can read the details on the web www.nps.ars.usda.gov or you can contact the researchers at schislda@mail.ncaur.usda.gov


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The West Virginia University Cooperative Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture and West Virginia counties cooperating. Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution.