Gazette Vaudreuil-Soulanges » Sex instead of pesticides?

Sex instead of pesticides?

Hudson’s environmental committee is hoping to convince the three local golf courses to participate in developing a sex attractant for the bugs that lay the eggs that become grass-devouring white grubs.

They’re hoping the Whitlock, Falcon and Como courses could be the driving force behind a study to develop pheromone traps to kill the European chafer as a means of reducing or eliminating the use of pesticides.

Golf courses currently rely on imidacloprid (trade name Merit) to combat the beetle whose pupae plague golf courses by weakening the grass, causing thinning, yellowing and scattered dead patches. Hungry predators also dig holes looking for the fat white protein packages.

The European Union is banning imidacloprid and two similar neonicotinoid pesticides clothianidin and thiamethoxam to protect at-risk bee populations and the Sierra Club of Canada is asking the federal government to follow suit.

One of the committee members who met with representatives of Hudson’s three golf clubs in March to discuss the use of pesticides was Hudson resident Christopher Buddle, an associate professor in the department of natural resource sciences at McGill University. He brought up the idea of traps which lure aroused beetles with their own natural pheromones, then captures them. He suggested the golf courses lobby the provincial government through the l’industrie québécoise du golf for a grant to do research and develop the traps.

“They [golf course representatives] seemed interested when we talked about it,” says environmental agent Jennifer Dumoulin.

She goes on to explain why this form of pest control would work best, if only it could be developed.

“The pheromones are specific for that type of insect and don’t have an impact on other insects, [but] you have to research what pheromone will attract them,” explains Dumoulin. “It’s more ecologically friendly and makes less of impact on the environment.”

Eric Leger RGB resized

Hudson Beekeeper Eric Léger says pesticides from farms and golf courses have an impact on the bee population. There have been recent talks of developing a pheromone trap that would kill other insects without putting a strain on the bee population. (Gazette, Meghan Low)

She agrees the bee population is at risk and that pesticides pose part of the problem, but she doesn’t think golf courses are the sole perpetrators.

“I don’t know if I could state for a fact that stopping golf courses from using pesticides would solve our problem.

For instance, it’s still common practice to use pesticides for agriculture and everyday bug spray has an effect on the bee population.“When you buy Raid to get rid of ants in your house, it has an impact on the bees that come to pollinate the flowers right next to your window,” says Dumoulin.

The environment committee recommended Hudson’s council encourage and support the effort of the local golf clubs to lobby the Quebec government to fund the research of pheromone traps as a way of managing white grub, given the burden pesticides place on the bee population. The committee suggests the group lobby both the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ) and the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement, de la Faune et des Parcs (MDDEFP).

Mike Bailey and Marco Jetté from Whitlock Golf and Country Club, Ronald Hewitt from Falcon Golf Club and Luc Villeneuve from the Como Golf Club were all present, according to the records of the meeting.

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One comment on “Gazette Vaudreuil-Soulanges » Sex instead of pesticides?

  1. WILLIAM H. GATHERCOLE AND NORAH G May 27, 2013 1:41 am

    This is another ridiculous idea from NON-EXPERT anti-pesticide lunatics.  In fact, there is no evidence to suggest a link between neonicotinoid insecticides and bee colony collapse disorder.  Neonicotinoid insecticides do not harm bees.  Bee-keepers are harming bees, and not neonicotinoid insecticides.  Neonicotinoid insecticides, like imidacloprid, are widely used for the control of insect pests in lawns, gardens, ornamental plants, and agriculture.  Since 2006, anti-pesticide activists and bee-keepers have alleged that there are so-called links and causes between the neonicotinoid insecticides like imidacloprid and bee colony collapse disorder.  Researchers have not been able to identify a single cause of bee colony collapse disorder.  The weight of the scientific evidence clearly shows that neonicotinoid insecticides do not affect bees.  The exposure of bees to neonicotinoid insecticides is at very low levels, far too low to cause harmful effects.  Neonicotinoid insecticides will cause no harm to bees since treated plant tissues contain only tiny amounts of ingredient, bees are not feeding on the plants, and pollen contains barely detectable levels.  If some anti-pesticide activists and bee-keepers were not so scientifically illiterate, they would know that scientific research shows that, as reported through EPA’s and Health Canada’s vast toxicology database, no harm will occur to bees.  Bee colony collapse disorder is the fault of bee-keepers and their mismanagement practices.  Bee-keepers are responsible, and not neonicotinoid insecticides.  In their usual method of arriving at scientifically illiterate conclusions, the anti-pesticide activists and bee-keepers have somehow concocted the imaginary danger that neonicotinoid insecticides was the reason for bee colony collapse disorder.  Of course, this is a myth !  Anti-pesticide activists and bee-keepers are the least qualified to provide any advice concerning neonicotinoid insecticides.  Anti-pesticide activists and bee-keepers allege, with no scientific proof, that neonicotinoid insecticides somehow cause bee colony collapse disorder.  This is a myth !  When used properly, neonicotinoid insecticides cause no harm, and do not hurt bees.   WILLIAM H. GATHERCOLE AND NORAH G   

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