Insects Wanted!

Published in Insects Wanted!

Poisons, definitely not! Eco Hvar's campaign against the indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides to kill off unwanted insects and other 'pests' began many years ago. In Croatia, by law, unwanted pests which are potentially health-harming have to be limited or preferably eliminated. However, current practices, both by public authorities and individuals are causing a mass extermination of insects and interdependent wildlife, which is nothing short of catastrophic. And, by law, this should not be happening.

As from the summer of 2017, Eco Hvar has been writing to relevant Ministries, Institutes and local Authorities, pointing out deficiencies in the practice of the Pest Suppression Programme. By the summer of 2018, reactions from the Minister for Health and various sections of his Ministry, including the Split-Dalmatia County Institute for Public Health, made it clear that our evidence was being ignored because the Ministry's Inspectors had not reported that anything in the practice was amiss. Clearly the Ministry Inspectors were not observing the practices from the same standpoint as us.

Our researches and observations revealed that there were many failings in the practices which should have been controlled by the Directive for the Implementation of the Pest Suppression Programme. Our main concern has been for the insects, as insect loss is a major problem all over the world where chemical pesticides are used in quantity. As the Pest Suppression Programme includes rodenticide measures, we have included our concerns about these alongside worries about  

The urgent changes which we are seeking:

1. revision of the Directive (NN 76/12) Clause 2 Article 10, to exclude items 2-7, which make all insects possible targets for suppression; this would revert to the intentions of the original Law (NN 60/92);

2. the work of the Inspectors for the implementation of the Insect Suppression Programme should be more strictly monitored;

3. 'fogging' actions should be advertised openly, clearly and transparently, with the warnings in other languages besides Croatian;

4. poisons to be used for widespread applications across public areas should be identified and listed, together with their possible ill-effects;

5. the exact route of the 'fogging' vehicle should be published;

6. rodenticides should not be delivered free of charge to the general public as a matter of course;

7. rat poisons which are delivered on request should be in secure, numbered boxes, and a record kept of the recipient;

8. the poisons should be identified and listed, together with their possible ill-effects, and all instructions should be in other languages besides Croatian;

9. the company which is authorized to distribute rat poisons must collect the boxes after use;

10. all chemical poisons authorized for use in Croatia should be clearly identified together with their possible ill-effects in every type of information service and in all places where they are sold;

11. that attention should be given to the key issue of educating all those who use the various chemical pesticides as to their possible ill-effects;

12. that better, environmentally acceptable methods of suppressing unwanted 'pests' should be identified and used. 

Details of the Pest Suppression Programme during 2017 and 2018 in three of the four regions of Hvar Island.

We have received no response from the Sućuraj Council, despite official requests for information over the two-year period. The chart below shows the amounts of pesticides used and the annual costs to the local communities in the other three regions of Hvar Town, Stari Grad and the Jelsa Council.

POSSIBLE ADVERSE EFFECTS OF THE PESTICIDES USED IN THE DDD PROGRAMME AROUND HVAR, STARI GRAD, JELSA, 2017 - 2018

 

RATICIDE. (European Chemicals Agency approval code PT14 rodenticides)

RATIMOR (granules and wax blocks). Active ingredient BROMADIOLONE. Rodenticide - anticoagulant - superwarfarin - 4-hydroxycoumarin vitamin K antagonist anticoagulant poison.
Possible adverse effects: Acutely toxic, can be fatal if swallowed, inhaled, or via skin contact; may damage fertility or the unborn child; can cause organ damage in humans; highly toxic to fish and aquatic life, also to earthworms.
EU: Approved 01.06.2011, expiry 31.05.2021. ECHA: approved, PT14, 01/07/2011 - 30/06/2024.

INSECTICIDES (ECHA approval code PT18)

AQUATAIN AMF. Silicone-based liquid larvicide (film over the surface of standing water causes pupae and larvae to suffocate)
Possible adverse effects: can damage non-target organisms which depend on the water surface for respiration and movement.
EU: European Commission exempted Aquatain from registration due to its mode of action.
 
CIPEX 10E, MICROFLY: active ingredient CYPERMETHRIN, synthetic pyrethroid.
Possible adverse effects: classified as a possible cause of cancer in humans; very toxic to cats, bees, aquatic insects and fish, and to a lesser degree to birds.; in humans, can give rise to numbness, burning, loss of bladder control, vomiting, loss of co-ordination, coma, seizures, and (rarely) death.
EU: Permit 01.03.2006, expired 31.10.2018. Still under review, Cypermethrin was re-approved in August 2018, subject to stringent conditions. ECHA: Approved, PT18, 01/06/2020 - 31/05/2030, but no approved biocidal products listed as at 12th February 2019.
 
PERMEX 22E active ingredients PERMETHRIN and TETRAMETHRIN, synthetic pyrethroids.
With synergist (inert substance / mixer): PIPERONYL BUTOXIDE (PBO)
PERMETHRIN Possible adverse effects: classified as a potential carcinogen for humans; linked to Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma; poisonous to cats, also other animals: highly toxic to bees, sea organisms, fish; in humans, can cause neurological damage, also problems in the immune and endocrine systems.
EU: not approved. ECHA: Approved, PT18, 01/05/2016 - 30/04/2025 with 11 approved products listed as at 12th February 2019. The list did not include Permex 22E or Permex 22EC.
TETRAMETHRIN Possible adverse effects: potential human carcinogen, also can cause dizziness, breathing difficulties, coughing, eye irritation, gastrointestinal upset, blisters and skin rashes; extremely toxic to bees and aquatic organisms, including fish and aquatic invertebrates.
EU / ECHA: not approved, as at 12th February 2019.
PIPERONYL BUTOXIDE (PBO) Possible adverse effects: toxic to fish; may delay mental development in infants; animal studies show possible damage, including tumours, in mice and rats.
ECHA: Approved, PT18, 01/07/2018 - 30/06/2028
 
MUHOMOR active ingredient AZAMETHIPHOS. Organophosphate, designed for use on target areas, not for spraying in the air; mainly used against flies in enclosed spaces, on horses, cattle, pigs and chickens.
Possible adverse effects: very toxic to aquatic life, with long-lasting effects; toxic to birds; acutely toxic to humans if swallowed or inhaled; can cause headache, weakness, nervousness, sweating, vomiting and difficulty swallowing. Exposure to extremely high levels may result in muscular twitching, eye pain, slurred speech, colic, hyper-salivation, heart complaints, breathing difficulties, convulsions and unconsciousness; also causes eye and skin irritation on contact
EU, not approved ECHA: (PT18) not approved. NOT INCLUDED IN THE LIST OF APPROVED SUBSTANCES IN THE PROGRAMMES OR IMPLEMENTATION PLANS FOR 2017 AND 2018 ISSUED BY THE PUBLIC HEALTH INSTITUTE FOR THE SPLIT-DALMATIA COUNTY, which, in theory at least, regulate how the Pest Control Programme is carried out.
 
BATURAD active ingredient BACILLUS THURINGIENSIS ISRAELENSIS (Bti), soil bacterium.
Possible adverse effects: possibly interferes with reproduction in birds; can cause eye and skin irritation in humans and animals; may disturb essential wetland organisms; long-term use perhaps causes loss of biodiversity in the environment.
EU: Approved 01.05.2009, expiry 30.04.2019, extended to 30/04/2020. ECHA: Approved PT18 01/10/2013 - 30/09/2023
 
DIMILIN: active ingredient DIFLUBENZURON, benzamide insecticide, Insect Growth Regulator (Disruptor) (IGR).
Possible adverse effects: Highly toxic to freshwater and marine invertebrates; moderately toxic to fish and earthworms; slightly toxic to birds; affected haemoglobin in animal studies; can cause breathing difficulties in humans; direct contact can be harmful to skin and eyes; metabolites are possible human carcinogens.
EU: Approved 01.01.2009, expiry 31.12.2018, extended to 31st December 2019. ECHA: Approved PT18 01/02/2015 - 31/12/2025.

QUICKBAYT: active ingredients IMIDACLOPRID, neonicotinoid, and TRICOSENE, chemical compound: muscalure, Z-9-tricosene, cis-tricos-9-ene, muscamone

IMIDACLOPRID: Possible adverse effects: very toxic to bees, birds, also aquatic life and aquatic environments, with long-lasting effects; can affect reproduction and development in humans; possibly associated with autism spectrum disorder; moderately toxic to mammals, fish and earthworms; persists in soil.
EU: Approved to 31/07/2022, restricted for certain flowering crops. ECHA: Approved, PT18, 01/07/2013 - 30/06/2023.
TRICOSENE: Possible adverse effects: Irritant to skin and eyes on contact; inhalation can cause irritation to the respiratory tract; highly toxic to aquatic invertebrates
EU: Not approved; ECHA: Approved PT19, repellants and attractants, 01/10/2014 - 30/09/2024.

(For a more comprehensive list of chemical pesticides in use on Hvar Island and their possible adverse effects, click here.)

We have based our observations on Hvar, because we have first-hand experience here. However, overuse of chemical pesticides is a nationwide problem, which is causing widespread harm to both people and the environment in our beautiful country. So we hope that the need for change is finally recognised, and better practices are implemented as a matter of urgency. This would be in the best interests of our beloved country.

© Vivian Grisogono 2018, updated March 2019.

Media

Eco Environment News feeds

  • Research in Florida finds 88% of samples have pathogen that resists at least one antibiotic

    Antibiotic resistance is rising in dolphins, researchers have said, mirroring the trend seen in humans.

    Scientists examined disease-causing organisms, or pathogens, found in samples from the blowholes, gastric fluid and faeces of bottlenose dolphins from the Indian River Lagoon in Florida. The samples were collected between 2003 and 2015.

    Continue reading...

  • Group said that Roger Hallam had been apprehended for the second time in three days

    One of Extinction Rebellion’s co-founders has been arrested for the second time in three days after trying to fly a drone near Heathrow Airport during an environmental protest, the group said.

    Roger Hallam was detained on Saturday while attempting to disrupt flights at Britain’s busiest airport with the device.

    Continue reading...

  • Tiffany Francis-Baker looks back on her six months as a Forestry Commission writer in residence – and urges us to take care of our woodlands

    For centuries, forests have been the backdrop for fairytales, folklore and fantasy. From Robin Hood to Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks to The Gruffalo, writers have been drawn to the darkness and light they find in woodland, sowing the seeds of their imagination in the fertile soil that lies beneath a canopy of rustling leaves.

    Tiffany Francis-Baker is one such writer. On 30 September, she will complete the first writer’s residency offered by the Forestry Commission in celebration of its centenary year. For the past six months, she has been visiting forests all over England, looking for inspiration for a long-form narrative poem she is writing.

    Continue reading...

  • In this extract from her latest book On Fire, the No Logo author looks at why capitalism and politics have got in the way of addressing the climate crisis

    • Interview with Naomi Klein: ‘We are seeing the beginnings of the era of climate barbarism’

    On a Friday in mid-March, they streamed out of schools in little rivulets, burbling with excitement and defiance at an act of truancy. The little streams emptied on to grand avenues and boulevards, where they combined with other flows of chanting children and teens. Soon the rivulets were rushing rivers: 100,000 bodies in Milan, 40,000 in Paris, 150,000 in Montreal. Cardboard signs bobbed above the surf of humanity: THERE IS NO PLANET B! DON’T BURN OUR FUTURE. THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE!

    There was no student strike in Mozambique; on 15 March the whole country was bracing for the impact of Cyclone Idai, one of the worst storms in Africa’s history, which drove people to take refuge at the tops of trees as the waters rose and would eventually kill more than 1,000 people. And then, just six weeks later, while it was still clearing the rubble, Mozambique would be hit by Cyclone Kenneth, yet another record-breaking storm.

    Continue reading...

  • Young activists rallied in protest of inadequate government action on the climate crisis, chanting: ‘Protect our future’

    Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg – who has inspired young people around the world to strike in protest of inadequate government action on the crisis – accompanied her American counterparts in the youth climate movement at a rally near Donald Trump’s White House on Friday.

    Thunberg quietly joined near the edge of the group, whispering along with chants and shaking her head when thanked by other advocates.

    Continue reading...

  • Noise and pollution would threaten thousands of animals in Richmond Park, group says

    The impact of thousands of newly routed flights over Richmond Park has been almost completely ignored in Heathrow airport’s environmental impact report on its plans for a third runway, campaigners have said.

    As the consultation on Heathrow’s expansion approached closure on Friday, environmental campaigners said the effect of the expansion on the biodiversity, tranquility and environment on the park had yet to be properly addressed.

    Continue reading...

  • Climate emergency activists protest against the environmental impact of the fashion industry by gluing themselves to the doors of the venue, while others lie in a pool of fake blood

    Continue reading...

  • The UK has lost a third of its natural habitats in the last 50 years. At a bee and pollination festival in Bristol, visitors celebrated public spaces and gardens as increasingly valuable for bees

    Photographs by Alex Turner

    Continue reading...

  • Telethon asking viewers to give £2.4m for forests project to help tackle climate crisis

    People in Denmark will be able to “plant trees” from the comfort of their sofa in what is believed to be the world’s first TV fundraiser for forests.

    On Saturday the national broadcaster TV2 will air Denmark Plants Trees, a two-and-a-half hour live benefit event which will ask viewers to donate funds to plant 1m trees across the country.

    Continue reading...

  • Numbers of top five species up on last year while small tortoiseshell moves north

    It has been a painted lady summer. Nearly half a million of the migratory creatures were counted in British parks and gardens as part of the biggest butterfly survey in the world.

    The painted lady topped the charts of the annual Big Butterfly Count with 420,841 recorded during high summer after their first big influx on British shores in a decade.

    Continue reading...

Eco Health News feeds

Eco Nature News feeds