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On this edition we’re going to be discussing Trophallaxis.
Now what is Trophallaxis? Well Trophallaxis is actually kind of a little sick deal that insects have going on. It’s kind of a their own little secret and well it’s basically when insects take food and they regurgitated back and feed it to their young or share it among nest mates.
Yeah. And there’s two types of Trophallaxis.
It gets worse because there’s mouth to mouth Trophallaxis and then there’s mouth to anus Trophallaxis. One is known as stomadeal. The other is well procodeal the term where we get proctologist which is another interesting career by itself.
But anyway most eusocial insects are gonna do this habit they’re going to perform this. Ants roaches bees wasps termites they all practice this. And this is why it’s more effective sometimes to use baits rather than sprays to control a lot of these insects.
Let’s look at
In the case of termites, termites use Trophallaxis to feed it to their nymphs or their larvae throughout basically the entire colony. And this is why base stations in the ground to control subterranean termites is so effective.
Now we have bees and wasps. Well not all wasps are bad, but wasps use Trophallaxis to share pollen that they collect because a lot of wasps are pollinators and they also have this behavior.
Bees do the same thing bees do it when they bring a load back of pollen they can use it to transfer from worker to work or mouth to mouth to transport the pollen.
Well this is a problem because if you’re using sprays in a landscape where there are bees present you could be contaminating all of the pollen that’s in the flower and when they’re taken it back they are collapsing the colony.
Most modern products have label restrictions against spraying for bees when they are present.
Let’s take a look at this. So here on the EPA Web site this is a law that was passed that basically all manufacturers had to comply with this and put this under label if they could prove that the insecticide when there was sprayed could be transferred back to the colony and kill it in the case of neonicotinoids.
They’ve been under fire for many years, including most big box stores have removed them completely from their shelves. And this is why we do not use in our practice any spraying with any neonicotinoids because of these challenges. Can you imagine we go to somebodies lawn or yard and say we can’t spray your yard today you have bees present.
Well people would lose their mind. So we have to have sound practices in place to control this. But in this case the label says that new BEE icon helps signal pesticide potential hazarding bees makes clear the pesticide product can kill bees and pollinator bees are often present in foraging when plants and tree flowers.
Now the EPA new label makes it clear that pesticides can not be applied into all the pedals have fallen. And this is what most people have to understand if you can’t constantly spray your yard or garden simply because there’s bees.
I get a lot of calls and people calling me saying Hey I need you to come and spray my yard. I have bees in my yard. I said Well that is perfectly normal. The reason you have bees in your yard is because they’re picking the pollen from your flowering plants.
Now there’s a big difference between having bees in your yard and having a bee hive in your structure or a bee hive in a tree that is causing problems. And we have to separate the two. So this is what’s a common problem and I want you to see how we’re limited by this label when we do this.
So here we have a label. Let me make this a little bigger for you. So we have a label right here. So this product is called safari. It is a great product to use when we have to treat plants in a systemic way where we inject it into the trunk or we inject it into the soil and it causes very little risk in that mode to pollinators.
But in the case of spraying plants we have restrictions. Check these out. So in a label used strictly in accordance to the particular statement because it is applicable to state and federal regulation right up here Beale above that it’s on every single label it is a violation of federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling.
And this is a huge problem because now we have all these products on the market that we have to know that this is on there and we have to explain it to homeowners of why we can’t spray certain products at certain times of year and then we have rotation issues and limitations on many pounds of active ingredient and all these things. But if this is on the label we can’t use it to spray it When bees are present.
So again understanding these restrictions and these benefits that these insects provide us to help control them when they are a pest problem is vitally important to use of baits over sprays can be more effective at controlling a lot of these pests so as part of any. So as part of any integrated pest management program or a holistic pest management program this is vitally important for you to know.