Imprelis™ (herbicide for use on turf), ProMeris Duo™ (insecticide for use on dogs), Venom™, Scorpion™, and Azera™ (insecticides for use against the brown marmorated stink bug) are Five Pesticide Products of Recent Concern to RCC
1) Imprelis™ (active ingredient aminocyclopyrachlor) is a systemic herbicide recently given conditional registration for "control of broadleaf weeds, woody species, vines, and grasses." (EPA Memo 8/26/10 signed by S. Bradbury). Reports of non-target damage particularly to Norway spruce and white pines but also to other trees and ornamental shrubs have followed the April and May 2011 applications of Imprelis™(Landschoot, P., "Some Observations on Imprelis Injury to Trees" June 25, 2011 Penn State Cooperative Extension web site). Areas affected include Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
RCC recommendation: EPA should put a stop sale on this product until more information is known about its potential damage to trees and other woody plants. Note: RCC comments on the active ingredient, aminocyclopyrachlor in early 2011 are found on the web site. Along with 4 other chemical pesticides, this recently-registered herbicide was promoted to Maryland Master Gardeners in late 2010 as "new, novel and safe."
2) ProMeris Duo™ (active ingredients metaflumizone and amitraz) is a spot-on insecticide used in dogs for control of fleas, ticks and demodectic mange. It will be discontinued by the manufacturer later this year. In a published report on clinical cases, ProMeris Duo™ was linked to an adverse reaction on the skin described as a pemphigus foliaceus (PF)-like condition. The study appeared in Veterinary Dermatology of March 2011. The PF crusting skin lesions were found at the site of ProMeris™ application and to various degrees at other sites in affected dogs. This skin problem was occasionally accompanied by a systemic reaction in the Promeris™-treated dogs.
RCC recommendation: EPA should make pet owners aware of this reaction immediately and follow-up by investigating, and analyzing information on it in preparation for further action.
3) In June 2011 the EPA gave emergency (Section 18) registration to three products, Venom™, Scorpion™, and Azera™ for use against the brown marmorated stink bug. (this emergency status expires October 15, 2011).
Venom™ and Scorpion™ (active ingredient in both products is the insecticide dinotefuran) have been given emergency (Section 18) registration by the EPA for use on tree fruit to help manage populations of the brown marmorated stink bug, an invasive insect that has caused extensive yield losses in tree fruit production in the mid-Atlantic region. The insecticide, dinotefuran is a member of the neonicotinoid chemical class. It is described as being among the most toxic of this class for honey bees. (Iwasa, T., et al, "Mechanism for the differential toxicity of neonicotinoid insecticides in the honey bee, Apis mellifera," Crop Protection, May 2004, pp371-378)
The EPA-required label information on toxicity to bees for Scorpion and Venom is the following:
"This product is highly toxic to bees exposed to direct treatment or residues on blooming crops or weeds. Do not apply this product or allow it to drift to blooming crops or weeds if bees are visiting the treatment area." (EPA Fact Sheet for dinotefuran Sept 2004)
Azera™ is an insecticide product with active ingredients azadiractin and pyrethrins. It has been given emergency (Section 18) registration for managing the brown marmorated stink bug in organic production systems. Azadirachtin is isolated from the Neem Tree; pyrethrins are isolated from chrysanthemum flowers. Azera™ is labeled as highly toxic to bees. The warning section for bees on the actual label for Azera™ is the following:
"This product is highly toxic to bees exposed to direct treatment on blooming crops or weeds. Do not apply this product or allow it to drift to blooming crops or weeds while bees are actively visiting the treatment area."
RCC recommendation: It appears from the labels, that the product, Azera, is less hazardous to bees than are the products, Scorpion™ and Venom™. Why? The proposed dinotefuran product label warning indicates that the residue from this chemical can be hazardous to bees. The Azera™ label lacks a warning against preventing bees from contacting the active ingredients' residues. If the labeling acurately reflects the comparative product hazards and if the products are equally effective against the brown marmorated stink bug, then the product, Azera™, that is less toxic to bees should be given preference. There is no indication that a comparison was made among these products for toxicity to bees or other considerations or that such a procedure is required.