September 2017



Marty Overlilne
Aardvark Pest Management
Phildelphia, PA
Adam Witt
President Elect
Witt Pest Management
Pittsburgh, PA

Keith Hamilton
Chairman of the Board
J.C. Ehrlich
State College, PA

Central Division
Gary Lesher
Perry Pest Control
Landisburg, PA
Leland Manuel
Keith Jones
Archer Pest Control
Camp Hill, PA
Eastern Division  
Bryan Levengood
Thur-O Pest Mngmt
Elverson, PA

Mike Snyder
Township Pest Control
Warrington , PA
Rob Byer
Mountain Laurel , NJ
Northeast Division
Jeff King
The Pest Rangers
Hanover Twp., PA
Paul Kutney
Larksville, PA
Diane Lown
Ajax Environmental Solutions
Dalton, PA
Western Division
Adam Witt
Witt Pest Management
Pittsburgh, PA
Scott Grill
Bill Grill  Exterminating
Verona, PA
John Besic
Besic Pest Control
Transfer, PA
Technical Advisor
Chad Gore
Rentokil North America
Carnegie, PA

Industry Liaison
Brian Smith
Sharon Hill, PA
Executive Director
Versant Strategies
Harrisburg, PA










Featured Article
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Dear Friends:

Finally, fall has arrived. As the summer season starts to wind down, now is the time to consider how to sharpen the skill-set of those in your company. From technicians to business practices, the upcoming Annual Meeting is sure to impress!

Registration is now open for the upcoming Annual Meeting to be held  November 12-14  at the Eden Resort in Lancaster, PA. An agenda and online registration information is available online at http://www.papest.org/education-and-training/ppma-annual-conference/. Vendor registration information is also available at that link. Be sure to mention you are with the Pennsylvania Pest Management Association when making your hotel reservations!

This past week, Versant Strategies engaged with NPMA's Legislative Team in regards to HB1818 which would restrict sales of nenicotinoid pesticides in the Commonwealth. These two groups will continue to work on your behalf to counteract legislation and regulations that would be detrimental to the industry and public health and safety. We will keep you posted!

If we at the Association's office can ever be of assistance, please feel free to contact us at (800) 842-9090 or cwright@versantstrategies.net.

  Team Versant  

Ag Department, Penn State seek public input on state Pollinator Protection Plan
Public comment period ends Dec. 15, 2017
September 28, 2017
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Farmers, gardeners and other Pennsylvanians concerned about the health of pollinators - given their critically important role in growing and producing food - now have the chance to comment on a draft of the state's proposed Pollinator Protection Plan.
The plan, developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State, is designed to protect bees and other insects that pollinate nearly 75 percent of the Commonwealth's food crops.

"The Pennsylvania Pollinator Protection Plan is a living document that will change over time as researchers and interested citizens share personal experience and best practices when it comes to protecting and expanding pollinator populations," said state Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. "Pennsylvania is blessed with rich soils and a favorable climate that allow us to produce a variety of agricultural products, but we need bees, flies and butterflies to pollinate three quarters of our food crops."

The department and Penn State's Center for Pollinator Research, which is housed in the College of Agricultural Sciences, developed the protection plan after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency directed state agencies to develop pollinator protection plans to mitigate risk to honey bees and other pollinators. Pollinator populations have declined in recent years due to a number of threats.

According to Penn State researchers, beekeepers reported a 52 percent loss in their colonies during the winter of 2016-17. In addition, 51 species of butterflies, 111 species of moths and three species of bumble bees are considered to be at risk.

Each state is required to submit its own plan to EPA that provides technical advice to homeowners, beekeepers, farmers, nonagricultural landowners, businesses, organizations, government agencies and the public on how to improve and increase areas where bees and other pollinators can live safely, eat well and thrive.

Agriculture relies on pollinators for human health and economic stability. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Penn State determined that Pennsylvania growers gain more than $250 million in fruit and vegetable production due to increased yield as a result of pollination from insects and an additional $9 million in value from crops where pollination produces seeds. 
"Pennsylvania is the nation's fourth largest producer of apples, thanks in part to the work of about 235 species of bees found in our fruit orchards. It's easy to see the value of preserving and protecting the diversity of our pollinators," Redding continued. "Our apple harvest averages more than $124 million annually, so this plan is an integral part of maintaining our agricultural and economic viability in this and other fruit, vegetable and seed industries."

"Many of our favorite foods depend on bees, flies and others to transfer pollen between plants. They are critical to the success of our food supply," said Christina Grozinger, distinguished professor of entomology and director of Penn State's Center for Pollinator Research. "If you enjoy strawberries, raspberries, cherries, plums, peaches or pears, you can thank these pollinators."

Grozinger encourages Pennsylvanians to review the first four chapters of the plan: "Introduction," "Best Practices for Forage and Habitat," "Best Practices for Pesticide Use," and "Best Practices for Beekeepers." The plan is available for review online at the Center for Pollinator Research website.

After the comment period ends on Dec. 15, the Pennsylvania Pollinator Plan's task force and advisory board will compile the public comments to create the fifth chapter, "Recommendations for Research, Education and Policy."

The plan was developed with input from 36 individuals representing 28 state and national organizations and stakeholder groups.

"I am very pleased with the final plan, which provides an outstanding framework for pollinator conservation and health in Pennsylvania and beyond," Grozinger said. "Members of the task force and advisory board have forged valuable partnerships, and our communities and our ability to feed a hungry world will be stronger for their efforts."
Media Contacts: 
Chuck Gill
Work Phone: 
Twitter Handle: 

Business Webinar Offered
Market Hardware, a new Allied Member of the Pennsylvania Pest Management Association is offering a free webinar to Pennsylvania Pest Management Association Members. Registration is free. 

One Silver Bullet, Two Shocking Surprises and One Big, Fat LIE about Google

WHEN: October 11th, 12 PM


Register here


Learn more about Market Hardware by visiting their website (www.markethardware.com). 

Technical Spotlight
What is it About Those Annoying Yellowjackets?

In most areas, yellowjacket colonies are either dying out or are becoming extra obnoxious, or both. In late summer, a yellowjacket colony is at its largest (1,000-4,000 workers), but its social structure is breaking down. Next year's queens and males are produced and workers begin dying off. 

You've heard that the reason yellowjackets become so aggressive and "in-your-face" late in the season is because they begin foraging for sugary foods rather than insects as they havve fewer developing larvae to feed. While no one really knows why yellowjackets undergo such a noticeable personality change in the fall, one yellowjacket expert rejects the change in diet explanation, saying that yellowjackets routinely forage on both carbohydrates and proteins throughout the season. 

Apparently much of the change in the yellowjacket behavior has to do with social problems within the next as allegiances change and conflicts increase in late season. The current queen's influence begins to wane and she will dies soon. There's fighting among the workers as some of them are developing into next year's reproductives and dealing with that whole hormone thing. Workers begin demanding regurgitated food from the remaining larvae, sometimes killing them in the process. According to the expert, yellojackets are losing control as their society is collapsing. 

How concerned should you be about fall calls for yellowjacket control? After all, the wasps will be dead soon and new queens won't re-use the same nests next year. Nevertheless, there are some good reasons to eliminate yellowjacekt nests, even late in the season.

  1. Eliminating next year's queens before they leave the nest will help eliminate future nests. These future queens don't go far to overwinter and may start spring nests in the same general area. Nests this year = more queens - more nests next year.
  2. If yellowjackets are interacting with people or pets in late summer, they are likely to come into contact with people even more often as their foraging becomes more erratic. The option of leaving yellowjackets alone is never worth it if it may put sting-sensitive individuals at risk.
In more northern states, yellowjacacket colonies begin to decline in July or August, but some remain active throughout September. In southern states, reproductives may not even be produced until after September. Yellowjackets nesting in building voids can remain active well into December. In very warm regions, colonies might not die off at all. 

As published by Techletter. 

News from NPMA

NPMA Appointed to Serve on EPA Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee by Administrator Scott Pruitt

Recently,  Jim Fredericks, NPMA's Vice President of Technical and Regulatory Affairs, was appointed to the U.S. EPA's Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC).  The PPDC is a Federal Advisory Committee that meets with EPA on a regular basis to discuss pesticide regulatory, policy, and program implementation issues.   Membership on the PPDC is a two-year commitment, during which NPMA will represent the structural pest control industry and its perspectives on the committee. 

More information about PPDC's objectives and activities (from the US EPA PPDC Charter)

"EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) is entrusted with the important responsibilities of ensuring that Americans are not exposed to unsafe levels of pesticides in food, protecting from unreasonable risk and educating those who apply or are exposed to pesticides occupationally or through use of products, and protecting the environment and special ecosystems from potential risks posed by pesticides. PPDC is a policy-oriented committee that will provide policy advice, information and recommendations to EPA. PPDC will provide a public forum to discuss a wide variety of pesticide regulatory development and reform initiatives, evolving public policy and program implementation issues, and policy issues associated with evaluating and reducing risks from use of pesticides.

The major objectives [of the PPDC] are to provide policy advice, information and recommendations on:
a. Developing practical, protective approaches for addressing pesticide regulatory policy, program implementation, environmental, technical, economic; and other policy issues; and
b. Reviewing proposed modifications to OPP's current policies and procedures, including the technical and economic feasibility of any proposed regulatory changes to the current process of registering and reregistering pesticides"

Upcoming Meetings          

Mark your calendars now for the Annual Meeting, scheduled for November 12-14 in Lancaster, PA! Registration information and a conference schedule is now posted here!

The Meetings and Events section of the website is always the most up-to-date resource for happenings of the Association. Be sure to check it out!

The Eastern Division continues to hold its monthly meetings with varying topics of discussion on the second Thursday of every month at the Crowne Plaze in Trevose.  For more information on monthly topics and speakers, contact Sue at (215) 331-1121.
Legislative Update

The information below represents legislative activity (including bill introductions) that has occurred since the last newsletter.  For a full listing of legislation that Versant is tracking for PPMA, please contact us at (717) 635-2320 or cwright@versantstrategies.net.  Activity marked HCO or SCO indicates a co-sponsorship memo which precedes the actual introduction of legislation and is designed to secure the support of other legislators prior to introduction as a bill.

Now nearly 90 days outside of a formal revenue package to finish the budgeting process for the 2017-18 Fiscal Year, the Pennsylvania Legislature has been back to town over the last month to finish the process. Negotiations have restarted since the House passed a revenue plan of fund transfers, negating the tax increases proposed by the Senate. In turn, the Senate did not agree to the plan suggesting that it was not a long-term fix to the structural deficit the Commonwealth faces. Both the House and Senate will be in next week and those in Harrisburg are hopeful for a final passage of an agreed to revenue plan. Versant Strategies is paying close attention to the following legislation on your behalf:

SB 76 - Argall, David (R) - Act providing for tax levies & information related to taxes; authorizing a personal income tax or earned income tax by a school district; for exclusions from sales tax; for increase to personal income tax; est. Fund; & repeals.

This bill has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee and awaits a committee meeting for a vote.

HB1818 - McCarter, Steve (D) - Act providing for labeling, signage and restrictions on sales and use relating to neonicotinoid pesticides.

The bill was filed and referred to the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee where it awaits a vote. 

Increase Your Business Opportunities; Update your Find a Pro Listing Today
To update your company's service area, please follow the steps below:
  1. Log on to the Manage My Group area of the NPMA websitePlease note: in order to access the "Manage My Group" area of the NPMA website, you must be a company administrator. 
  1. Click on "Company Information" from the drop down menu.
  1. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find the Service Area section.
    1. Download the excel template found on this page.
    2. Update this template to include all of the zip codes that you service.
    3. Save the file on your computer.
    4. In the Service Area section click Choose File.  Locate the excel template file that you just saved. Click open.
    5. Click Upload file.
Once you've completed these steps your service on Find-a-Pro is instantly updated to include these new zip codes. 
If you are having problems accessing please contact NPMA at (703) 352-6762 or npma@pestworld.org.

Articles of Interest

09-29-2017 Ag Department, Penn State seek public input on state Pollinator Protection Plan
  (Press Release)

09-26-2017 Spotted lanternfly quarantine expands in Bucks, Montgomery counties
The state's Department of Agriculture has added 26 municipalities in southeastern Pennsylvania to the spotted lanternfly quarantine already in effect in the region. The invasive species has been confirmed in municipalities in Berks, Bucks, Chester, Lehigh, Montgomery and Northampton counties where a quarantine was... - Levittown Bucks County Courier Times

09-25-2017 Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine Expands in Six Southeastern PA Counties
  (Press Release)

09-20-2017 Chemical Industry Ally Faces Critics in Bid for Top E.P.A. Post
WASHINGTON - The scientist nominated to head the federal government's chemical regulatory program has spent much of his career helping businesses fight restrictions on the use of potentially toxic compounds in consumer goods. That record is expected to figure prominently in a Senate confirmation... - New York Times

09-11-2017 The Health 202: Mosquitoes, carbon monoxide and chemicals are big post-Irma health concerns
Today's Prognosis is by Sandhya Somashekhar. Paige will be back later this week. Long after the waters have receded, Americans will be grappling with the effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which broke records and ruined lives as they wreaked havoc on the United States and the Caribbean.... - Washington Post