Search This Blog

De Omnibus Dubitandum - Lux Veritas

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Pillars of IPM: Part IV

By Rich Kozlovich

Originally published Friday, March 11, 2011, updated March 28, 2016

The pillars that hold up the structure of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in structural pest control are arrogance, deceit, deception, ideology, lies, ignorance, scare tactics and its foundation is the Precautionary Principle; the bulwark of junk science.

The predictions and scares thrown up by the environmental movement has become conventional wisdom by repetition, yet have proven false by time. That's the trouble with conventional wisdom.  Conventional wisdom is merely what everyone believes at the moment, and may be as fleeting as the latest ladies fashion.  To become traditional wisdom it still must face the march of time. 

Unfortunately, these philosophical flavors of the day have left devastation in their wake in so many countries around the world.

From Malthus to Paul Ehrlich (look them up) they almost have a monopoly on being wrong. So why do we so readily accept their scare mongering? The goal for those who wish to implement IPM as a separate, practical pest control concept is the elimination of pesticides. I seem to have to repeat this over and over because so many claim this isn’t true, which makes me wonder what planet they are living on. If we are to eliminate all of these products that have been so effective and beneficial to mankind we had better ask three questions.  (I am paraphrasing these questions from comments made by Thomas Sowell. RK)
1. IPM or green pest control is better as opposed to what? If bed bugs are any indicator, IPM is an abject failure as opposed to using effective, inexpensive, easy to use chemistry available to everyone.
2. How much will it cost? Once again. If bed bugs are the touchstone we are to use. IPM is an abject failure.  
3. What hard evidence is there? The reality is most of what the EPA promotes is based on “risk assumptions”, not actual science.
If the environmentalists truly are concerned about people’s health, why aren’t they taking stands to support DDT? Why aren’t they supporting genetically modified foods such as “Golden Rice”? Golden Rice is a genetically enhanced product that would bring much needed Vitamin A into the diets of the children in Asia and Africa. This one item alone would prevent 500,000 children from going blind every year. Americans have been using genetically modified (GM) foods for years without any adverse effects. Yet, well-fed activists living in industrialized countries blocked aid in the form of corn that is GM to starving people in Africa between the years 2002 and 2004. This action alone caused the deaths of thousands. Then again, is it possible this is exactly what they want?

If they really are concerned about indoor air quality, why aren’t they supporting power plants in Africa so those poor people won’t have to breathe the fumes of cooking fires made from dried dung and the resulting respiratory problems?

They are against chlorine in drinking water. What is the result of such thinking? Thousands died and tens of thousands were sickened when environmental activists convinced South American leaders to eliminate chlorine from their water supplies.

They oppose every one of these advancements, and as a result afflictions, disease and starvation in Africa, South America and South East Asia is rampant and devastating to these poor countries. So few resources are spent on so many problems that could easily be fixed with modern agricultural techniques, modern chemistry and modern technology! Who is to answer for all of the misery, squalor, diseases and deaths in the third world as a result of environmentalist policies?

It would seem to me that those that have supported and fought against all of the above items, including DDT, are guilty of crimes against humanity. At the very least they surely must be guilty of depraved indifference. Are these the people we are to listen to? They talk about theoretical risks while real devastation is taking place. Do they really care about the health and safety of our families or is all of the just a ploy to rid us of the tools needed to keep our society from becoming the nightmare that the third world has become?

However, I have to ask this. Let us suppose this isn’t a ploy, and let us assume that they really do care so much about us and our families - then we have to ask - why do they hate the families of third world so badly?

Do environmentalists really believe they have created an environmental paradise in the third world with the policies they promote? If that is the case, why haven’t they moved there instead of continuing to stay in this environmental horror of well-fed comfort, economic advancement and chemical technology known as the western world? The real question we have to ask ourselves is this - who are the real killers here, pesticide manufacturers and applicators or environmental activists?

If IPM gains traction with consumers it will be because the environmental movement and their junk science allies have undermined all that we have done for the last 70 years. This will have been accomplished by consistently ignoring the actual science in preference of junk science by the activists, regulators, media, society as a whole and our own industry. We must begin to immediately recognize that any pest control concept called anything other than pest control diminishes us and what we do as an industry and is in reality an attack on our industry.

What we do is more important than some indefinable concept called IPM. In the real world of pest control we protect children, we protect homes, we protect food. We are on the front line of defense for the health and safety of the people of the world. We save lives! We are part and parcel of the public health service that stands on the wall and says to the world - no one will harm you on my watch! What we do isn’t just a job - it is a mission, and we can’t carry out that mission without preventative and corrective applications of pesticides.

I'm often told by pest controllers who've taken upbrage with my position how they use the tools and techniques of IPM daily to protect homes, people and food stuffs.  I've made this same statement to them for years:  You use the tools and techniques of IPM!  Really?  Name one!

I'm not opposed to these so-called tools and techniques they claim they're using because these tools and techniques are what we have preached and practiced in structrual pest control for 150 years. The names of those tools have changed, but the tools are the same. Liquids, powders, baits, traps cleaning up debris and trash, sealing up access and harborage areas, drying up wet areas along with trapping and netting. These tools and techniques are over 150 years old, and newspaper clippings going back to 1850 prove that. Just because we have added some new products such as IGR’s and some new baits doesn’t make it some kind of brand new thing called IPM. It’s still just pest control.

The very idea of calling pest control anything but pest control is what I am opposed to. Words mean things and meanings have consequences. They provide the basis for ideas and concepts, including bad ones that can become pathways to unforeseen disasters. Words create ideologies. Junk science ideologies can only survive if they are fed by demagoguery. “IPM is an ideology, not a methodology.”

In summary, I object to using the term IPM, which needs to be eliminated from the lexicon of pest control terms. I object to attempting to create something outside of traditional pest control called something other than pest control. Something, which can't be defined and will ultimately be used against our industry because someone says, “I don’t buy it”.

I object to concept without form. I object to philosophical flavors of the day. I object to change for change sake. I object to the condescending arrogance of those caterwauling about IPM. But mostly, I object to the decisions made or influenced by the leaders and IPM harpies of our industry who then move on leaving the rest of us, and the companies we leave to our children, to live with the outcome.

Lastly, we need open and public debates regarding IPM. Let those that have views on this subject stand up against each other in a public forum and take their best shot before an audience of stakeholders. Let the manufacturers, distributors and applicators get a good look at what is presented and then finally after all has been said and done, let the industry decide if there really is a logical foundation for such a thing as IPM in structural pest control, and then decide what to do about it.   I would love to see the NPMA, the trade journals, the distributors and manufacturers sponser such an event. And I'm prepared to publically debate anyone in our industry who disagrees with me on any of this, irrespective of position or education.  

Final thoughts to ponder.

When the leaders of the environmental movement make misanthropic comments about humanity being a virus, and how the Earth is better off without mankind supporting every misanthropic, irrational and morally defective policy leading to that end - we should ask ourselves:  Why do we believe them when they say what they do is  “For the Children”? 

To see the truth we need to see the historical outcome of their policies (Starting with the unscientific and unappropriate ban on DDT) which has probably killed more innocent people than Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pot Pot and Castro combined.   Once we've done our homework, then and only then can we see their policies don't do things "For the Children".  Their policies do things "To the Children"!

This is the final part in this series - but it's not the final word.  "Walk toward the fire. Don’t worry about what they call you. All those things are said against you because they want to stop you in your tracks. But if you keep going, you’re sending a message to people who are rooting for you, who are agreeing with you. The message is that they can do it, too." -- Andrew Breitbart

The Pillars of IPM: Part I
The Pillars of IPM: Part II
The Pillars of IPM: Part III

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Pillars of IPM: Part III

By Rich Kozlovich

(Originally published March 10, 2011 updated March 18, 2016)

The pillars that hold up the structure of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in structural pest control are arrogance, deceit, deception, ideology, lies, ignorance, scare tactics and its foundation is the Precautionary Principle; the bulwark of junk science.

Why IPM?

"We all know what IPM is" - or - "We all know what Green means." Really? The reality is that there is “no universally accepted definition of the IPM and Green phenomena in structural pest control, there is no consensus as to their range, their ideological origins, or the modalities of action which characterize them.” –(Paraphrased statement by Stanley G,. Payne in the book Dictionnaire historique des fascisms et du nazisme as cited and quoted in Jonah Goldberg's book Liberal Fascism, which I recommed everyone read.)

I’m told IPM is obviously necessary.

If IPM is so obviously necessary, why has the EPA spent untold thousands of dollars on grant money to promote it at the local level? If they have the science to support their views on IPM, why do they need to promote it? They certainly have the regulatory power to impose it, and it should be obvious to the most casual observer that they certainly have the desire to impose it - why then don’t they just impose it? It's simply because they lack the science to support such an action!

The public is demanding it.

Once again, if that's the case why does it have to be promoted? A number of years ago we at the Greater Cleveland Pest Control Association we spent a great deal of time organizing training programs that included people from outside of the pest control industry. A few years back we started a training program for the public health departments from around the state hoping for a better understanding between us we called, the Forum on Pest Control and Public Health, and we invited PCO’s and public health officials from all over the state. We started small with local county health department. The first one was about 10 years ago, and was intended to expand their understanding of what new techniques and tools were being used in modern pest control.

After the program was over I asked a senior member if they enjoyed the program. Her affirmative response was tempered by one objection. She said I needed to be careful about using “jargon”. Surprised by her statement I asked - what jargon? Her response - “IPM”. At that time none of the rest of them had ever heard of it. We went to the officials of local school districts informing them that there may be changes coming down from the state regulators regarding pest control. When IPM was mentioned, their response was universal. What’s IPM?

If the public is demanding it, why is it that so many knowledgeable educated intelligent people had never heard of it and had no idea what it was supposed to be?

So why did IPM have to be promoted?

That's an easy question to answer. It turned out people weren’t demanding it after all because they never heard of it. So in order to get people to actually start demanding it, EPA had to promote it. After all, how could anyone demand something they had never heard of?

Interestingly, many companies servicing schools in Ohio had been years in advance of the other states. In point of fact, I was working for the company that started what may have been the first IPM school program in Ohio over 25 years ago. When I told that to one EPA official he stated, “that was before anyone ever heard of it”.

If IPM gains traction with consumers it will be because the environmental movement - along with their junk scientific allies in government - undermined all that we have done for the good of humanity for the last 70 years by consistently ignoring actual science in preference of demagogic junk science.

We have a more professional image.

Baloney! The movie Arachnophobia is often thrown up as an example of how people view our industry. By Hollywood maybe, but real people who saw the movie viewed this as a caricature of who and what we are - not the substance or the reality. We are thought of as professionals when we do our jobs and get rid of their pests. Period!

IPM is more effective than traditional pest control.

One of Dr. Marc Lame’s (well know entomologist and promoter of IMP) favorite lines is - IPM is proactive while traditional pest control is reactive. What a load of horse pucky! Pest control, no matter what you call it, is now and has always be proactive and reactive, and calling it IPM doesn’t change that.

By attempting to create something called IPM for structural pest control versus traditional pest control we have created an attitude that one is different from the other. One is superior to the other. Worse yet, the impression is given that IPM’ers are good and forward thinking  and all others are bad and backward thinking.


IPM is just pest control. Let's come back to the basics once again. Do we really believe that what we have been doing for the last 70 years has harmed the public? Or do we believe the structural pest control industry been part of the finest public health program the world has ever seen through our use of pesticides? Ask third world nations where every family has lost someone to malaria or one of the other many insect borne diseases where they would rather live?

Pesticides are our friend, they don’t cause cancer, they don’t cause asthma, they don’t cause autism and they aren’t endocrine disruptors. However, they do cause more and more people to live longer, healthier, better fed lives than ever in human history.  Pesticides are a weapon of mass survival!

At the end of WWII the world’s population was approximately two billion people, and it took thousands of years to get there. The world’s population is now seven billion people and that was accomplished in less than seventy five years. Of course modern medicine played a large role, but the greatest boon to humanity was the development of DDT, and all the modern pesticides since. With all its marvelous medical advancements there is one thing modern medicine will never conquer: starvation! That is the function of pesticides, along with genetically modified organisms, all of which are vehemently hated by green activists.

IPM is the great divider for the pest control industry. If the idea that IPM is something other than pest control then we can easily accept the idea of eliminating pesticides. The fact is the only ones who actually have a clear understanding as to what IPM really means are the environmentalists. They know IPM as the best tool they have to promote the eventual elimination of pesticides and the destruction of pesticide manufacturing and application industries.

In past years activists along with local politicians worked to eliminate preemption laws in at least five Midwestern states in order to affect the same kind of result as had taken root in Canada. They're still working toward that goal. Their primary tool to attain this goal is the promotion of IPM. Through training seminars for school executives and maintenance personnel along with the concerned local populace they present the same theme.

IPM is the alternative to pesticides and pesticides are killing us.

Why then are we trying to find common ground to please these people? If we accept IPM in one form they will demand more restrictions in another form. The only way that we could truly please these anti-pesticide activists was if we all collectively committed suicide. If pesticides are so evil, and going back to nature is so wonderful- why aren't anti-pesticide activist moving to those third world lands where few pesticides are used instead of staying in here in first world nations filled with evil chemicals?

There are those who subscribe to these false assumptions about modern life - which apparently activists claim, and supposedly believe, are killing all of us.  If someone feels so strongly that a modern, industrial, synthetic chemical rich society is a living hell, I can recommend a number of countries that would be an environmentalist's equivalent of paradise. Of course the water is contaminated, parasites are rampant, insect transmitted diseases are the rule versus the exception, the life span is really short, child mortality is staggeringly high, and the quality of life is one of misery and poverty. However, if dystopia is someone's understanding of paradise, they need to go there, take their family with them and leave the rest of us alone. 

Health concerns.

Okay, what health concerns? Cancer, asthma or is it that old saw, “we don’t know the long term effects”? The rate of cancer in children has not increased.  According to the book “Are Children More Vulnerable to Environmental Chemicals?” in 1938 the number deaths to childhood cancer was 939 of children under 14 in a base population of 130 million or 1 out of every 138,445. This was during the depression and I doubt if diagnostic, reporting or record keeping techniques were nearly as good as it is now. In 1998 the number was approximately 1700 in a base population of 280 million or 1 out of every 164,705.

The rate of cancer has dropped for the rest of the population also. If you were to lay out the demographic for cancer in 1900 and create a plastic overlay with the cancer demographics for the year 2000 you would find two obvious differences. In 1900 there were very few smokers and very few people who lived over 65. If you take those two demographics out of the equation you would find that the drop in cancer would be startlingly greater.

The latest information regarding asthma is the terrible effect that cockroaches have on asthmatics. Well, pesticides eliminate cockroaches which has the uncanny result of seriously reducing asthma. There has never been a scientific study that has linked pesticides and asthma. However, according to Ohio State University these are some of the asthma triggers they do know about;

“pollen, mold, animal, protein (dander, urine, oil from skin) house dust/dust mites, cockroaches and certain foods. Infections can cause irritation of the airways, nose, throat, lungs, and sinuses, and may precede an asthma attack strong odors and sprays, such as perfumes, household cleaners, cooking fumes, paints, and varnishes chemicals such as coal, chalk dust, or talcum powder air pollutants changing weather conditions, including changes in temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, and strong winds. Chemical exposure on the job, such as occupational vapors, dust, gases, or fumes. Medications, such as aspirin and sulfites, cause up to 20 percent of adult asthmatic attacks as a result of sensitivities or allergies to them. These medications often include: aspirin, other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, indomethacin, naproxen and sulfites used as preservatives in food and beverage.”

With this many asthma triggers how can anyone know the real cause of asthma? In point of fact, they don’t have a clue as to what really causes asthma.

“We don’t know the long-term effects.” Sure we do. We live longer, healthier and happier lives. I saw an Oprah Winfrey show where she and a friend went to one of those places where modern families decided to live as they did 200 or 300 years ago. Flies were swarming everywhere. Eating dinner was like living next to a garbage can in the middle of August. How much would you be willing to bet if she actually had to live there for a month she would have paid me a million dollars for an aerosol can of fly spray - and she wouldn’t have cared what was in it.

In spite of the latest CDC and JAMA reports (whose methodology must be seriously called into question) there is no justification that we need to eliminate pesticides from the schools. This is made clear by JAMA’s authors of the report own admission:

“Given both the nonspecificity of the clinical findings of pesticide poisoning and the lack of a standard diagnostic test, some illnesses temporally related to pesticide exposures may be coincidental and not caused by these exposures."

The number of alleged pesticide incidents (1,972 alleged injuries occurred over a five year period) only three were considered serious and only a total of 13 percent were reported by medical professionals. The rest were by family members or others who would have no way of knowing whether it was pesticides or not. This is miniscule compared to the 3.7 million children that suffer some sort of significant injury to factors other than pesticides every year in schools. Actually, about 445 times greater than the alleged rate for pesticide incidents.

These reports are unworthy of even being mentioned when weighed against the childhood deaths worldwide as a result on not using pesticides. No mention was made of the important health benefits pesticides provide to children. Benefits that are not available in most parts of the world. Places where they would love to be able to apply these life saving products. The fact is when used properly pesticides are perfectly safe.

Who decided we needed something called IPM?

The environmentalists and their allies in government along with the universities who are desperate for government grant money. The most sure fire way to get grant money is to promote IPM. There was a time when the university extension departments were filled with pesticide users, pesticide believers and some were even pesticide patent holders. That appears to have changed. They retired and were replaced with those who are infused with the “litany” of the environmental movement. Grant money and environmental indoctrination has made many of them true believers. It would be interesting to see how the universities would react if the only grant money available was for the purpose of proving IPM doesn’t exist. They would do an about face so fast you would swear that they were the color guard in a military parade.

I’m told we can't challenge those in academia. They are educated, intelligent and have done the research! This is an attitude of "We know best so don’t question us!" Isn’t that the Dan Rather defense?

Make no mistake about it - those who promote IPM in our industry diminish us with an arrogant self-righteous attitude - looking down on anyone disagreeing with them. They, like the environmentalists, have become a bunch of “self perpetuating head nodders ”  sitting and discussing what is right for our industry in an “echo chamber of self congratulations”.

Where is the evidence that we need to seriously alter what we have been doing? Where are the serious health problems? Where is the devastation of wild life that would make this an automatic?

I’m not talking about fanciful opinions. Opinions are not facts. If we accept the term IPM as part of the lexicon of pest control terms then this must eventually replace the term “pest control” and we have to accept the idea that what we have been doing for the last 70 years has been detrimental to humanity and has devastated wildlife. Do we really believe that?

Why do we as an industry so readily accept this nonsense? We're accept it as an industry because we are uninformed, ill informed and complacent! For an industry that is so heavily involved with science we are terribly unaware of much of what we need to know. Dr. John Ray, PHD in psychology, former university sociology teacher made the following observation. “If the many past mistakes and follies of science were better known, people would be much less likely to accept uncritically the pronouncements about environmental matters coming from scientists.”

I recommend the following books.

  1. Are Children More Vulnerable to Environmental Chemicals? (American Council on Science and Health)
  2. Eco-Imperialism, Green Power Black Death, by Paul Driessen
  3. Junk Science Judo by Steven Milloy, Junk
  4. The Skeptical Environmentalist by Bjorn Lomborg, a former environmental activist who has turned against the environmental movement.
  5. Facts Versus Fears (American Council on Science and Health)
  6. America's War on Carcinogens: Reassessing the Use of Animal Tests to Predict Human Cancer Risk . (American Council on Science and Health)

    Part IV will follow.

    The Pillars of IPM: Part I
    The Pillars of IPM: Part II

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Pillars of IPM: Part II

By Rich Kozlovich

Originally published Saturday, March 5, 2011 updated March 8, 2016

The pillars that hold up the structure of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in structural pest control are arrogance, deceit, deception, ideology, lies, ignorance, scare tactics and its foundation is the Precautionary Principle; the bulwark of junk science.

What is IPM?

What actually is Integrated Pest Management? That is a constant bone of contention in the structural pest control industry, the universities and the anti-pesticide movement.

IPM started out as an agricultural concept which was first outlined in an obscure agricultural magazine called Hilgardia in 1959. In agriculture there's no problem defining IPM. They knew they couldn’t eradicate all of the pests in fields no matter how many times the fields were treated. Therefore, instead of over spraying and only getting marginally better results - which didn’t justify the added costs - it was decided to develop threshold limits that would apply before making pesticide applications. Therefore the logical foundation for IPM is based on threshold limits. A certain about of pests do a certain amount of damage. Once the threshold for damage occurs it will become economically practical to apply pesticides. That is a simple, logical, and scientific foundation for IPM in agriculture, which I am told isn’t really practiced in agriculture because of the cost of determining what the threshold limit actually is.

The way it works is this. Fields are divided into grids; so you measure down so many feet and shake off all the bugs into a container and then count them. Then you repeat this process over and over again. Usually it is some poor graduate student who is doing this hot, sweaty, rotten job. To have real workers doing it is expensive throughout a growing season. That is the logical foundation for the whole concept in agriculture; threshold limits based on economics.

Let me say this unequivocally, emphatically and absolutely. There is no logical or scientific foundation for such thing as IPM in structural pest control. What is the threshold limit for brown recluse spiders in someone’s home? Is it 10, 20 or maybe it's 100? I would be willing to bet the owner thinks it's zero.

In the 1960’s a minor government bureaucrat (in an attempt to categorize what we do) applied the term IPM to the structural pest control industry and it stuck. Based on the definitions by various government agencies it basically states the applicator has the right to use his judgment as to what to use and when. If that really is the case, then who has the right to determine what constitutes IPM otherwise?

IPM as the greenies would have it is an ethereal concept that is indefinable - or if you prefer - it is unendingly definable and re-definable according to your point of view, ideology or by just whimsically saying, “I don’t buy it” therefore it isn’t IPM. They advocate such mystical concepts as "Real IPM", or "Deep IPM" and “least toxic”.   That may sound reasonable, but what constitutes real, deep or least toxic?

If we use the most efficacious product available to us one time to rid a home of pests - would that be considered "least toxic" versus use of a less efficacious product two, three, four or even ten times?  Which would be "least toxic", and to whom? Who decides that?

Since they also want pesticides to be used as a last resort, the logical question should be - In the meanwhile what should be done? Should I have to use less effective measures? And if I do, for how long should I continue failing my customers with those methods?  One day, one week, one month, one year?  Who decides?  Who’s going to pay for it? What about the customers needs and wants? Shouldn't they have the most effective treatment available for the health and saftey of their families or employees? If I have to make unnecessary trips to document that these pre-pesticide methods aren’t working, should the customer have to pay these extra unncessary charges in order for activists and bureaucrats to feel good about themselves? If I already know that a pesticide is what I am ultimately going to have to use to rid a property of vermin, why should that be my last choice?  I will address the issues about health concerns later.

In reality the problem with IPM definitions by the greenies is similar to their “nebulous” definition of the Precautionary Principle (PP). This can make practical application nebulous. This in turn allows for arbitrary and capricious charges of misapplication, which is exactly what they want. Because of pressure from the EPA many states have had to create their own definitions therefore establishing the idea that IPM is real in our industry. No matter the science, if the state says it exists - it exists!  At least on paper, and must be dealt with.

I had the privilege of being a part of that activity in Ohio, but make no mistake about this - IPM does not exist in structural pest control. It exists only because the government says it exists. Why? Why do they insist on the existence of something that has no simple, clear, logical or scientific foundation? I will address that later.

For a long time I kept hearing the phrase, “We need to get ahead of this and define IPM ourselves!" Baloney! Our goal should not have been to help define IPM in structural pest control - we should have worked unendingly to remove this agricultural term from the lexicon of structural pest control terms. To accept IPM as a valid structural pest control term is saying that this is a valid procedure that's something different, better, safer and more enlightened than traditional pest control. There is no way of getting ahead of this Trojan horse, and IPM is a Trojan horse to the pest control industry.  And please remember - it was the Trojan’s, not the Greeks, who dragged that horse into Troy to their destruction. That account may be mythical, but we are facing that reality in our industry by dragging IPM into the pest control community. What will the result be?

IPM is an ideology, not a methodology, but before we further explore all the aspects of IPM we need to define what pest control is. Pest control isn’t a methodology either; it is a practice, much like medicine.

In medicine the doctor (practitioner) examines the patient. In pest control the technician (practitioner) inspects the property. In medicine the practitioner makes a diagnosis. In pest control the practitioner identifies the pest. In medicine the practitioner determines the treatment that will give the quickest most efficacious relief possible. In pest control the practitioner determines the treatment that will give the quickest most efficacious relief possible. In medicine the practitioner outlines a program of preventative health care. In pest control the practitioner outlines a program of preventative applications.

Here is the rub. Does the doctor go through a list of techniques or products before he prescribes the one that will work the best? NO! Does the doctor start his treatment process by “bleeding” his patients or sticking leeches on their bodies before moving on to more effective methods? NO! Yet those promoting IPM continue to demand that a whole host of hoops be jumped through before a pesticide application is made, insisting that pesticides are to be used only as a last resort. Even the EPA doesn't officially define IPM in that fashion. Are we to first resort to old techniques that became passé when pesticides were developed? If those techniques were so great why did they abandon them for modern pest control in the first place?

Why should an experienced practitioner have to follow a circuitous plan outlined by people who will do or say anything to eliminate pesticides? People who aren’t practitioners of pest control and aren’t responsible for the outcome! Do we really believe activists and their acolytes in government know how to treat a structure better than those in pest control? Do we really believe that all the theoretical health claims made by these people are true? Do we believe that everything we have been doing since the advent of DDT for over seventy years ago has been wrong?

What chemicals and techniques used in our industry constitute IPM? All of them! What happens when the baits stop working? The bulb dusters, the mechanical aerosols, aerosol cans, and liquid pesticides all start coming out of the truck. Those are all IPM tools. The techniques for their use are all IPM techniques also. So why is IPM different than what's commonly referred to as conventional pest control?  A few years ago I was informed the number one and two products sold in this country are liquid pesticides. Someone out there must be spraying something!

Are we getting the message here?

IPM is pest control and needs no other term to define it.  Unless there are hidden goals that are leading to something else by those with hidden agendas. 

Let’s try to keep this in mind. Every concept, every scientific advancement, every social issue, every economic activity has to have some logical foundation to justify its existence or it fails because without a logical foundation it can't grow into something that bears fruit. If there is no logical foundation for a concept, it doesn’t exist. 

There is no such logical foundation for IPM in structural pest control and it doesn't exist!

Part III will soon follow!

The Pillars of IPM, Part I

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Pillars of IPM, Part I

By Rich Kozlovich

Originally published Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The pillars that hold up the structure of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in structural pest control are arrogance, deceit, deception, ideology, lies, ignorance, bullying scare tactics and its foundation is the Precautionary Principle; the latest bulwark of junk science.

The Precautionary Principle, which is outlined in this manner; “When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically”, places a demand on industry that is simply irrational. Commonly known as the “better safe than sorry” principle it imposed this value; “If you can’t prove its safe you can’t use it.” Who could be against that? So then what is so irrational about it?

A Precautionary principle sounds logical on the surface, but the reality is this:  “The alternative fringe has embraced a trendy catchphrase:  "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."  It's cute, it sounds impressively philosophical, and, technically, it actually is true. But it can be deceptive, misinterpreted, and misused. The alternative fringe, which interprets lack of evidence as positive support, in effect expands the slogan to mean: "Absence of evidence is evidence of presence."  And the peddler of homeopathic nostrums (water imagined to contain a healing "magnetic resonance" of substances that were diluted in it) has it thus: "Absence of presence is evidence of evidence."

“But, as a practical matter, is it really true that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence? And is the slogan useful in critical scientific thinking? The slogan simply reminds us that we cannot prove a negative, that we can never be 100% sure of anything.”

(Editors note: If you follow the link you will see the article, “Absence of Evidence – Evidence of Absence?”, by Dr. Marvin J. Schissel. I highly recommend reading both of the comments. I believe they are as enlightening to the reader as to what constitutes real science as the article)
When you aren’t sure if something might cause harm, be careful and don’t do anything that could be dangerous, especially to anything really important like human lives, the environment and so on. It also seems like it would not be a new or revolutionary concept. However, the Precautionary Principle is really a lot more extreme and a lot less common sense than one might think.  

"Safety advocates who say that we shouldn't take chances, but should ban things that might be unsafe, don't seem to understand that if we banned every food to which somebody had an allergy we could all starve to death. -Thomas Sowell

The problem is the practical definitions of what do you accept as “proof” of safety and what constitutes ‘safe’. This makes the practical applications of it nebulous. This allowed for Arbitrary and Capricious decisions by European Union courts, “demonstrating that the precautionary principle has been inconsistently applied in at least 60 court decisions. By failing to provide a consistent application of the precautionary principle, it has generally been applied in an unreasonable and often unpredictable manner. ‘The principle can only remain politically viable while it remains nebulous.” That is its strength and its danger. That is the strength of the greenies demand for IPM and the very real danger of accepting IPM as a valid concept for structural pest control. First of all, in science, nothing is safe because at some level everything will reach an unacceptable risk level. That automatically creates a paradox for any practical application of a product and a potential for nebulous judicial rulings, which is what occurred in Europe.

Secondly, demanding that you have to prove it is safe in order to use a product is scientifically and physically impossible. It is called proving a negative; and the greenies know it! It’s like asking someone if they are cheating on their wife, and when they say “no” you say, “I don’t believe you, prove it”. You can’t prove someone isn’t cheating, you can only prove someone is cheating. The same principle applies to products, you can only prove what things do, not what they don’t do.

At best the Precautionary Principle is circular reasoning, i.e. don’t do anything because something bad might happen. Well then, what do we do when bad things happen because we did nothing? Surely that should be part of the equation! Unfortunately, the greenies never apply it that way and would be outraged if that became applicable. The Precautionary Principle as the greenies would apply it would forever prevent any progress in science whatsoever.

Application of this principle would forever end all of the practical benefits from scientific research, including health benefits. After all, we know that pharmaceuticals have side effects, sometimes very serious side effects, and we absolutely know that electricity isn’t safe. Edison could have never electrified the world if the Precautionary Principle had been in effect during that time.

In fact, the word safe can be used and misused in so many ways that it would become almost indefinable under the principles outlined in the Precautionary Principle. If it were up to these people we would still be using candles to light our homes, at least until someone noted that soot emanated from the candles and then demand that candles be banned also. The  Precautionary Principle is one of the great scams of our time and will eventually die of its own weight, but who knows what damage the greenies will have wrought before that happens.

To understand why I say these things it is necessary to lay some groundwork and go back to days of yesteryear in the pest control industry. Although pest control has a long history, the beginnings of modern pest control are traceable back to the 1850’s, however it never really took off, or was all that effective, until the advent of DDT. DDT was considered “the” silver bullet and was credited with saving the lives of hundreds of millions of people. That changed with Silent Spring.

Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring first appeared as installments in the New Yorker magazine vilifying DDT, and had never been peer reviewed before being published. Two years later she died from breast cancer, not living to see real scientists using real science shred her information.
Everything she predicted about DDT was wrong and a great deal of what she presented as evidence was equally wrong and in at least one case she knowingly misrepresented the facts. Although she never called for the ban on DDT; from her work banning DDT was the only rational conclusion you could draw; provided you believed her.

It is unfortunate that the Precautionary Principle was never applied when it came to the DDT ban. Since 1972 the number of unnecessary cases of malaria totaled over 13 billion, with up to 100 million (this number varies from 30 million to 100 million depending on who you read, but even at 30 million it is certainly an argument for genocide and should fill decent people with righteous indignation) of them dying, mostly children. Many of the surviving children suffer permanent brain damage. This doesn’t count the other unnecessary diseases, afflictions and vermin people in the third world have to tolerate because of the ban, along with the long term economic and social impact on those societies. While it is true that the ban on DDT has never been legally universal, the economic pressure that first world countries put on third world countries made it a de facto ban for all but a few.

In February of 1970 then President Nixon stated in a speech that he had taken steps to eliminate DDT. He then formed EPA in December of that same year, nine months after his original declaration. Seemingly, with his marching orders in place, the first director of EPA William Ruckelshaus, an environmental activist, banned DDT in December of 1972 in spite of the fact that a federal magistrate ruled that there was no evidence to support claims against DDT, overturning any and all rulings that preceded his.

Ruckelshaus admitted two years later that the decision was based on political considerations, not science. EPA has been a virtual lava flow of scientifically dubious regulations ever since. The fact of the matter is that almost everything everyone “knows” about DDT is a lie. Ever since that very successful effort by the environmentalists the pattern has been the same.

Madeleine Pelner Cosman, Ph.D. notes that there are seven steps to this process and usually follow this pattern:

1. Create a "scientific" study that predicts a public health disaster
2. Release the study to the media, before scientists can review it
3. Generate an intense emotional public reaction
4. Develop a government-enforced solution
5. Intimidate Congress into passing it into law
6. Coerce manufacturers to stop making the product
7. Bully users to replace it, or obliterate it

The book, “Our Stolen Future: Are We Threatening Our Fertility, Intelligence and Survival? — A Scientific Detective Story” based on work out of Tulane University implicated pesticides and other chemicals as endocrine disruptors. EPA pesticide chief Lynn Goldman under then director of EPA Carol Browner stated; "I was astounded by the findings…..I just can't remember a time where I've seen data so persuasive … The results are very clean looking."

This information had not yet been peer reviewed and when it was it was, no one could duplicate the results. Tulane eventually pulled the study and later it was found that someone had not been entirely honest with the data. It turned out to be another fraudulent study that was a conclusion in search of data. Furthermore, and I find this probably the most distressing part of this saga, unless the Food Quality Protection Act has recently been changed endocrine disruption regulations continue to be a part of FQPA with this study playing a direct part in that regulation. Once this kind of fraud becomes ensconced in regulations it remains an unnecessary unrelenting drain on society.

I think this lays enough groundwork to start discussing important points and ask the appropriate questions.

Part II will follow.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Who Reads Blogs? Does It Matter?

By Rich Kozlovich

Originally published Feb 24, 2015, updated Mar 3, 2016.

For the most part – I don’t have a clue who reads my blog, but I do believe many of my regular readers are what’s called “Quality Readers”.  One of my daily readers is a retired geologist from Canada who tells me he starts his daily news search with Paradigms and Demographics.  Another is a retired scientist in Texas who not only reads my blog weekly, he cuts, pastes and sends my articles out to his net.  Another regular reader is a prominent retired attorney in Oregon and there are two science writers – one in the Netherlands and one in Great Britain. All of them would qualify as “quality readers”, don't you think?  Otherwise, I only know how many hits I get, but stats aren’t the only defining criteria for the worth of a blog. 

Many years ago when I started blogging I intended for it to be a “green only” blog focusing on the pest control industry, and I was getting about 2000 hits a month, which is nothing I admit, but I was pleased.  However, as the years went by I realized it was impossible to fully discuss the green movement, what they do and why they do it, without linking them with the left and leftist thinking.   In 2012 I expanded the content deciding Paradigms and Demographics should be a “pro-humanity” blog, which by definition made it an anti-green and anti-left blog.  I starting getting around 5000 hits a month, and I was very pleased, although I admit that’s not much of a big deal either, but the hits were coming from all over the world. 

In the last three years the numbers started going up until at one point I was getting 30,000 hits a month.  The all time top ten countries being United States, Germany, Russia, France, Ukraine, China, Bulgaria, United Kingdom, Canada and Ireland.  On any given week I may see different countries taking a spot in the top ten.  I find that usually occurs when there are severe internal problems in those countries.  My monthly count has dropped and is bouncing between 15,000 and 20,000 a month but in January of 2015 the total number of hits went over 500,000, and if China and Russia was still hitting my blog as they were 18 months ago, I would be bouncing between 25,000 and 30,000 again. Admittedly,  compared to many blogs that’s no big deal either, but I’m more than happy about that.  Especially since most of those hits occurred in the last three years!  I have to believe someone must be reading my blog!

One year Bulgaria took the lead over the U.S. for a month.  At that same time all the fracking articles I had linked were being massively hit.  Two weeks later there was a movement in Bulgaria to overturn the government’s policy on fracking.  The previous winter many Eastern Europeans froze to death due to a lack of energy because of efforts to curtail CO2 emissions to please Global Warming maniacs.   Did my blog have anything to do with that?  I have no idea, but I can only hope.

I’ve been told no one reads blogs, or at the best, it’s only read by “fringe” people.  I’m not sure I'm able to define “fringe” people, so I have no way of knowing who these “fringe” people are, so I thought it worthwhile to find out exactly who it is that reads blogs.  What kind of people they are, and what do they do.  Or perhaps it’s only bloggers who read other bloggers work.  Since there are 157 million blogs out there, that seems to me to represent a substantial number of people.  Can they all be “fringe” people?

Well, I decided to do some checking up on this.  First of all, let’s consider the issue of quality.  One blogger  asked, “would you rather have 1,000 Facebook friends or 10 real-life friends? Similarly, the people who visit our site can’t be measured solely on stats."

Are blog readers the hip, the hopeless and the penniless, or are they older, wealthier and ….here it comes….. are they professionals?  If they belong to the later group that makes them a “distinct, desirable and significant demographic”.  Don't you think?

The writer went on to say; Blogads surveyed 17,159 blog site visitors during a two-day period in May, inquiring about their age, income, media consumption, online spending habits and political affiliations. The survey learned that 61 percent of blog readers were more than 30 years old and nearly 40 percent of those surveyed have a household income of $90,000 or more. “  “Though one would think the younger generation would be perusing blogs day and night, 30 percent are between 31 and 40, while more than 37 percent are 41 to 60. Only 17 percent of blog readers fall between 25 and 30 years, while a mere 10.3 percent are 19 to 24-years old. The study found that nearly 80 percent of readers are male.”

So what is it that attracts these people?  Especially since we now know – absolutely know –these aren’t “fringe” people. It turns out nearly “80 percent read blogs because they offer news they can't find elsewhere. About 78 percent say blogs give them a better perspective, and about 66 percent say blogs provide them with news faster than other sites or media. The study found that blog readers are media hungry….” What happens when it’s a big political year?  There's far more traffic and that’s where people are even convinced to donate money. There’s a reason there are so many political ads appearing on blogs.   They can only work if they’re visited – a lot – and by “quality readers”. 

“Out of 66.7 percent of respondents who clicked on a blog ad, nearly 40 percent contributed money to a campaign or cause. About 63 percent contributed money online to campaign in the last six months. While 50 percent contributed more than $50, 27 percent gave between $100 and $499”…..and 50 percent have spent more than $50 online for books, 47 percent have spent more than $500 for plane tickets, and 25 percent bought between $100 to $499 worth of electronics on the Internet.”

So why is that important to our industry? The pesticide application industries are in an unending battle to defend ourselves against misinformation about pesticides because the public has been inundated with speculative claims and outright lies that pesticides cause every ailment they can think of.  Rachel Carson can be credited with starting this trend with her book Silent Spring, a virtual lava flow of speculation, misinformation and outright lies.

She starts out in Chapter One, A Fable for Tomorrow, saying:
“There was once a town in the heart of America where all life seemed to live in harmony with its surroundings.  The town lay in the midst of a checkerboard of prosperous farms, with fields of grain and hillsides of orchards were, in spring, white clouds of bloom drifted above the green fields.  In autumn, oak and maple and birch set u a blaze of color that flamed and flickered across a backdrop of pines.  Then foxes barked in the hills and deer silently crossed the fields, half hidden in the mists of the fall mornings."

"Along the roads, laurel, viburnum and alder, great ferns and wildflowers delighted the traveler’s eye through much of the year.  Even in winter the roadsides were places of beauty, where countless birds came to feed o berries and on the seed heads of the dried weeds rising above the snow.  The countryside was, in fact, famous for the abundance and variety of its bird life, and when the flood of migrants was pouring through in spring and fall people traveled from great distances to observe them.  Others came to fish the streams, which flowed clear and could out of the hills and contained shady pools where trout lay. So it had been from the days many years ago when the first settlers raised their houses, sand their wells, and built their barns."

"Then a strange blight crept over the area and everything began to change.Some evil spell had settled on the community: mysterious maladies swept the flocks of chickens the cattle and sheep sickened and died.  Everywhere was a shadow of death.  The farmers spoke of much illness among their families.  In the town the doctors had become more and more puzzled by new kinds of sickness appearing their patients.  There had been several sudden and unexplained deaths, not only among adults but ever among children, who would be stricken and suddenly while at play and die within a few hours."

"There was a strange stillness.  The birds, for example – where had the gone?  Many people spoke of them, puzzled and disturbed.  The feeding stations in the backyards were deserted.  The few birds seen anywhere were moribund; they trembled violently and could not fly.It was a spring without voices.On the mornings that had once throbbed with the dawn chorus of robins, catbirds, doves, jays, wrens, and scores of bird voices there was now no sound; only silence lay over the woods and marsh."

"On the farms the hens brooded, but no chicks hatched.  The farmers complained that they were unable to raise any pigs- the litters were small and the young survived only a few days.  The apple trees were coming into bloom but no bees droned among the blossoms, so there was no pollination and there would be no fruit."

"The roadsides, once so attractive, were now lined with browned and withered vegetation as though swept by fire.  These, too, were silent, deserted by all living things. Even the streams were now lifeless.  Anglers no longer visited them, for all the fish had died."

"In the gutters under the eaves and between the shingles of the roofs, a white granular power still showed a few patches; some weeks before it had fallen like snow upon the roofs and the lawns, the fields and streams."

"No witchcraft, no enemy action had silenced the rebirth of new life in this stricken world.  The people had done it themselves."
Where was this town?  She says it doesn’t exist!  And there's no evidence any such town ever existed, but she claims these are disasters that had actually happened "somewhere", which she fails to name.  But her writing was so emotionally powerful the public didn’t ask that question. In the process she managed to convince everyone DDT and other chemicals were going to afflict everyone with cancer.  Carson’s real legacy?  Mass death and misery, but she’s still touted as an environmental saint and a great scientist.  In short, she captured the world’s imagination with the written word!  And that’s where the real battle has to be fought.
"The public has been misled by an unholy alliance of environmental scaremongers, funds-seeking academics, sensation-seeking media, vote-seeking politicians and profit-seeking vested interests."- Viv Forbes
That can only be overcome with the written word.

Does anyone really think having organized visits to state and federal legislators is going to overcome the raw emotional appeal Carson's acolytes promote to the public? Although I support and believe in the importance of those efforts, those efforts must first have an intellectual and emotional foundation if we are to effectively stop unwarranted laws and regulations against pesticides.  Otherwise it will not matter how well our arguments are presented, how much science we have on our side, how much evidence we can present to support our side on these issues - it simply won’t matter if we cannot overcome these lies and get the public on our side.   And we will continue to lose safe and effective chemistry.

Until we can overcome the emotional - "it's for the children" - exhortations by these people and their allies in the media - we can’t win. They win the battle of emotion, they always have.  We win the battle of facts, we always have.  In order to win the war we must win the battle of emotion and the battle of facts. The blogosphere has now given us that ability, and that’s where I intend to concentrate my energies, and I wish our trade journals and trade associations would also because the people who read blogs are the ones who count!