Improve your pest management practices with the latest research. If you find anything new, we can share it here.
New glyphosate gel
The new glyphosate gel product is useful for treating individual problem weeds and the cut stumps of trees and shrubs that are likely to re-sprout. It’s a very convenient method of dealing with minor weed problems as you don’t have to mix up large quantities of spray when you only need a little bit. There are several brands and they are available from most garden centres and hardware stores.
New herbicide for pasture weeds
Tordon Gold was, for a long time, a popular herbicide for many pasture weeds. Some years ago this was taken off the market and replaced with Tordon Max, later shortened to TMax. While still available and providing excellent control of pasture weeds and, importantly, woolly nightshade, this has recently been reformulated under the name PastureBoss. It has the advantage of being much cheaper than TMax. When using either, make sure you read the label very carefully.
How to kill trees and shrubs that re-sprout when cut down
This technique applies to many plants such as privet, woolly nightshade, barberry, and willows that send up shoots from the stump and re-grow after being cut.
Mix this strong brew: 1 part glyphosate (such as Roundup) and 4 parts water (1 cup glyphosate to 4 cups water).
Cut the plant down as close as possible to ground level. Within half an hour, spray the stump liberally over the cut surface and the sides of the stump to ground level and any roots showing above ground with the above mixture. For small numbers of stumps, a small trigger bottle (as used for household cleaners) will do, or for large quantities, use a knapsack, which you may only need to partially fill.
Automated pest control
Automated pest animal traps that re-set themselves can save time and effort in the field. There are two main types:
- Kill trap - kills the animal by delivering a fatal impact (such as the Goodnature A12 possum trap, and the A24 rat and stoat trap, which the Department of Conservation is currently field testing).
- Bait station - delivers a lethal dose of toxin (such as the Spitfire stoat and possum bait stations, which are still under development). This device fires a targeted lethal dose of toxin into the animal when the trigger system is tripped.
Paw recognition software is under development and could provide accurate species abundance data. Initial results indicate that the software may be sensitive enough to identify individuals within the same species.
This software could be very useful in the protection of non-target species. For example, bait stations or kill traps could be set to trigger only for the targeted pest species.