Troublesome Grasshopper

UntitledGrasshoppers are insects of the order Orthoptera. They are typically terrestrial insects with powerful hind legs which enable them to escape from threats by leaping vigorously.

The voracious species of grasshoppers are all alike in their cycle of development. Eggs are laid in late summer in elongated masses or pods inserted in the soil. These pass through the winter, and on hatching in the spring, the young seek food in the immediate area. As they increase in size and food becomes scarce, their migration to other places for food begins. The grasshopper usually molts for 5 times, during a period of 40-60 days, becoming more similar to the adult insect at each developmental stage.

Adult grasshoppers are 1-2 inch long. They are brown to reddish yellow or green in color with prominent jaws, fully developed wings, and short antennae. They have enlarged hind legs and can jump great distances. Immature stages, or nymphs, are similar in appearance to adults, but are smaller and have wing buds instead of wings.

Grasshoppers are insatiable feeders, consuming approximately one-half of their body weight per day. They show great amount of determinacy in damaging the leaves and stems of plants, by continuously chewing on them. Also severe infestations may decimate entire fields. In fact, in peak years, grasshopper infestations have been known to destroy or consume entire crop fields.

They make holes in the tissue of the plant as well as the leaves. They also leave dark droppings on the plant leaves. The growth in fruits is underdeveloped.

Severe financial losses can occur when infestations of grasshoppers wipe out crops in a field.  Each year they destroy at least 80 million dollars worth of forage crops in USA. Also it is estimated that grasshoppers consume up to 25 percent of the available forage in the western United States annually. A classic study showed that 6-7 adults per square yard on 10 acres of pasture ate as much as a cow. Damage is most severe when hot, dry weather slows the growth of the forage crop thereby preventing a rapid recovery

Grasshoppers mainly prefer and cause the most damage to small grains, corn, alfalfa, soybeans, cotton, rice, clover, grasses, and tobacco. They may also eat lettuce, carrots, beans, sweet corn, and onions. Grasshoppers are most likely to cause damage in sub-humid, semi-arid areas.

  •  Argentina Locust Plague: Armageddon, End of Days or Climate Change Disaster?

January 26, 2016, New York Times, Argentina

Fumigators in Argentina have continued their efforts to exterminate the locusts as farmers warned their crops may already be too damaged to be salvaged. “It’s the worst explosion in the last 60 years,” Diego Quiroga, the agriculture agency’s chief of vegetative protection, told the New York Times. “It’s impossible to eradicate; the plague has already established itself,” he said, adding, “We’re just acting to make sure it’s the smallest it can be and does the least damage possible.”

  • Grasshoppers Continue Damaging Crops and Move into Texoma Cities

July 15 2014, texoma’s.com, USA

Farmers are welcoming the forecast of possibly a lot of rain and cooler temperatures.
However, as Mechell Dixon reports, they and other Texomans are cursing an insect that’s damaging crops and irritating people. As Kenneth McAlister walked through his son’s sesame field in Iowa Park the plants didn’t catch his attention as much as the grasshoppers.
They’ve damaged many young sesame plant leaves here. And he says this isn’t the first crop he’s planted this spring.

“We’ve actually had two fields of sesame that we planted and had to replant cause they totally took it out,” says McAlister. These annoying insects and their voracious appetites are causing farmers headaches and costing them lots of money on chemicals to kill them off in rural parts of Texoma counties.

Today food scarcity is one of the major issues that the world is facing.About 11.3 % of the world population is hungry. Thus we cannot afford this significant amount of crop damage caused by pests like grasshopper. There is an urgent need of a sustainable solution.

Termirepel™ anti insect additive, a C Tech Corporation product is the best solution for the prevention and control of insect infestations. Termirepel™ masterbatch can be incorporated in agricultural films, mulches, etc. during polymer processing. It can also be incorporated in silage bags and packaging films to protect the crops in post harvest stage from pest damage.

Termirepel™ lacquer can be added to paints which can then be applied to fencing, garbage cans etc. It follows 6 tiered mechanism, which is extremely effective on insects like ants, beetles, grasshopper, termites etc. Termirepel™ is a non toxic and non hazardous anti insect additive. It is thermally stable and does not degrade on exposure to heat and sunlight. It does not kill or harm the insect but repels them. It does not volatilize and does not degrade the soil. It is RoHS, RoHS2, REACH compliant and FIFRA exempted.

Pesky insects: Huge threat to agriculture

thToday the world is facing an acute shortage of food. It is one of the most complex and controversial issues in the world today that concerns human population. The number of people living off the earth’s resources and stressing its ecosystem has more than doubled in just fifty years. In 1960 there were 3 billion of us while today there are 7 billion.

Statistics show that more than 860 million people in the world are suffering from chronic hunger. The vast majority of the world’s hungry people live in developing countries, where 12.9 percent of the population is undernourished.

Emerging superpower like India is home to the largest number of hungry people. The National Family and Health Survey (NFHS), last carried out in 2004-05, had shown that 23% of married men, 52% of married women and 72% of infants were anemic and were caught in a downward spiral of slow starvation. Thus food scarcity is undoubtedly a dire issue to be addressed immediately.

Apart from unpredictable rains, droughts, natural disasters, insects are major contributors in lowering the agricultural yield every year. According to Food and agricultural Organization of United States, herbivorous insects are said to be responsible for destroying one fifth of the world’s total crop production annually.

Insects are the most diverse species of organisms living on earth. They can be found in jungles, swamps, deserts and even in highly harsh environments such as pool of crude petroleum. Insects are undoubtedly the most adaptable form of life as their total numbers far exceed that of any other animal category. Insect pests inflict damage on humans, farm animals and crops. The damages can be categorized into two types

  • Pre-harvest damage
  • Post-harvest damage

Pre-harvest damage: Due to lack of effective crop protection measures, the crop loss in pre harvest stages is substantial and is affecting the economy adversely. The loss due to insects and diseases is estimated to be around 20 percent. The major pests like stem borer and leaf folder in paddy, boll worm, white fly, red hairy caterpillar, leaf miner and prodenia in groundnut, pod borer in pulses cause several damages in the farm. The extent of crop loss either physical or financial depends on stages of crop growth, pests, and weather conditions.

The worldwide crop loss due to various types of pests was estimated at 37.4 percent in rice, 28.2 percent in wheat, 31.2 percent in maize and 26.3 percent in soybean. In India, crop loss estimate due to insect pests has been provided by Dhaliwal et al. (2010). According to their study, crop loss was estimated at 25 percent in rice and maize, 5 percent in wheat, 15 percent in pulses and 50 percent in cotton in India.

Post-harvest damages: Crop products are eventually stored for varied periods of time depending on market demand, size of production and the farmer’s needs. Storage is the most critical postharvest operation. Deterioration of the grain quality during storage can be due to improper storing conditions, which leads to contamination with fungi or insect infestation.

In addition to direct consumption of the product, insect pests contaminate their feeding media through excretion, dead bodies and their own existence in the product, which is not commercially desirable. There are two major groups of insects that damage the stored products

  • Coleoptera (beetles)
  • Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies)

Coleoptera: The order Coleoptera is the largest order of insects. They are either primary or secondary pests i.e. they either directly feed on the stored products or act as predators of other insects. Larger grain borer, seed beetles, maize weevil, rice weevil are some of the well-known coleoptera

Lepidoptera: Lepidoptera is the second most important order of insects. Lepidoptera larvae occur frequently in a wide range of habitats and are known for their silk-spinning activities that result in the additional loss of quality of stored products. Some species attack the product in both the field and store. Some common lepidoptera include grain moth, pyralidae and mites.

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Major wet season maize post harvest losses in the Middle belt of Ghana

Let us have a look at some incidents where insect pests lead to immense damage partnered with economic losses:

  • An attack of whitefly on cotton crops in North India has taken an ugly shape. Yields have dropped sharply, sparking farmer suicides. The state government of Haryana has decided to release an aid of Rs. 500 crore for Haryana cotton farmers as a compensation for the loss.

-March 28th 2015, DNA, India

Also in Vilavancode taluk of Kanyakumari, stem boarer, a common pest, is of huge concern for the farmers as well as the officials of the horticulture department as these areas had once been totally free from the pest. These insects are proving to be a nightmare for banana farmers.

-September 8th 2013, The Hindu, India

  • Mediterranean fruit fly infestation has destroyed Gascoyne chilli crop in Australia. This particular infestation was found after nearby medfly traps recorded more than 500 insects per week.

-By Lucie Bell, ABC Rural, 15 Sep 2015, Australia

  • Red spider mites are posing a great threat to coffee plantation by clinging to the leaves and gradually turning them reddish. A Columbian farmer named Jairo Morales is extremely worried, as his plantation is dappled with crimson by these tiny spider mites.

-September 6th 2012, Chicago Tribune, Columbia

  • Also it has been reported that the Asian stink bugs are causing millions of dollars of losses, mainly to the apple industry. About 18 % of crop in Atlanta is ruined by these insects.

-May 21st 2011, Mail online, USA

All the above mentioned statistics and incidents are enough for us to realize the magnitude of harm that is caused by the insect pests in agricultural sector and understand the urgent need for a sustainable solution.

Termirepel™ anti insect additive, a C Tech Corporation product is the best solution for the prevention and control of insect infestations. Termirepel™ masterbatch can be incorporated in agricultural films, mulches, etc. during polymer processing. It can also be incorporated in silage bags and packaging films to protect the crops in post harvest stage from pest damage.

Termirepel™ lacquer can be added to paints which can then be applied to fencing, garbage cans etc. It follows 6 tiered mechanism, which is extremely effective on insects like ants, beetles, grasshopper, termites etc. Termirepel™ is a non toxic and non hazardous anti insect additive. It is thermally stable and does not degrade on exposure to heat and sunlight. It does not kill or harm the insect but repels them. It does not volatilize and does not degrade the soil. It is RoHS, RoHS2, REACH compliant and FIFRA exempted.

 

 

Pesky Fruit Flies!

imagesThe most commonly encountered insect at home is ‘Drosophila melanogaster’ commonly known as Fruit Fly. These pesky pests can be found throughout the world, in homes, gardens, warehouse, grocery stores, wineries, restaurants etc. As the name suggests fruit flies commonly feed on fruits and other sugary substances. The fruit fly is most often found hovering around overly ripe fruit, fermenting materials, such as leftover beer or soft drinks, also are a favorite food of fruit flies.

Fruit flies can lay up to 500 eggs at a time near the surface of fermenting (ripening) foods or other organic materials. The entire life cycle from egg to adult takes only about eight to ten days so they proliferate with great rapidity. They also breed in drains, garbage disposals, empty bottles and cans, trash containers, mops and cleaning rags. Hence they also cause various bacterial diseases.

There are several types of fruit flies some of them are:

Mexican fruit flies:
-found most commonly in Central America
-pose a potential threat to agriculture in North America
-attracted to all citrus, particularly mango and grapefruit crops

Citrus fruit flies:
-citrus fruit flies are an agricultural pest
-the Queensland and Mediterranean fruit flies are primary citrus pests
-most attracted to grapefruits and Meyer lemons

Olive fruit flies:
-most commonly present in areas near the Mediterranean basin
-including the Middle East, Southern Europe, the Canary Islands, many parts of Africa, India, Western Asia and Northwestern Pakistan
-olive fruit fly lives exclusively within the olive fruit

Caribbean fruit flies:
-damage tropical and subtropical fruits such as peaches, guava, citrus, papaya, Surinam cherries and loquat
-mostly found in West Indies and US

Mediterranean fruit flies:
-the world’s most harmful fruit pests
-considered a major pest of citrus fruits
-it is a more serious threat to short-lived fruits such as apples, pears and peaches

Western cherry fruit flies:
-prefer domestic and wild cherry trees as their hosts
-found throughout regions of the western United States that grow cherries

Oriental Fruit Flies:
hosts include guava, mango, papaya, starfruit, passion fruit, citrus, fig, rose apple, tomato, and many more
-commonly found in Asia, Africa, Australia, and islands of the Pacific

Let us look at some evidence how fruit flies affect our life:

Fruit flies are a serious pest causing an estimated $300 million towards control and lost market costs for horticulture across Australia. Queensland fruit fly (QFF) is a significant pest which can infest many varieties of fruit and vegetables.
– Agriculture Victoria, Australia

Moroccan citrus banned over Medfly fears
By Andy Nelson, The Packer, January 27, 2016, US

Live Medfly or Medfly larvae were found in a bulk shipment of fresh Moroccan clementines at the Port of Philadelphia Jan. 13, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

As a result, Moroccan clementines, mandarins, tangerines and sweet oranges will be banned from the U.S. effective Feb. 8.

Pesky fruit flies in Idaho adapt to cold weather
By Shanon Quinn, Daily News staff writer, January 9, 2016, Moscow, Russia

Entomologists find spotted wing drosophila still evident in November

Entomologist Stephen Cook, also a faculty member at the UI, has been trapping the red-eyed insects on a regular basis and was surprised to find mid-November’s cold weather – with temperatures dropping into the teens – didn’t leave his traps empty.

Cook said researchers have recently discovered the pesticide commercial orchardists use on their trees is effective against the damaging flies, but they aren’t sure whether the flies are simply relocating while the spray is in effect and returning to reinfest later.

Asian fruit fly a threat to food security
By The Monitor, 13 January 2016, Africa

With extreme weather patterns due to global warming, threatening not only the health of the nation, but food security, threat of crop disease is the last thing in the farmers’ minds. And the talk of the deadly Asian fruit fly in the last years is the worst nightmare for the fruit and vegetable farmers.

In 2014, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) sponsored a 24-months project to the tune of P1.7 million i.e. USD 150747.84. But, were the funds and the time enough to fight a huge and incurring problem as this? Protecting and securing food for the nation is an expensive and long-term exercise, which needs adequate resources.

Gascoyne chilli crop to be destroyed, due to Mediterranean fruit fly infestation
By Lucie Bell, ABC Rural, 15 Sep 2015, Australia

A chilli crop in Western Australia’s Gascoyne food bowl region is set to be destroyed, after it was found to be riddled with Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly).

Work is underway across the horticultural town of Carnarvon to eradicate Medfly, through use of trapping and baiting, with plans to release millions of sterile male fruit flies next year.

This particular infestation was found after nearby Medfly traps recorded more than 500 insects per week.

Fruit fly infestation hits San Pedro
By Donna Littlejohn, Daily Breeze, 9 October 2015, California,     

The adult oriental fruit fly is somewhat larger than a housefly, about 8 mm in length. The body color is variable but generally bright yellow with a dark “T” shaped marking on the abdomen. The wings are clear. (Photo courtesy California Department of Food and Agriculture)

A fruit fly invasion has landed in San Pedro, but state agriculture authorities are hoping they can stop the insects in the early stages.

Three Oriental fruit flies — which harm fruits, vegetables and plants — have been found since July 22 near the intersection of North Gaffey Street and West Capital Drive, in the 1200 block of North Meyler Street and in the 500 block of MacArthur Avenue.

To prevent and control fruit fly infestation use of pesticides and insecticides is not beneficial because their effect stays only for certain period of time. The toxic chemicals present in them can cause harm to beneficial insects and microorganisms. The evaporated toxic fumes from them are hazardous to human health.

Termirepel™– anti insect additive a C Tech Corporation product is the best solution for the prevention and control of fruit fly infestation. Termirepel™ masterbatch can be incorporated in agricultural films, mulches, etc during processing. It can also be incorporated in silage bags and packaging films to protect the crops in post harvest stage from pest damage.

Termirepel™ lacquer can be added to paints which can then be applied to fencing, garbage cans etc. It follows 6 pronged strategy which is extremely effective on fruit flies as well as insects like ants, beetles, grasshopper, termites etc.

Termirepel™ is a non toxic and non hazardous anti insect additive. It is thermally stable and does not degrade on exposure to heat and sunlight. It does not kill or harm the insect but repels them. It does not volatilize and does not degrade the soil. It is RoHS, RoHS2, REACH compliant and FIFRA exempted.