Sleep tight, dont let the bedbugs bite!

Bed bugs are flat, reddish-brown, oval insects. They are wingless. A few decades ago, bedbugs were somewhat of a novelty in developed countries. But since the early 2000s, infestations have become more common in places like the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Europe, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Bedbugs feed on the blood of humans by inserting a sharp proboscis, or beak, into the victim’s skin. The critters become engorged with blood in about 10 minutes, which fills them up for days. The insects are most active at night, though they are not exclusively nocturnal. Bedbugs are attracted to warmth, moisture and the carbon dioxide released from warm-blooded animals, according to Purdue University. On sleeping human hosts, bedbugs often bite exposed areas of the body, such as the face, neck, arms and hands.

Adult bedbugs are brown in color, although their bodies redden after feeding. Full-grown bedbugs move relatively slowly and measure between 4 to 5 mm. Homeowners sometimes have the misconception that bed bugs are too small to see with the naked eye. The nymphs may be small and difficult to see, but the adults are detectable with the naked eye and may be found in the cracks and crevices they use to hide. Newly hatched nymphs are approximately the size of the head of a pin and are white or tan until they feed. They often are described as being about the size and shape of an apple seed. Also bedbugs reproduce by a gruesome strategy appropriately named “traumatic insemination,” in which the male stabs the female’s abdomen and injects sperm into the wound. During their life cycle, females can lay more than 200 eggs, which hatch and go through five immature “nymph” stages before reaching their adult form, molting after each phase.

Bedbugs lurk in cracks and crevices and they’ve been living on human blood for centuries. They can crawl more than 100 feet in a night, but typically creep to within 8 feet of the spot its human hosts sleep. Although they do not transmit disease or pose any serious medical risk, the stubborn parasites can leave itchy and unsightly bites. There have also been some strange cases linked to bedbug infestations. Researchers reported in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in 2009 that they treated a 60-year-old man for anemia caused by blood loss from bedbugs. Another study published in 1991 in the Journal of the Egyptian Society of Parasitology found that people with asthma might be more susceptible to allergic reactions from bedbug bites. A bedbug infestation can take a psychological toll on those affected: People whose homes have been infested with bedbugs may have trouble sleeping for fear of being bitten in the night. Also there is social, public health and economic consequences; office buildings and schools often have to close if they are dealing with a bedbug infestation.

Bed bugs are found in cracks and crevices, including mattress seams, sheets, furniture, behind baseboards, electrical outlet plates and picture frames. They are often found sneaking in hotels where they can travel from room to room, in visitors’ luggage or other personal belongings like briefcases, handbags etc.

Let us look at some current updates pertaining to bedbug nuisance:

Bed bugs a growing concern in Muskogee
By David Norris, December 2016, abcTulsa, USA

If you feel itchy at the mere thought of bed bugs, you’re not alone.

And if you think your house is safe, C.B. Abel of Vanish Pest Control in Muskogee says you could be wrong.

“I’ve seen houses that were extremely clean, that had maids who came out twice a week and cleaned the house,” said Abel. “And they had an infestation of bed bugs.”

He says over the years bed bugs have become more resistant to chemicals.

“Three years ago, we’d get six calls a month, six calls every three months for bed bugs, and now, we’re getting six calls a week,” said Abel.

He says the problem gets even worse during winter months when people spend more time indoors.

“Which makes them feed more, which makes them lay more eggs, which makes them populate more,” said Abel.

Bed bug infestation hits a public housing building in Green Bay By Aisha Morales, December 12, 2016, USA

A bed bug infestation is causing some headaches for residents of Mason Manor, a public housing building in Green Bay. The housing authority says it is doing all it can to clean it up, but what bed bug experts want you to know is, this can happen to anyone.

“While bed bugs are known to carry 45 different human pathogens, they don’t actually give disease,” said bed bug inspector Jon Sandberg, who owns K9 Solutions.

Sandberg says he’s been to Mason Manor where 20 units have been infested with bed bugs. The Green Bay Housing Authority says it’s doing all it can to get the situation under control.

So how do we get rid of them? Regular pest control is considered to be one of the solutions. However the use of toxic insecticides is now proving to be futile in getting rid of these nasty little creatures. A 2013 study in the journal Nature Scientific Reports suggested that bedbugs have evolved ways to resist insecticides.

So is there any other effective solution for this problem? Yes there is.

Termirepel ™, an anti-insect additive, a C Tech Corporation product is an ideal solution for the prevention and control of bedbug infestation. It follows 6 pronged strategy which is extremely effective in preventing the damage caused by bedbugs as well as insects like ants, beetles, grasshopper, termites etc. Termirepel™ is a nontoxic and nonhazardous insect repellent. 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 is RoHS, RoHS2, REACH compliant and FIFRA exempted. The product in the form of liquid concentrate can be blended in any paint or organic solvent and can be applied over the various surfaces vulnerable to damages caused by bedbugs like the walls, ceiling etc. Termirepel™ lacquer can also be used as a coating for furniture for protection. The masterbatch of Termirepel™ can be incorporated in wires and cables which are used in domestic wiring.

Rosy apple aphids

raaf2Aphids belong to the family of Aphididae. They are a group of sap-sucking, soft-bodied insects and are about the size of a pinhead. Aphids are most passionate, prolific and damaging. They are one of the serious plant pests and they hinder plant growth, transmit plant diseases, and lead to the deformation of leaves, flowers, buds, roots, and sap. There are about 6000 aphid species found in North America alone. Rosy apple aphid is one of several aphid species that can occur on apple trees and is generally the most damaging.
Rosy apple aphid is a tiny soft bodied sap-sucking insect that feeds on apple foliages and fruits during spring and early summer. They are one of the major agricultural pests when it comes to apple. Even small numbers of aphids can cause significant damage to these fruits. The body of aphid has a waxy coating and usually a slight purplish or rosy tint. Rosy apple aphids lay oval-shaped eggs in bark crevices and around the buds of shoots of apple trees in autumn. When first laid the eggs are bright yellow that gradually changes to greenish yellow and finally within two weeks to shiny jet black. These eggs hatch in spring as the leaves begin to emerge from the buds.

raaf24Colonies of pinkish grey aphids develop on the underside of the foliage. Affected leaves at the shoot tips become curled and yellowish. Heavily infested shoots show curbed growth with distorted leaves which start to turn brown during the summer season. Also, the prolonged sucking of sap destroys the normal growth of fruits. While sucking up sap, the aphids secrete chemicals into the foliage with the help of its saliva, which causes the distorted growth and also develops a sooty mold on fruits and leaves. Systemic effect of malignant saliva also leads to reduced growth of roots, photosynthesis, and other woody tissues. Damage can be most severe on young trees where shoots are affected badly leading to permanent damage of the plant. The fruits attacked by aphids often remain small in size with a pinched appearance around the eye end which is formed in the growing season.

raaf14Rosy apple aphids are capable of attacking all apple varieties; therefore it is essential for apple growers to monitor their trees carefully for rosy apple aphids. A few colonies are potent of rapidly infesting the entire tree. Rosy apple infestations often go unnoticed until the leaf curl damage is observed. As control becomes extremely difficult in the later stages, aphids are best controlled at the pink stage of bud development, before the serious leaf curl has occurred. It is reported that these noxious insects can cause 50% of fruit injury in severe cases and are most difficult to control.

To tackle this problem of aphids various methods have been tried and tested, the conventional toxic chemicals, pesticides are no longer effective in protecting the attack of these vile pests and also pollute the soil, groundwater reserves and harm the beneficial species like bees, earthworms etc. The use of pyrethrins as a pesticide destroys the aphid predators and parasites leading to the surplus gathering of aphids. Also, there are reported incidences of insects becoming resistant to many toxic pesticides. Unlike these chemicals, CTech Corporation’s product Termirepel™ is the best solution to deal with the problem of these pests. Termirepel™ is non-toxic, non-carcinogenic, non-hazardous and environment-friendly insect repellent. TermirepelTM works against 500 species of insects. Termirepel™ is available in form of solid masterbatches, liquid form, and lacquer. The product does not kill the target species; it just repels them. It follows 6 tiered mechanism, which is extremely effective on insects like aphids, ants, beetles, grasshopper, termites etc. It does not volatilize and does not degrade the soil. It is RoHS, RoHS2, REACH compliant and FIFRA exempted. Termirepel™ masterbatch can be incorporated in agricultural films, mulches, etc. during polymer processing which would provide protection from the pesky aphids. The liquid concentrate and the lacquer can be coated on the fencing, tree guards etc.

Fire ants: ‘Electric’ stinging ants!

imagesThe fire ant is the common name for several species of ants in the genus Solenopsis. These aggressive ants are native to South America. The bodies of mature fire ants are divided into three sections: the head, the thorax, and the abdomen, with three pairs of legs and a pair of antennae. They vigorously defend their nests, attack in large numbers and sting repeatedly.

Like many other ants, the red fire ants frequently infest electrical equipment and utility housings. Some of the common electrical equipment harmed by these ants include air conditioners, telephone boxes, circuit breakers, transformer boxes, switch boxes, electric pumps. Two types of ant activity cause problems to electrical equipment: the movement of entire colonies into electrical housings, and the affinity foraging worker ants have for electrical fields and switching mechanisms. Fire ants are found in electrical housings year round. Electrical housings (such as outside electrical disconnects, junction boxes, pad-mounted transformers, etc.) provide warmth during winter months, a dry nesting site during heavy rains, and an undisturbed nesting site throughout the year. Imported fire ant colonies are often found at the base or near electrical unit housings. When a colony moves into an electrical box, worker ants import soil for nesting. This material can cause corrosion and interfere with maintenance operations. In electrical transformer boxes, oil regulates the temperature in half of the box. When moisture from the mound causes corrosion, the oil leaks, inhibiting temperature regulation and resulting in failure of the transformer. In addition to corrosion, once inside, the ants chew on insulation and can cause short circuits. Let us also look at the reason for the affinity of foraging worker ants to electrical fields and switching mechanisms. Worker ants leave their nests in search of food to bring back to the rest of the colony members like the larvae, other workers, and, indirectly, to the queen and reproductive ants. However, worker ants can become a problem when they enter electrical equipment switching mechanisms. Worker ants of many ant species including carpenter ants, acrobat ants, and crazy ants have an affinity for oscillating magnetic fields (60 cycles per second). When sufficient numbers of ants build up in a switching mechanism and bridge the gap between an open switch, they are shocked and electrocuted. The shocked ants release communication chemicals (pheromones) or other signals that attract other worker ants. The result is that switching units can become tightly packed with the bodies of dead, electrocuted worker ants, causing the mechanism to fail.

The fire ants are commonly known as “super ants” not due to their phenomenal size or ability to leap between buildings or bridges but due to the sheer size of the colonies these ants create. These bizarre insects look similar to garden ants but gather in far bigger colonies. In Texas alone, the act of gnawing by fire ants led to the cost associated with damages to electrical and communications equipment totaled $146.5 million per year (Lard et al. 2001).Electric ants are also becoming increasingly common throughout the UK, where their attraction to electricity causes an estimated £1.7bn worth of damage every year.
Let us have a look at this recent incident which took place in the UK

‘Electric’ stinging ants set to swarm across the UK – and can cause power blackouts and fires
June 1st, 2016, Mirror, UK
The UK is bracing itself for an invasion of ‘electric’ ants after the stinging pests were imported into the UK in pot plants. Bosses at Cleankill pest control says that householders should be ‘on guard’ for the insects taking up residence in their gardens and homes. Cleankill boss Paul Bates warned that people should watch out for ‘unfamiliar’ pests in their homes and gardens. The ants, called Asian super ants, got their nickname because they are ‘obsessed’ with electricity cables and chew through them causing blackouts and fires in business and homes. Mr. Bates added: “Electric ants can be very disruptive as they will gather around cables or junction boxes and cause them to short out – this can result in blackouts and, in the worst cases, fires.
“Our main worry is more have come into the UK in imported potted plants this spring and that we will have difficulty getting rid of them as they are resistant to the treatments we would normally use for ants.”

So, is there a sustainable solution to prevent such huge damages caused by these pesky ants? We at CTech Corporation have come up with a solution. Termirepel™ anti-insect additive, a CTech Corporation product is the best solution for the prevention and control of insect infestations. Termirepel™ is a non-toxic, non-hazardous and eco-friendly insect aversive. It follows 6 tiered mechanism, which is extremely effective on insects like ants, termites, beetles etc. It is available in the form of masterbatches which can be directly incorporated into the polymer matrix during processing of wires and cables. This would be an efficient way of deterring the ants from chewing the cables and wires and thus negate the possibility of a short circuit. Gruesome accidents like above can thus be avoided. Also Termirepel™ liquid concentrate can be added to paints which can then be applied as a top coat on the wires and cables, junction boxes etc. for protection. Termirepel™ 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.
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