Red ants menace in Train

Ants have colonized almost every landmass on Earth. The only places lacking indigenous ants are Antarctica and a few remote or inhospitable islands. Ants thrive in most ecosystems and may form 15–25% of the terrestrial animal biomass. Their success in so many environments has been attributed to their social organization and their ability to modify habitats, tap resources, and defend themselves. Their long co-evolution with other species has led to mimetic, commensal, parasitic, and mutualistic relationships.

Over here we discuss the problem caused by Red ants also known as Fire ants. Fire ant is the common name for several species of ants in the genus Solenopsis. They are, however, only a minority in the genus, which includes over 200 species   of Solenopsis worldwide. Solenopsis are stinging ants and most of their common names reflect this, for example, ginger ants and tropical fire ants. Many species also are called red ants because of their light brown color, though species of ants in many other genera are similarly named for similar reasons. Examples include Myrmica rubra and Pogonomyrmex barbatus.

The bodies of mature fire ants, like the bodies of all typical mature insects, are divided into three sections: the head, the thorax, and the abdomen, with three pairs of legs and a pair of antennae. Fire ants of those species invasive in the United States can be distinguished from other ants locally present, by their copper brown head and body with a darker abdomen. The worker ants are blackish to reddish, and their size varies from 2 to 6 mm (0.079 to 0.236 in). In an established nest these different sizes of ants are present at the same time.

A typical fire ant colony produces large mounds in open areas, and feeds mostly on young plants and seeds. Fire ants often attack small animals and can kill them. Unlike many other ants, which bite and then spray acid on the wound, fire ants bite only to get a grip and then sting (from the abdomen) and inject a toxic alkaloid venom called Solenopsin, a compound from the class of piperidines. For humans, this is a painful sting, a sensation similar to what one feels when burned by fire and the after effects of the sting can be deadly to sensitive people. Fire ants are more aggressive than most native species and so have pushed many species away from their local habitat These ants are renowned for their ability to survive extreme conditions. They do not hibernate, but can survive cold conditions, although this is costly to fire ant populations as observed during several winters, where 80 to 90% of colonies died due to several consecutive days of extremely low temperatures.

Fire ants nest in the soil, often near moist areas, such as river banks, pond shores, watered lawns, and highway shoulders. Usually, the nest will not be visible, as it will be built under objects such as timber, logs, rocks, pillers or bricks. If there is no cover for nesting, dome-shaped mounds will be constructed, but these are usually only found in open spaces, such as fields, parks and lawns. These mounds can reach heights of 40 cm (16 in), but can be even higher on heavier soils, standing at 1.0m in height and 1.5m in diameter. Colonies are founded by small groups of queens or single queens. Even if only one queen survives, within a month or so, the colony can expand to thousands of individuals. Some colonies may be polygynous (having multiple queens per nest). These ants thrive on wood, fruits or any consumable product. Thermoplastics materials have always attracted ants and insects. The plasticizers usually have bright colour. They also have aromatic odors of polymers which attract ants and insects.Thus ants and insect confuse it for the food This makes them to nibble on the plastic thus damaging it and causing huge economic loss.

Below Articles is related to the loss caused by ants.

Mumbai: Local train brakes failed due to red ants, probe reveals

Express News Service, Mumbai, November 19, 2015.

Review of a brake fail in a local train on November 17 at Matunga on the Central Line has shown that the equipment malfunction could be caused by corrosion of the brake panel due to red ants.

The local was sent to Kurla Car Shed for examination which showed that red ants inside the brake panel had damaged the cable wires, causing failure in application of brake.

The motorman had switched to emergency brakes after he failed to stop the train in the regular way.

“It was 11.47 am at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and the local was from Kalyan. The problem occurred when the train reached Matunga station and the motorman failed to apply the brake,” said a source from the Central Railway (CR). At Kurla Shed, the entire panel inside the motorman’s cabin was opened which revealed crowding of red ants in all controls.

C Tech Corporation, an Indian company has come up with an impeccable solution to counteract problems caused by such insect. Termirepel ™ is a non-toxic, non-hazardous termite/insect repellent which has been designed for various polymeric applications as well as natural materials like woods. It is a unique blend of green chemistry and smart technology which acts as an effective repellent and at the same time guarantees safety to the environment, plants, animals and fragile ecosystem.

Termirepel does not kill but only keeps the ants away by making use of their sensory mechanisms. Aggressive species are further deterred from attacking by advanced mechanisms like aversion, feeding disruption, temporary mating disruption, reproduction cycle inhibition, growth impairment and chemo sterilization. This further modifies the response of insects towards the Termirepel containing products which makes them to stay away from the application.

 

Flies residing in the pipes: Drain flies

You are about to do the dishes and then in the basin you find these numerous creatures enjoying their treat over your dishes. Who are these creatures which appear suddenly and mysteriously in your basin causing a nuisance?

These are the drain flies!

Drain flies are “furry” moth-like appearing flies. They are very small: typically 2 to 5 mm in length, light grey or tan colored flies with short body and leaf shaped wings. The body and wings are covered with small hair which gives it a fuzzy appearance. Wings are too large when compared to the body; drain flies fold their wings in a characteristic roof like pattern.

There are more than 4,700 known species of these flies worldwide, most of them native to the humid tropics. Drain flies inhabit human drains and sewage systems where they are a harmless but also persistently annoying.

Drain flies lays eggs mostly in decomposing organic matter found in drains and pipes. The eggs are brown or cream in color and hatch in 32 to 48 hours. The larvae feed on the gelatinous drain matter and reach the maturity age in 9 to 14 days. Drain fly larvae are known to survive in high temperature and low oxygen conditions. Drain Flies have a life cycle of 1 to 3 weeks. Drain flies can grow quickly and hence they can multiply in a few days creating a nuisance

Drain Flies feed on waste matter within sewers and drains, they can however infest a property given the correct circumstances and no amount of fly spray will halt the infestation unless one can find their point of ingress or their food source.

The vast majority of domestic drainage systems are fairly clean in as much as they are designed to carry waste from one point to another and there should not be any waste sitting in the system, but due to defective pipe work or partial blockages this can happen providing a food source for the pests. However drainage systems are also designed so that no matter what occurs below ground these flies should not have access to your property and sinks, baths, toilets etc are fitted with water traps to prevent smells and pests from leaving the drainage system and entering your home.

So if one has an infestation of drain flies within bathroom there are usually a couple of things happening, firstly waste matter is building up either within or outside the drainage system allowing the flies to feed and breed, if this is occurring within the drainage system they are also finding an open vent out of the system and into one’s property. The life span of these pests is pretty short but they will lay eggs in your property and before long the next generation is swarming over your bathroom fixtures and fittings.

The most common and probably the most disturbing for a home owner is when one has an internal rest bend at the base of a soil vent pipe or downstairs toilet, the rest bend fractures or becomes displaced and after every flush a certain amount of water and waste escapes into the sub-floor. The matter builds up and the flies have a food source, they will then access the property above through any small gaps between floor boards or gaps local to skirting boards.

The above can also occur when small diameter waste pipes from sinks are suspended from joists in sub floors, if these pipes become disconnected or leak there is enough food stuff, grease & fat in the water for the flies to feed off.

Disused branch lines on drainage systems can often hold waste matter if the system has blocked or partially blocked at any time, because of its location below ground the waste will not dry out immediately and this can provide a steady and prolonged food source for the mites. If this disused branch line runs beneath and extension or conservatory and it have not been capped off properly the flies will find their way into the property.

Leaking and broken pipe work outside of the property can also allow the flies to enter the house, a cracked collar at the base of a soil vent pipe or a fractured gully pot that cannot maintain its water level will allow the flies to surface at ground level, if this occurs local to an air brick they have access direct into your sub-floor and wall cavity.

Restaurants and industrial kitchens can be prone to this kind of infestation due to the amount of food stuffs that can directly enter the drainage system and the worst case of infestation are seen at hospitals. This was partly due to a construction worker leaving a drain open within the building and partly due to the fact that hospital staff used the bed pan macerators for the disposal of excess food instead of using the appropriate food bins supplied.

Neighbors fighting an infestation of drain flies

September 4th, 2015, CBS46 News, Loganville, GA

Some neighbors in Gwinnett County are dealing with a pesky infestation of drain flies.

The flies, sometimes called “sewer flies,” look a lot like fruit flies. They’re basically little bugs that feast on the sludge inside pipelines and then crawl up into the sinks of unsuspecting homeowners.
“At first we thought it was fruit flies,” explained Bev Renales. Her home is one of at least a dozen in Loganville’s Fall Creek Landing subdivision that has become infested with the critters.

“They are gross. Very gross. Disgusting,” said Renales. She and her husband have hired an exterminator to treat the bugs, but they keep coming back.

“We’ve tried everything: bleach, Drano, hot water and vinegar. You name it, we’ve tried it,” said Renales.

Her neighbor, Nancy Gerber, has called the water and sewer department, but they told her there was nothing they could do to treat the lines.

“They wouldn’t even send someone out to look,” said Gerber. She’s fed up with the bugs and begun trying to trap them in a homemade solution of water, cleaning chemicals, and maple syrup.

Gerber and Renales would really like the county to come out and flush the lines because they believe this is a real health hazard.

Considering the above scenarios it becomes difficult to get rid of the drain flies once the pipes are installed. In order to prevent the flies C-Tech corporation has come up with solution – TermirepelTM .  It is highly effective against drain flies. It is cost efficient, inert, long lasting  and is stable up to 1400 deg Celsius temperature. This product manufactured by C-Tech Corporation is available in three different forms: Masterbatch, liquid concentrate and lacquer form. The pipes which are to be implanted in the drains can be incorporated with the masterbatch at the stage of manufacturing. If the pipes are already installed, the liquid concentrate and the lacquer can be applied on the external surface and on the access areas of the pipes so as to prevent the flies from entering the outside environment. TermirepelTM  is definitely a solution against drain flies.

 

 

Do not kill, just repel: Insects

Insects are found in each and every corner of the world. They are the most common animals on the earth and are also familiar to everyone. 1.5 million Of insect species are being named. Many are yet to be discovered. Their size, shape, color, biology, and life history are so diverse that it makes the study of insects absolutely fascinating.

Insects feed on a seemingly endless array of foods. Many insects are omnivorous, meaning that they can eat a variety of foods including plants, fungi, dead animals, decaying organic matter, and nearly anything they encounter in their environment. Still others are specialists in their diet, which means they may rely only on one particular plant or even one specific part of one particular plant.

Many insects are predatory or parasitic, either on plants or on other insects or animals, including people. Such insects are important in nature to help keep pest populations (insects or weeds) at a tolerable level. Predatory and parasitic insects are very valuable when they attack other animals or plants that we consider to be pests.

Insects are very important as primary or secondary decomposers. Without insects to help break down and dispose of wastes, dead animals and plants would accumulate in our environment and it would be messy indeed.

Insects are underappreciated for their role in the food web. They are the sole food source for many amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Insects themselves are harvested and eaten by people in some cultures. They are a rich source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, and are prized as delicacies in many third-world countries. In fact, it is difficult to find an insect that is not eaten in one form or another by people. Among the most popular are cicadas, locusts, mantises, grubs, caterpillars, crickets, ants, and wasps.

Honey bees are kept by beekeepers because they produce honey and wax. In some countries people collect honey from wild bees.

Another insect that produces products for people is the silk worm. The silk worm is not a worm but it is a moth. On a silk worm farm, the caterpillars (silk worms) are fed with leaves of the mulberry tree. When the caterpillar pupates they spin a cocoon made of one long thread of silk. These cocoons are harvested to produce silk.

American salmon fly’s larva is sensitive to water pollution which helps scientist to recognize polluted supplies.

Antlion control ant population and help pollinate flowers while being no threat to humans.

Black and yellow garden spiders are called “guardian of the garden” because they help in controlling pest population in the gardens.

Burying beetle is the consumer of many natural materials including dead mammals; carrion, maggots and rotting fruits.

House centipede can help to keep certain other household pests in check- such as cockroaches and moths.

On the other hand insects have also served to accelerate cultural evolution. Silkworms for example, were certainly the driving force behind the establishment of the trade between Europe and China and were still a factor in 1942 when Christopher Columbus stumbled onto new world in his quest to find a sea route to the silk and species of the Orient.

The sociological impact of the insects has been keenly felt on the battlefield. Over the course of human history more soldiers have died from lice and mosquitoes, than bullets and bombs.

In World War I, medics noticed that gunshots wounds infested with blow fly maggots seldom developed bacterial infections. Their observations led to us of maggot therapy (sterile-reared fly larvae for cleaning necrotic tissue from deep wound), the later discovery of allantoin, a chemical secretion of the larvae that inhibits bacterial growth.

Honey bee rather their products have been used for medical purposes since the medieval times. This practice also called as apitherapy is used as a alternative medicine in Europe and other parts of the world. Some proponents of apitherapy use bee stings as at treatment for patients who suffer from arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus erythematosus, Parkinson’s diseases and other auto-immune conditions.

The knowledge of insect’s structure has also proven useful in non-biological professions. In 1983, engineers at McDonnell Douglas Corp. studied the legs of grasshoppers to help them design shock absorber for a new jet fighter, the Hornet. Dr. Rodney Brooks at MIT’s artificial intelligence laboratory is developing six-legged robots with an electronic control system that is modeled after the distributed nervous system of the insects.

In spite of all their positive attributes, some insects can cause problems. Unfortunately, most people are more aware of the few insects that cause problems than they are of the many beneficial insects. People ignorant of these beneficial facts about insects tend to kill those using different insecticides. This practice should be stopped.

Insects can be repelled rather than killed. This can be done by using C-tech corporations’ TermirepelTM. It is a non-toxic, non-hazardous, non-carcinogenic and environmentally safe insect repellent. It is engineered using unique set of complex compounds.  Termirepel™ is cost efficient, inert, stable up to 1400 deg C temperature, long lasting etc. Because of these unique properties it is compatible with various polymers like PP, LDPE, HDPE and MDPE. The product is available in the form of master batch which can be incorporated in the application while it is being manufactured. It is also available in liquid concentrate and lacquer form: which can be coated on the surface of the existing applications. Since Termirepel™ is designed to keeping the insects away effectively and not kills the insects or any other animal. It doesn’t harm any target or non target species in any way. We are committed to our environment & we believe that no harm must be caused to animals or to the environment.