The Ant Attack

Ants like to build nests in the electrical and wiring systems of your household. They build nests and if they find access to food and water sources, they can easily thrive in the dingiest of spaces. Electrical outlets, wires and cables can provide them very comfortable living space. Ants are weirdly attracted to electric hardware as well as electricity and in the process cause critical damage to these systems. The aromatic polymers that most of the electrical appliances are made of attract the ants. However, the exact reason for the affinity towards electricity is unknown. 

The destructive power of these tiny ants is huge. When they come in large numbers around electrical boxes and outlets, they start chewing on the sheathing present on the wires. After degrading the protective sheathing, they have a high chance of coming in direct contact with electricity, leading to them getting electrocuted. When ants die, they release a pheromone that is perceived by other ants as a signal to detect danger. When other worker ants get the scent, they come to the same place to rescue the ants in danger, thereby getting electrocuted themselves during the process and sending out more pheromone signals. This makes a repetitive cycle with more and more ants coming near the wirings. The build-up of dead ants will cause blockage and eventual breakdown of the system, which can prove to be very dangerous due to the possibility of a short circuit or system failure occurring.

Apart from this, ants also build nests around electrical systems and wirings inside walls. They use wet and moist mud, dirt and other debris that they collect from the outdoors to build these nests. The moisture will definitely harm the wirings and can lead to power failures and blackouts. The waste and dead bodies they leave behind act as corrosive agents for the wires for the electrical contacts and boxes. 

Conventional insecticides used to kill these ants have proven to be an ineffective solution. Apart from these insecticides being extremely toxic in nature, the sprays and other killing materials used have been seen to attract other species of insects to eat the ant carcasses left behind. These toxic sprays also kill non-target species and are hazardous to us humans. Moreover, certain species of ants like the crazy ants are not at all affected by the toxic effects of these insecticides.

“New Ant Species Arrives With a Taste for Electronics, Scientists Say”

There’s a new player on the continent and it is spreading damage from Texas to Florida in a scary assault that sounds like a really bad movie.

“Crazy” ants on the march have a taste for everything from livestock to electrical equipment. They are so obnoxious that many residents yearn for the good old days when all they had to fight was red ants that are quickly being wiped out by the crazies.

The tiny insect is called “crazy” because the trail it leaves as it eats its way across the country is so erratic it appears the ants have tipped the bottle too many times.

Scientists know it as Nylanderia fulva, but its commonly accepted name is “tawny crazy ant,” formerly known as the raspberry crazy ant.

It doesn’t sting, but it has an annoying bite that can scare wildlife away — and, unlike its more famous cousin, the red ant, it is highly invasive, infesting homes, recreational vehicles, transformers and any laptop or smart phone left in its path.

Both reds and crazies and a few other species share a peculiar attraction to electrical wiring and components, and no one is sure why. The damages can be extreme. In one year alone, researchers documented $146.5 million in damages to electrical equipment just in Texas.

How they cause that damage also sounds like a really bad movie. One ant finds its way into a transformer and grazes against a hot wire. It gets electrocuted, and immediately “waves its abdomen in the air (called gaster flagging) to release its own brand of perfume, which lures many more ants to the scene.

Another species, called acrobat ants, infiltrated an air conditioner in Austin, Texas, causing it to malfunction and costing the homeowner $196.54.

“Perhaps the biggest deal is the displacement of the fire ant,” LeBrun said, in releasing his study. “The whole ecosystem has changed around fire ants. Things that can’t tolerate fire ants are gone. Many that can have flourished.

New things have come in. Now we are going to go through and whack the fire ants and put something in its place that has a very different biology. There are going to be a lot of changes that come from that.”

“Why ‘Crazy Ants’ Swarm Inside Electronics”

“Exterminator Mike Matthews got the call because the home’s air-conditioning unit had short-circuited. Why an exterminator for a problem with an appliance? Because of the crazy ants.

Matthews has seen crazy ants disable scores of air-conditioning units near Austin, Texas, where the invasive creatures have been a real headache. The ants swarm inside the units, causing them to short-circuit and preventing them from turning on. Often the switches inside them need to be replaced, thanks to the ants, said Matthews.

“When you open these things up, you see thousands of the ants, just completely filling them up,” Matthews said.

The ants first appeared in the United States in 2002 but have become more of a menace in the past few years, spreading to many areas of the Gulf Coast, particularly Texas and Florida. The ants are obnoxious because they reproduce in large numbers, sometimes outnumbering all other ants 100-to-1. That’s a problem since ecosystems depend on a wide variety of ants to perform different tasks; domination by one species is highly unusual, said Edward LeBrun, a researcher at the University of Texas. As the ants have advanced into new habitats, they’ve had the annoying habit of swarming inside electronics, like air conditioners and farm equipment likes pumps and occasionally destroying them, LeBrun told LiveScience.”

C Tech Corporation has come up with its extremely low in toxicity and low hazard product, Termirepel™ to protect the electrical application and cables from these ravenous insects.

It is an environmentally safe product that works by repelling ants and other insects without causing any harm to the target or non-target species. Termirepel™ is available in form of a solid masterbatch which can be safely incorporated into the polymeric insulation of wires and cables while manufacturing or coated on surfaces to keep crazy ants away from the application.

Termirepel™ is also available in the form of liquid concentrate and lacquer. The liquid concentrate can be easily blended with paints and organic solvents and can be applied to already installed wires and cables, sockets, electric board, etc. The lacquer is an easy-to-use topical applicant that is transparent and will effectively stop the ants as well as other insects from chewing on or damaging the wires and cables.

The wood polish additive variant can be mixed with wood polish and coated on the wooden switchboards and boxes. It will prevent the insects from entering the box altogether. 

Our newly developed product in the form of a spray can be applied to already installed wires and cables, it is compatible with all types of surface and can be sprayed by anyone without even the use of protection gears.

Contact us at technical.marketing@ctechcorporation.com to let us help you keep the ants, insects and pests away.

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