Textiles Malfunction!!

“When Adam and Eve ate the Apple and dressed themselves; they did not realize that they were inviting a host of enemies for them.”

HolesInCivilWarUniformHave you ever noticed mysterious little holes that appear in your clothes and you can’t remember ever snagging or running into something that would have caused them? You could be looking at an example of insect damage! Little tiny pesky insects, so small you hardly see them, may be doing considerable damage to textiles

downloadClothing is the basic need since time immemorial and has turned into a huge market with the growing generations and introduction of various trends. Exclusive clothing ranges are developed to deal with the extremely hot and extremely cold climates.

The technology made the textile sector bloom with various new qualities to keep the cloth long lasting, with good wash fastness and comfort properties. The one thing that the technology is yet to successfully fulfill is to fight the problem of rodent, termites and other insects destroying the fabric.

Cellulose is one of the major constituent of the textile like cotton, jute and carpet-beetlesInFabric (1)viscose. Termites are known to feed on cellulose and thus attack the textile and destroy it. Some of the textile like wool fibre contains keratin as their major component. There are about 30 species of moth larve, 15 species of beetle larve and hundreds of species of bird infesting biting lice- Mallophaga known to digest keratin and thus destroy wool. Textiles not only cover the clothing sector but are also used in fields like geotextile, home textiles, auto textiles etc.

Insect damage occurs on any fabric containing cellulose or animal fibers, including blends of wool, mohair, silk, cotton, leather, natural bristles, feathers etc. This also includes the specialty fibers made from camel hair, alpaca, llama, guanaco, vicuna, and cashmere. Be especially cautious of articles left undisturbed for a long time, such as old military uniforms, blankets, feathered hats, tuxedos, overcoats, evening gowns, hats, antique dolls and toys, and wall hangings.

Don’t think that by using a synthetic blend that insects will stay away! Synthetic blends with as little as 10% natural fibers are also not immune to insect damage. These synthetic fibers may contain residues of gum and sizing from processing, which is very attractive to insects.

The ability of these tiny creatures to cause heavy damages and loss pose a great trouble to man. Most people are quite aware of cloth moths and the damage they can cause, thus the term “moth-eaten.” However, the moths are just one of the top three causes of all insect damage to fabrics. The other two are carpet beetles and silverfish. References to insect damage date from very early times. There’s a biblical reference in James 5.2 “Your clothes are moth-eaten.” In 400 B.C. it’s reported that Aristophanes said, “Moths were eating the feather plumes of helmets.”

There are two methods of the cloth damage : direct and indirect;

Direct Insect Damage

Direct damage is caused by insects that feed directly on the fabric of your microscopicMothTeethMarksgarment. They are especially attracted by leftover smells of food stains and body oils. Common examples are webbing cloth moths, case making clothes moths, carpet beetles, and sometimes termites.

While feeding on the fabric the insect cuts or weakens the surface fibers. Often the damage is not even noticeable until after an article is dry cleaned or washed. During cleaning, the weakened fibers are flushed away, leaving damage visible on the garment. In addition, discoloration to the fabric may be caused by the insect droppings.

Indirect DamageArmaniInsectDamage4-2

A different type of damage, “indirect damage,” occurs when insects feed on spilled food or perspiration on the fabric. The “trails” of indirect damage follow the direction of food or beverage spills. Common examples of insects that do indirect damage are: silverfish, crickets, beetles, and roaches. Most of them feed on natural starches and glues, leaving visible damage (but not holes) on finer fabrics such as silk, cotton, linen and rayon.

Indirect damage generally leaves “trails” on the surface of the fabric. Silverfish, for example, eat at the surface leaving a “shaved” look, but will usually not leave actual holes in the fabric.

 

Termites, storms and neglect have damaged the famous shoe collection of Imelda Marcos, the former Philippine first lady.

23 September, 2012

article-2207353-152812A9000005DC-931_634x453Hundreds of pieces of late strongman Ferdinand Marcos’ clothing, including the formal native see-through Barong shirts he wore during his two-decade rule, have also begun to gather mold and fray after being stored for years without protection at the presidential palace and later at Manila’s National Museum, officials told The Associated Press on Sunday.

The Marcoses fled the Philippines at the climax of the army-backed “people article-2207353-15281430000005DC-423_306x423power” revolt, which became a harbinger of change in authoritarian regimes worldwide.

They left behind staggering amounts of personal belongings, clothes and art objects at the palace, including at least 1,220 pairs of Imelda Marcos’ shoes.

But part of Imelda Marcos’ shoe stash, left behind after she and her dictator husband were driven out of the Philippines, has been badly damaged by termites, floods and general neglect, officials said today. 

  Insect damage to textiles in the United States is estimated at $200 million annually. According to the National Pest Control Association of US, fabric pests are making a comeback because most of the residual insecticides formerly used in their control (dieldrin and DDT) have been banned. This has caused those who deal with the insect damage to take a multi-faceted approach to spotting early signs of infestation, recognizing its causes, controlling the environment, understanding the life cycles of the pests and their “preferences,” and developing new and creative control measures and eradication techniques, and consumer education programs.

 

C Tech Corporation provides a creative non-toxic, non-hazardous and environment friendly products Roderepel™, Termirepel™, Combirepel™. These products can be incorporated while making the yarn itself so that the cloth made from the yarn has quality to repel rodents, termites and a host of other insects effectively.

Night Dwellers: Cockroaches

Cockroaches are not the nastiest of creatures known to man.
They are not vicious.
They are not aggressive (to humans or our favorite pets).images (27)

In fact, for the most part, they are pretty docile and spend their lives looking for food.

Unfortunately….

The fact that they will stop at almost nothing to get to their food source is where the problem sneaks in.

pinterest-cockroaches-and-disease_200x318

They will happily walk over whatever type of waste they come across.
And once they walk across some rotting matter (or fecal waste) some of the bacteria present in that waste gets transferred onto their feet and legs.

Roaches seem to be immune to most things and their general foraging allows them to transfer that bacterium to places and things that they “share” with humans.
Once they transfer those bacteria onto, say knives and forks in our cutlery drawer, the time bomb starts ticking for us.

Cockroaches have many negative consequences for human health because certain proteins (called allergens) found in cockroach feces; saliva and body parts can cause allergic reactions or trigger asthma symptoms, especially in children.

Cockroach allergy was first reported in 1943, when it was noted that certain patients developed skin rashes immediately after the insects crawled over their skin. Allergy skin tests were developed in 1959, which confirmed patient’s cockroach allergies. Subsequent studies have firmly established that cockroach allergens can act as a trigger for acute asthma attacks.

Adult cockroaches have an average lifespan of around a year but it depends on species. Temperature and other environmental conditions greatly affect the survival of cockroaches. Adult cockroaches reproduce rapidly and are known as scavengers. Cockroaches usually are nocturnal. Roaches that are active during the day may be victims of overcrowding or may be looking for food or water.

Protecting homes from cockroaches can be a huge task, images (25)but understanding the cockroach lifecycle is a great start.

The cockroach lifecycle actually has three developmental stages. These stages are known as the egg, the nymph, and the adult stage.

The lifecycle starts in an egg that is put into a case with 6 to 40 eggs at a time. These cases are often hidden away for safe keeping.

The cockroach lifecycle gets a bit more exciting when the eggs hatch and the young cockroaches are very small and known as nymphs. The nymphs must go through several stages of molting, where their body will be quite soft and white.

Each time the molting processes completed the cockroach will get bigger, change in color, and_47993158_cockroach1 look more like an adult cockroach. The nymph stage of the cockroach lifecycle can take anywhere from a month and a half to several years, depending on the environment, the type of cockroach, and the prevalence of cockroach disease and parasites.

When the cockroach reaches its adult size it will not molt again. Many types of cockroaches will complete their transformation into adulthood with a pair of wings. Young adults may look almost exactly like a nymph, with the wings being the one characteristic that easily sets the two apart. When you consider that a female cockroach can have as many as forty eggs in one case, it is no surprise that cockroaches can take over your home in a very little time.

Five top most things which we find in internet search engines when we type “Protection from roaches” are as follows:

  • Keep counters, sinks, tables and floors clean and free of clutter. Clean dishes, crumbs and spills right away.
  • Store food in airtight containers, and always avoid leaving food out (including pet food!).
  • Seal cracks and gaps in walls, floors and openings around or inside cabinets. Apartment-dwellers should also seal gaps around plumbing, wall outlets, and switch plates.
  • Run water periodically in spare bathrooms and occasionally used sinks.
  • Scan children’s backpacks when they return home, as well as grocery items before storing them.

“Do all the above solutions guarantee absolute zero infestation of roaches”?

A report on “Roaches evolving to evade traps, scientists say” in Toronto Sun on July 26, 2013 stated the following:

A strain of cockroaches in Europe has evolved to outsmart the sugar traps used to kill them, researchers have discovered.

According to the BBC, images (26)American scientists found that the mutant cockroaches had a “reorganized” sense of taste, making them perceive the glucose used to coat poisoned bait not as sweet but rather as bitter.

A North Caroline State University team tested the theory by giving cockroaches a choice of jam or peanut butter.

In the first part of the experiment, the researchers offered the roaches a choice of peanut butter or glucose-rich jelly.

“You can see the mutant cockroaches taste the jelly and jump back-they’re repulsed and they swam over the peanut butter,”Dr. Coby Schal told the BBC.

The scientists then immobilized the cockroaches and used tiny electrodes to record the activity of the pest’s taste receptors.

“The cells that normally respond to bitter compounds were responding to glucose in these (mutant) cockroaches”, said Schal.

“So they perceive glucose to be a bitter compound.” 

“We keep throwing insecticides at them and they keep evolving mechanisms to avoid them,” he said. “I have always had incredible respect for cockroaches,” he added. “They depend on us, but they also take advantage of us”.

Cockroach bait can effectively eliminate the world’s most troubling pest. However, it can also attract the attention of pets and children. Most accidental pesticide poisonings are related to cockroach baits. There are some preventative measures, parents can take to keep their children and pets away from this harmful substance to ensure only the roaches are being taken care of.

There are numerous types of cockroach bait. Bait stations come in gels or plastic traps. Both of these types of baits have slow acting and nontoxic (for non-insects) ingredients. The big threat for the family or pets is these bait stations present a choking hazard or health problems if eaten. These traps can be put on the floor or stuck on the walls making them slightly more dangerous. The gel cockroach bait types can be squeezed into crevices out of reach of kids and pets.

Most cockroach baits have borax as a main ingredient. In fact, many old time recipes call for the inclusion of borax acid into the mix as a toxic agent that will take care of the roach problem. If ingested in a large amount it can be harmful to those who ingest it. Keeping the cockroach bait in a childproof cabinet is the first step to keeping them safe. When they are in use, cockroach baits should be under cabinets or refrigerators out of the reach of small fingers or paws. Also make sure to wash up after handling the bait and before handling the child or pets.

Pheww!! In this busy world, taking care of so many details becomes tedious. There has to be a better, non toxic, non hazardous solution which can be used.

Therefore the best way to repel these roaches is by using Termirepel™.

Termirepelis non toxic and non hazardous insect/termite repellent. It can be incorporated in polymeric applications as well as natural materials like wood. It works on the concept of green chemistry and has a mechanism to repel the target species and not kill them. This can also be used in the form of lacquer to apply it as a coating on the application that needs to be protected.

A horror named pesticide!!

Pesticides are substances meant for preventing, destroying or downloadmitigating any pest. They are a class of biocide. The most common use of pesticides is as plant protection products (also known as crop protection products), which in general protect plants from damaging influences such as weeds, diseases or insects. This use of pesticides is so common that the term pesticide is often treated as synonymous with plant protection product, although it is in fact a broader term, as pesticides are also used for non-agricultural purposes. According to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Chemicals, 9 of the 12 most dangerous and persistent organic chemicals are pesticides.

Pesticides are often categorized according to the type of pest they control. Pesticides can also be considered as either biodegradable pesticides, which will be broken down by microbes and other living beings into harmless compounds, or persistent pesticides, which may take months or years before they are broken down: it was the persistence of DDT, for example, which led to its accumulation in the food chain and its killing of birds of prey at the top of the food chain.

One of the most important types of pesticides is the organophosphates. These pesticides are currently in the news for all the wrong reasons! Organophosphates which are primarily used in the agricultural sector india-pesiticide-children-deaths-lunch_69488_600x450as insecticides are supposed to protect the crops that we ingest in the course of the food chain. But they cause more harm than any good. They are extremely toxic. They cause a phenomenon called organophosphate poisoning (OP).Organophosphate poisoning results from exposure to organophosphates (OPs), which cause the inhibition of acetylycholinersterase (AChE), leading to the accumulation of acetylcholine (ACh) in the body. When cholinesterase is inactivated, acetylcholine builds up in the nerves, which become overactive. Victims of organophosphate poisoning typically die because they can’t breathe. Organophosphate poisoning most commonly results from exposure to insecticides. The risk of death depends on the amount of exposure and the age of the victim. The symptoms tend to be more severe in young children. They’re more vulnerable because their detoxification systems are more immature, so they can’t eliminate the pesticide. OPs are one of the most common causes of poisoning worldwide. There are around 1 million OP poisonings per year with several hundred thousand resulting in fatalities annually. Organophosphates are so toxic to humans that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has taken steps to limit their availability to the public. In addition to their use in agriculture, organophosphates are also used in public health applications—like the elimination of the mosquitoes that harbor the West Nile virus—in some countries.

The hazard potential of this chemical was demonstrated_68860313_68860312 recently by the tragedy that hit India. As was reported in an article in BBC news dated 20th July, 2013 the presence of a toxic and highly potent insecticide called monocrotophos in the food served as mid day meal to small innocent children in the state of Bihar, India resulted in the death of 23 of them. “It was the high quantity of monocrotophos insecticide found in the food which proved fatal for the school children”, said Ravindra Kumar, a top police official in Bihar state capital Patna. The Indian children, aged four to twelve, fell ill on 16th July, 2013 after eating a lunch consisting of rice, soybeans, and lentils in the village of Mashrakh in the eastern state of Bihar.

The school that the children attended provided free meals under a nationwide program known as the Mid-Day Meal Scheme.images (2) One of the biggest such schemes in the world, it was introduced to combat hunger and boost school attendance, and reaches 120 million children in 1.2 million schools across the country, according to the government. Early reports suggest the food—perhaps the rice or the cooking oil used to prepare the food—contained unsafe levels of the pesticide. The swiftness of the deaths—in some cases, hours after exposure—suggests the dose could have been quite high. The children, aged between five and twelve, were buried in and around the school in the village of Dharmasati Gandaman.

Monocrotophos is an organophosphate insecticide.

images (4) It is acutely toxic to birds and humans, and for that reason has been banned in the U.S. and many other countries. Widespread bird kills, especially of Swanionson Hawks, have resulted from the use of monocrotophos.  The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) categorizes this insecticide as Category 1 i.e. highly toxic.

The Indian school case is not the first instance of organophosphate poisoning. In 1986, more than 20 people in Sierra Leone, many of them children, died after eating bread made with flour that was transported in a truck that was previously used to carry organophosphates.

Such is the severity of the effects of these harmful pesticides. True to human selfish nature, people just think about quick solutions to fulfill their current needs without giving the future generation a single thought. It is high time we think about our future generation so that unlike us they don’t have to pay for the sins committed by their ancestors.  It is time we open our eyes and do away with the practice of using these harmful chemicals for good!

Termirepel ™, a product of C Tech Corporation gives us the unique opportunity to provide for the next generation a pesticide free environment. Termirepel™ is a non-toxic and non-hazardous insect and pest aversive that can provide protection to crops without harming the environment as well as humans.

                                       “After all, how often do we get a second chance?” 

 

 

Even Termites love Money !

There are numerous ways in which people lose money. By gambling, by losses in the share market, by their property losing its value, or by thief taking away valuables, bank getting looted etc.download (1)

But a person gets totally devastated when the money becomes prey to termites. Hungry termites happily munch through the life savings of some oblivious person. When the loss of money is due to totally unforeseeable reason like termites there is bewilderment, anger, hopelessness and above all helplessness.

Daily news carried a report on 14th June 2013 by Lee Morgan which was titled Termites eat through $65,000 worth of Chinese woman’s savings. It was only in April, upon retrieving cash to downloadpay a house decorator, that she saw that the termites had raided her stash. People’s Daily reported that she took the money to the Agricultural Bank of China branch in Guangdong Province. Staff spent several painstaking hours scanning and verifying the bank notes, which had been nibbled and then stuck together by the termites’ mucus.

They managed to verify some 340,000 Yuan ($55,454).

A TAIWANESE undergraduate who kept her entire savings in a safe at home because she did not trust banks found her NT$1mil (RM106,600) in notes eaten by termites, reported Nanyang Siang Pau. The woman said she had saved the money since she was young for her studies overseas.

However, Chen said when she opened the safe last month; she found only pieces of the banknotes in it. “They were all eaten by termites,” she said. She sought help from an expert in the police force, who helped her tape the pieces of banknotes together. However, Chen only managed to recover 2% of her savings, about NT$20,000 (RM2,132).termites_devour_guangdong_womans_life_savings_of_82k-thumbnail

Similar case was seen in a bank in Northern India where acolony of termites had gorged itself on a diet of money, managing to eat its way through £119,000. The insects were discovered chomping on the cash by police at a bank in Barabanki, northern India.

The 10 million rupees (£119,000) had been stored in a steel chest that workers thought was infallible but it turned out they hadn’t planned for an attack from an army of termites.

‘It’s a matter of investigation how termites attacked bundles of currency notes stacked in a steel chest,’ said police officer Navneet Rana.

He added that the bank manager had found the damage when he had accessed a disused bank room.

This isn’t the first time these ravenous insects have proved to be a menace.

They have previously damaged equipment and documents at other banks across India. Authorities have taken the first steps required to open an investigation after registering a negligence case against bank chiefs.

But this is not going to recover the millions lost every download (2)year due to Termite attacks. Every year millions of money notes are eaten away. Some come to our knowledge, some don’t. Maybe there are termites eating away your money even now!

Termites love eating away money as they are made up of paper which in turn is made up of cellulose. Cellulose is the diet which is very agreeable with Termites.

But we can’t live with this constant fear. There has to be an alternative for this. In this era of science and technology each and every difficulty faced by humans is met with a solution to counter it.

The one and only solution for this problem is Termirepel™.

Termirepelis non toxic and non hazardous insect/termite repellent. It can be incorporated in polymeric applications as well as natural materials like wood. It works on the concept of green chemistry and has a mechanism to repel the target species and not kill them. This can also be used in the form of lacquer to apply it as a coating on the application that needs to be protected. Thus it does not imbalance the eco system.

This alternative needs to be put into force without any further delay to curb the mindless loss of money in future.

 

USA invaded – by crazy ants!!

So it is proved! Humans are not the only species who can beimages attributed to being crazy at times. They share the title with a particular type of ants called “crazy ants”. Crazy ants called so because of their erratic behavior actually are ants that belong to the genus Paratrechina from the subfamily Formicinae. Over 150 species and subspecies are described, some of which occur on every continent (except Antartica). They form large colonies in open soil or under rocks or other objects, or in rotten wood on the ground. Specifically,Paratrechina longicornis occurs around the world. It is also known as ‘Longhorn ants’. They do not bite or sting people. Longhorn crazy ants are able to reproduce with their siblings without any negative effects of inbreeding. This has allowed them to become one of the most widespread invasive ants in the tropics. The crazy ant is found in various parts of the world and is not native to the United States (Smith 1965). While found in tropical cities worldwide, it was thought to be of either Asian or African origin. In fact, Wetterer (2008) argues that Paratrechina longicornis is the most “broadly distributed of any ant species.” Colonies of crazy ants are moderate to very populous. This species is a pantropical tramp that is easily dispersed by human activity. However, while the term ‘crazy ant’ is officially identified with this species, there are other closely related ant species that are also called ‘crazy ants’.

There is another species of crazy ants called Nylanderia fulva. These are an invasive species of ants. They are known as Rasberry crazy ant or tawny p5crazy ant originally found in Houston, Texas. While this species is part of the Paratrechina or “crazy ant” complex (group named because of the ants’ random, nonlinear movements), the media and others in Texas are also calling it “Rasberry” after the exterminator Tom Rasberry, who first noticed the ants were a problem in 2002. A large infestation is currently present in at least 20 counties in Texas. The ants appear to prefer the warmth and moistness of the coast. The colonies have multiple queens. Nylanderia fulva appear to displace other ant species, including red imported fire ants  most likely due to exploitative and interference competition. The ants are not attracted to ordinary ant baits, are not controlled by over-the-counter pesticides, and are harder to fully exterminate than many other species because their colonies have multiple queens. Scientists have described the ants as having overrun Texas since the early 2000s.

The crazy ant has achieved pest status across the United States. It has been found on top floors of large apartment buildings in New York, hotels and flats in Boston and in hotel kitchens in San Francisco, California. It can be a significant agricultural pest as it assists in the distribution and/or protection of phloem-feeding Hemiptera, such as mealybugs, scale insects, and plant aphids (Wetterer 2008).  The crazy ant is an agricultural and household pest in most tropical and subtropical areas, and is a pervasive indoor pest in temperate areas. It has the ability to successfully survive in highly disturbed and artificial areas, including ships at sea. Since it can live indoors with humans, there is no limit to the latitude where it can exist!!

There is alarming news for the residents of the southeastern states of USA as was reported by Danielle Elliot of CBS News on 1st July, 2013. An astonishing numbers of crazy ants have been reported to be swarming towards their states. USA Today reported University of Texas research assistant Ed LeBrun saying these ants have since spread to

p2 about 50 counties across Texas,Florida. They nest everywhere from crawl spaces and walls to electrical wires and small circuits. Researchers at Texas A&M University say they cause about $146.5 million in electrical damage each year. In a study published in April, researchers from  Texas A&M found that fire ants are able to fend off crazy ants  in most situations. But that shifts when crazy ants are restricted to a low-sugar diet, as happens when fire ants consume most of the available food. When consuming a low-sugar diet, crazy ants become stronger and more aggressive, and able to defeat the fire ants. When UT researchers recently investigated two crazy ant invasion sites, they found the red ant population decimated — a sign that the crazy ant may quickly reign supreme in the southeastern region.

A very peculiar thing has been noted about these crazy ants. They have a penchant for electrical appliances. As Mary Beth Quirk of The Consumerist reported on 2nd July, 2013 these ants can make a meal of almost any electrical gadget from a cell phone to an air conditioner! They enter these gadgets and make them their home. They can chew on e1the internal wires thus causing a short circuit. If one gets electrocuted, its death releases a chemical on a cue to attack as they recognize a threat to the colony, said Roger Gold, an entomology professor at Texas A&M. “The other ants rush in. Before long, you have a wall of ants,” he said. Why they are attracted to electrical equipment is still a mystery.. But various theories have been postulated regarding this most credible ones being that they sense the magnetic field surrounding wires with electric current flowing through them. Or, they might prefer the heat byproduct of resistance in the wires. However, it could simply be they are searching for food or a nesting location that is easy to defend.

The Weekly World News on 9th June, 2013 reported that the crazy ants in Texas and Mississippi were destroying property and attacking humans!! The Crazy Ant Poison that U.S. Exterminators use only stops them for a day, and then a fresh horde shows up, bringing babies. Controlling them can cost millions of dollars.  And there’s no surefire way of controlling them. If 100,000 are killed by pesticides, billions more will follow.

The current method of controlling them involves the use of a toxic product called Fipronil. Fipronil is a broad spectruminsecticide that disrupts the insect’s central nervous system. Fipronil is a slow acting poison. Its wildlife impacts include:

1) Fipronil is highly toxic to fish and aquatic invertebrates.

2) Fipronil is toxic to bees and should not be applied to vegetation when bees are foraging.

3) Fipronil has been found to be highly toxic to upland game birds.

Thus an alternative non-toxic and eco-friendly solution needs to be devised to combat this ever growing problem of crazy ants. Termirepel™can provide us the much required ray of hope in this increasingly hopeless situation. Termirepel™ is a unique non-toxic and eco-friendly product which works by the mechanism of repellence and not killing. Also it ensures that the ant infestation will not recur.