Zebra Mussel

A small freshwater mollusk called the zebra mussel,zm4 has been steadily invading America’s rivers and lakes. Zebra mussels originated in the Balkans, Poland, and the former Soviet Union. Zebra mussels get their name from the striped pattern of their shells, although not all shells bear this pattern. They’re usually about fingernail size but can grow to a maximum length of nearly 2 inches. Zebra mussels live for 4 to 5 years and inhabit fresh water at depths of 6 to 24 feet.

Young zebra mussels are small and free swimming, and can be easily spread by water currents. Older zebra mussels attach themselves to hard surfaces by an external organ called a byssus, which consists of many threads. The mussels may attach to boats, pilings, water-intake pipes, and other hard surfaces, as well as to crayfish, turtles, other zebra mussels, and native mollusks.

Zebra mussels upset ecosystems, threaten native wildlife, damage structures, and cause other serious problems. Millions of dollars are spent each year in attempting to control these small but numerous mollusks.

Photograph courtesy of the Department of Enviromental Protection.Zebra mussels are filter feeders. An adult zebra mussel filters up to a quart of water per day, which multiplied by millions of mussels means that the mussels may be filtering all the water in a lake or stream in a day. The animals and algae that are the food of zebra mussels are also the food for larval fish and other native species, so a large zebra mussel population may cause a decline in other animals, including native fish, mollusks, and birds.

Water and environmental management agencies are working to protect endangered native species from the threat of zebra mussels.

Zebra mussels will attach to almost any hard surface,zebra-mussels either natural or manmade. On boats, they may attach to the hull, motor, or any item immersed in the water. Both large and small boats can be severely impacted by increased drag caused by thousands of mussels. Small zebra mussels may get into engine cooling systems, causing overheating and other damage.

Zebra mussels pose a threat to navigational buoys, piers, docks, and other structures in the water. Navigational buoys have been sunk under the weight of attached zebra mussels. Wood, steel, and concrete are all damaged by prolonged attachment of the mussels.

In United States, researchers have estimated that the mussel’s damage cost the power industry $3.1 billion in 1993-1999; in New York, 1994 caused $5 billion; in Canada, Ontario hydro department has reported zebra mussels caused damage worth $ 376,000.

Great Lakes officials estimated that as much as $5 billion was spent in 10 years on zebra mussel control.

Many chemicals are used to kill zebra mussels, but these exotics are so tolerant and tough that everything in the water would have to be poisoned to destroy the mussel. Most commercial water users rely on chemicals such as chlorine, filters, or mechanical scraping to remove mussels from their intake pipes and facilities.

zebra-mussels-largePhysical barriers and chemical coatings are used to prevent zebra mussels from attaching to structures. Removal is accomplished with mechanical scrapers, hot water, air, chemicals, and sound; new methods are constantly under investigation. There is no single, ideal solution for all affected facilities.

To prevent from the damage of zebra mussels C Tech Corporation provides a solution which is based on green chemistry.

Combirepel is a non-toxic, non-hazardous and eco-friendly insect and pest aversive. As its work on smart technology it will not kill the zebra mussel but will keep them away from the applications.  Its life span is 25-40 years depending on the end application.

Combirepel is available in masterbatch as well as in lacquer forms and can be easily applied on the surface of the application and also can be incorporated in the wire and cables, pipes in the processing itself.  Combirepellacquer can be added in paints used to protect boats, plastic objects as well as other objects immersed in water including specialty applications such as ship bottom.

Aphids threaten crops!

images (6)Aphids, also known as plant lice, are diminutive, soft bodied, pear shaped insects which feed on plants, typically during the spring and summer seasons. Aphids are amongst the most common type of garden pests and are commonly green in color, though they can also found in pink, brown, yellow and black. There are over 200 species of aphids, some of which will only feed on specific types of plants, while the majorities are content to eat a myriad of different plants. Aphids are capable of asexual reproduction and can spawn throughout most of the year, sometimes producing nearly 100 young per aphid in the course of just one week. Because reproduction occurs so rapidly, what starts out as a small aphid problem in a garden, farm or greenhouse can quickly become an infestation without adequate intervention.

Aphids are mostly less than 1/4 in. (6 mm) long. Some are wingless; others have two pairs of transparent or colored wings, the front pair longer than the hind pair. In typical aphids (family Aphididae), two tubes called cornicles project from the rear of the abdomen and exude protective substances. Aphids feed by inserting their beaks and sucking sap from stems, leaves, or roots.

Many kinds of aphids secrete a sweet substance called honeydew,download (2) prized as food by ants, flies, and bees. This substance consists of partially digested, highly concentrated plant sap and other wastes, and is excreted often in copious amounts. Certain aphid species have a symbiotic relationship with various species of ants that resembles the relationship of domestic cattle to humans; hence the name “ant cows” for aphids. The ants tend the aphids, transporting them to their food plants at the appropriate stages of the aphids’ life cycle and sheltering the aphid eggs in their nests during the winter. The aphids, in turn, provide honeydew for the ants.

downloadDamaging aphid populations may develop over a span of several years. Generally medium to low rainfall zones are at a greater risk than high annual rainfall zones. Although aphids usually arrive earlier in high rainfall zones, their populations are often kept at relatively low numbers. This is believed to be due to mortalities caused by a combination of strong winds and rain, high natural enemy numbers such as parasites, and fungi, which thrive in high humidity. Direct feeding damage, occurs when colonies of 30 or more aphids develop on individual growing tips.

The degree of damage depends on the varietal susceptibility, the growth download (1)stage of the crop, the percentage of plants infested, the number of aphids per growing tip, and the duration of the infestation. Feeding damage often has no obvious signs or symptoms, although heavily infested plants may be covered in black sooty molds, which live on the sugary honeydew excreted by aphids, and flowers may be aborted. Other signs of damage include down curled leaves and wilting. The damage causes yield and quality losses, by reducing seed size and weight and numbers of pods per plant.

images (8)The damage done by aphids is due to a number of causes, including loss of sap, clogging of leaf surfaces with honeydew, and growth of molds and fungi on the honeydew. Leaf curl, a common symptom of aphid infestation, occurs when a colony attacks the underside of a leaf, causing its desiccation. The downward curl provides protection for the colony, but the leaf becomes useless to the plant. Some species also transmit viral diseases of plants. Among the aphids causing serious damage to food crops are the grain, cabbage, corn root, apple, woolly apple, and hickory aphids and the alder and beech tree blights. Direct damage caused by aphids feeding can cause yield losses of more than 50% in susceptible Lupin varieties. Yellow lupins are the most prone to aphid colonization and occasionally feeding damage may be so bad that crops fail to yield.

Let us take a look at the below article:

 

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Aphids damage early crops

06 Aug, 2013 05:00 AM

There has been significant aphid damage to early sown crops,images (3) particular in central NSW.

Pest Facts reported there were many accounts of damage in the Central Tablelands region around Mudgee, NSW.

The damage began in July once the resistance imparted by seed treatment wore off.

Oats have been one of the worst impacted crops.

Oat aphid, corn aphid and rose grain aphid favor barley, but are found in all cereal crops. Heavy infestations of these sap sucking insects cause the crop to turn yellow, be stunted and generally appear unthrifty.

All three aphids can damage crops by feeding on them and in some instances by spreading barley yellow dwarf virus.

The above article shows the extent of damage these creatures can cause. There have been various other articles published which illustrate the extent of damage caused by aphids. According to a recent study by researchers at Iowa State University aphids has become a threat to soybean in the recent years because they possess a unique ability to block the genetic defense response of soybeans and may open the door for other pests to do even more damage to the crops. Their research further made significant contribution as the scientist stated that Aphids emerged as a serious threat to Iowa soybeans around 2000. The insects are native to Asia and most likely came to the United States via international travelers or plants brought into the country.  In the years since, aphids have caused soybean farmers major headaches, reducing yields in affected fields by up to 40 percent, a scientist said.

These creatures thus cause a lot of damage in the agricultural sector. Also they invite more pests like the ants to the plants further endangering them. Conventional methods used to combat them include the use of toxic pesticides which are extremely hazardous to the environment. New methods need to be developed to do away with aphids for good. The method used should be 100% effective and should not endanger the environment in any way whatsoever.

Termirepel™ is a non-toxic, non-hazardous insect and pest repellent. It can be best described as a termite aversive. It is effective against a multitude of other insects and pests like weevils, beetles, thirps, bugs, aphids etc. It works on the mechanism of repellence and therefore does not kill the target as well as non-target species. Being non-toxic, it does not harm the soil and environment. Termirepel™ can be added to a thin agricultural film to protect plants and crops from insects like aphids. It can also be incorporated in irrigation pipes to ward of pests.

 

 

 

 

Bollworm: A threat to Cotton crop

Cotton is one of most important commercial crops in the world. Cotton is big business with world world_01production estimated at around 20 million tonnes. It is a major crop and the most popular fabric for clothing and textiles. The majority is produced by China, America, the Central Asian Republics, India, Pakistan, Brazil and Egypt. There are two vital enemies which can hamper the cotton production; one is rain and the other is pests. Pests, the age old enemies of agriculture, have caused rampant damages to the cotton crop. Bollworm is the pest which plays a major role in the cotton-plantdestruction of the cotton crop. It attacks the boll of the cotton and damages it. Bollworm larvae burrow into cotton bolls to feed on the cotton seeds. In the process they destroy the cotton lint. This feeding damage allows other insects and fungi to enter the boll and cause additional damage. When the larva exits the cotton bud it leaves a perfectly round and clean cut exit hole.

Cotton bollworm moths are about 0.75 inch long, with a wing span of 1 to 1.5 inches. Eggsare Helicoverpa_gelotopoeon_larvaspherical, flattened, with 10 to 15 perpendicular rows of toothed ribs.Newly hatched, first-instar larvae have several rows of dark tubercles along the back, each bearing one or two bristles. Larve range from olive green to dark reddish brown in color and can be best distinguished from most other caterpillars by the tiny spines, visible under a hand lens, that cover most of the body surface. The budworm has a tooth like structure on the inner surface of the mandibles that is lacking in the bollworm, and it has the tiny spines of the skin extending onto the tubercles on top of the eighth abdominal segment; in the bollworm, these tubercles lack spines.

I-LP-HZEA-LV.024Larvae chew holes into the base of bolls and may hollow out locks. Moist frass usually accumulates around the base of the boll. Larvae may also chew shallow gouges in the boll surface, which can become infected with rot organisms. Square  injured by cotton bollworm usually have a round hole near the base. Fifth-instar larvae are the most destructive; they not only damage more fruit than do earlier instars, but they damage larger fruit that are harder for the plant to replace.

The bollworms include a number of species as pink bollworm, Spotted Bollworm, African Bollworm etc. This species is widespread in central and southern Europe, shapeimage_3temperate Asia, Africa, Australia and Oceania. It is a migrant species, able to reach Scandinavia and other northern territories. The larvae of this beast munch on precious crops in Asia, Europe, Africa and Australia, causing damage estimated at greater than US$2 billion each year. The bollworm’s weapon is simple: it rapidly evolves resistance to insecticide sprays, thus the use of conventional hazardous and toxic pesticides is not a 100% effective solution for this problem.

With science and technology, hybrid variety of cotton called Bt. Cotton has been developed to combat the problem of pests. This solution gave a new face to the production as the results were positive and the output from the cotton field increased. The advantages of using Bt. cotton over non-Bt varieties are huge. Since introducing it over a decade ago, there has been an 80% reduction in the use of chemical pesticides previously required to control bollworms. This not only means safer working operations for growers but is beneficial for the environment as well. However even with this advancement the pest problem is still prevalent in the cotton fields.

A study carried out by Michael Williams of Mississippi State University entomology emeritus in 2010 shows the following results;

Of all the detailed statistics contained in this report, the most revealing may be the fact that 8.1 million cotton acres across the Belt were infested by the bollworm/budworm insect complex, resulting in 263,902 bales lost.
When translated into economic losses for cotton production, the numbers show how much of an impact this problem will always be for cotton producers across the country.

For example, the total yield loss due to insects across the Belt adds up to $376,673,521, or an average of $35.33 per acre.

Two important eradication programs on boll weevil and pink bollworm cost producers $54.1 million in 2010, or an average of $5.08 per acre.
Aside from the actual financial damage to cotton crops, there is the cost of managing insecticide applications throughout the year. Foliar insecticide costs totaled $240.5 million. At-planting costs were $64.3 million; in-furrow costs were $37.8 million and scouting costs were $51.2 million.
Other noteworthy statistics reveal that 985,821 bales were lost due to insect damage. That represents a 3.91 percent loss in overall yields.

In 2010, it was reported that the Bollworm infested 8.1 million acres of cotton field because of which nearly 263,902 bales of cotton were lost.

Among the several constraints for low yields, the losses due to pests and diseases are the foremost, which have led to poor sustainability of farm production. Over ambitious plant protection measures adopted by farmers for this commercial crop resulted in tragic crop failure in spite of heavy expenditure, which was followed by many suicidal instances of the cotton growers. The pest pressure, particularly of bollworms, due to which crop loss in cotton becomes very high, drives the growers to tactics which may not be really suited to the given situation and would ensure failure of such efforts.

Also, the recent studies have shown that the Bt. Cotton is failing. In 2010 India Today, reported that Untitledthe Bt. Cotton is  failing and is not an appropriate solution for the pest problem as the pest have developed resistant gene.  The report further said; farmers suffered huge losses as crops were damaged on large scale by the pests. Also the hybrid Bt. Cotton was effective only against bollworm and did not control any other pests of cotton. “New sucking pests have emerged as major pests causing significant economic losses”, the report says.

In addition to cotton, bollworm also attacks tomato, tobacco, corn, soybean, etc. To protect the cotton crops from these veracious pests there has to be solution which is not hazardous like toxic pesticides and also which would work effectively unlike the Bt. Cotton.

C Tech Corporation provides a solution which fits the bill. Their product Termirepel is the only solution which can protect the crops like cotton, tomato, corn and many more. The most important unique quality of this product is that it is non-toxic, non-hazardous and environment friendly. Termirepel™helps keep bollworm, ants, termitesand 500 other species at bay and protects the application. They can be incorporated in agricultural films, mulches and irrigation pipes to protect the crops from the vicious pests. The product is available in the form of masterbatch as well as liquid solution and is compatible with most the base polymers. The most important quality of the product is that it does not kill the target species but repels them.

 

 

 

 

 

Mealybugs damages crops!

downloadMealybugs are common sap-feeding pests that infest a wide range of houseplants and greenhouse plants. Mealybugs are insects in the family Pseudococcidae, unarmored scale insects found in moist, warm climates. Mealybugs occur in all parts of the world. There are about 275 species of Mealybugs known to occur in the continental United States. Mealybugs are common insect pests that tend to live together in clusters in protected parts of plants, such as leaf axils, leaf sheaths, between twining stems and under loose bark. They suck sap from plants and then excrete the excess sugars as a substance called honeydew. This lands on the leaves and stems where it is often colonized by sooty moulds, giving the surfaces a blackened appearance. Mealybugs are active all year round on houseplants and in greenhouses.

Since mealybugs are  insects, they do not undergo completedownload (3) metamorphosis in the true sense of the word, i.e. there are no clear larval, pupal and adult stages, and the wings do not develop internally. However, male mealybugs do exhibit a radical change during their life cycle, changing from wingless, ovoid nymphs to wasp -like flying adults. Mealybug females feed on plant sap, normally in roots or other crevices, and in a few cases the bottoms of stored fruit. They attach themselves to the plant and secrete a powdery waxlayer used for protection while they suck the plant juices. The males on the other hand are short-lived as they do not feed at all as adults and only live to fertilize the females.

They are considered pests as they feed on plant juices of greenhouse plants, house plants and subtropical trees and also act as a vector for several plant diseases. Mealybugs are found mainly on greenhouse plants and houseplants, especially cacti and succulents, African violets, bougainvillea, citrus plants, fushcia, grapevines, hoya, orchids,oleander, passion flower, peach and tomato. Some other mealybug species can attack outdoor plants, such as , laburnum, New Zealand flax.

Mealybugs tend to be serious pests in the presence of ants because the ants protect them from predators and parasites. Mealybugs also infest some species of carnivorous plants such as(pitcher plants; in such cases it is difficult to eradicate them. Small infestations may not inflict significant damage. In larger amounts though, they can induce leaf drop. Infestations are usually first noticed as a fluffy white wax produced in the leaf axils or other sheltered places on the plant. The insects or their orange-pink eggs can be found underneath this substance

images (3)Heavy infestations may result in an accumulation of honeydew. This makes plants sticky and encourages the growth of sooty moulds, giving the leaf and stem surfaces a blackened appearance. Damage is caused by mealybugs feeding on host tissues and injecting toxins or plant pathogens into host plants. In addition, mealybugs secrete a waste product, honeydew, which is a syrupy, sugary liquid that falls on the leaves, coating them with a shiny, sticky film. Honeydew serves as a medium for the growth of sooty mold fungus that reduces the plant’s photosynthetic abilities and ruins the plant’s appearance. Feeding by mealybugs can cause premature leaf drop, dieback, and may even kill plants if left unchecked. Severe infestations will reduce plant vigor and stunt growth. Heavy infestations may cause premature leaf fall.

Mealybugs can be found on all plant parts, but especially roots, rhizomes, pseudobulbs, and the underside of leaves. They are adept at hiding on roots and rhizomes deep in the potting media, in crevices and under sheaths. Unlike scales, mealybugs wander in search of feeding places and will leave plants, and hide under rims of pots and trays, in bench crevices, and even drop from overhead plants. Spread of crawlers can occur both indoors and outdoors by floating on breezes or air currents produced by circulating and heater fans. The occurrence of infestation hotspots may be due to crawlers settling on plants where the air currents are the weakest. Similar effects are found with aphids, scales, and spider mites.

There are different kinds of Mealybugs that affect different crops like bamboo mealybug, citrus mealybug, and cotton mealybug. There have been numerous instances of crop damage owing to mealybug all over the world. The most prominent amongst them is the incident reported widely about Bt. Cotton getting affected in India due to mealybugs. The article is as follows:

 

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Bt cotton not pest resistant

Gur Kirpal Singh Ashk, TNN Aug 24, 2007, 02.39am IST

 

PATIALA: The attack of the mealy bug on the Bt cotton crop in Punjab has stripped it of its aura and destroyed the illusion that it is resistant to all pests. Two years back the Punjab government had described the introduction of Bt cotton as a great achievement. However, this season, the third year after its introduction, thousands of acres in the Malwa region are facing attack by the pest.

Desperate farmers, gripped by panic, are resorting to intensive pesticide sprays and some of them have started ploughing their fields. The state directorate of agriculture has put out advertisements in vernacular daily papers prescribing a list of pesticides for spray to control the bug.

Now agricultural experts have also started saying Bt cotton is not totally free from attacks by pests. Punjab agricultural director BS Sidhu said he or his department had never claimed that Bt Cotton was pest free. “Rather, we had told cotton growers that, except for the bollworm group, other pests could attack Bt cotton like any other cotton crop. Two years back the Punjab government had described the introduction of Bt cotton as a great achievement.

However, this season, the third year of its cultivation, thousands of acres in the Malwa region are facing attack by the pest. Desperate farmers, gripped by panic, are resorting to intensive pesticide sprays and some of them have started ploughing their fields.

The state directorate of agriculture has put out advertisements in vernacular daily papers prescribing a list of pesticides for spray to control the bug.

Umendra Dutt, executive director of the Kheti Virasat Mission (KVM), Punjab, put a question before them that if Bt cotton was safe from only one pest then why was the hype about Bt cotton’s invincibility created. He said earlier cotton seeds were available for Rs 20 to 30 per kg and the farmers were then lured to purchase the Bt cotton seed for Rs 3,600 per kg.

The previous Congress government had put out official advertisements that made tall claims about the advantages of Bt cotton, among them an increase in yield by 25% to 28% per hectare, net increase in income by Rs 10-15,000 per hectare and savings on agrochemicals up to Rs 1,000 per hectare.

Talking to TOI, Dutt claimed within a span of two months Rs 500 crore worth of pesticides to control the mealy bug were sold and, if the trend continues, the total sum may surpass Rs 800 crore.

Apart from pesticides farmers had also applied chemical fertilizers like DAP and urea. “Not only causing huge losses to the already distressed farmers, the mealy bug has destroyed the illusion of Bt cotton’s infallibility.

“As the mealy bug is destroying the cotton crop in Punjab’s Malwa region, in desperation the farmers are intensively spraying pesticides that are toxic and costly on their crop.”

 There have been various other reports pertaining to damages caused by mealybugs in the agricultural sector in countries like Thailand, etc. Early in 2008, organic farmer Ram Kalaspurkar of Yavatmal, Maharashtra in India had vivid photographic evidence of mealy bug infestations on demonstration plots of different seed companies in Vidarbha, all bearing the Bollgard label. He was convinced that the mealy bug entered Vidarbha cotton fields through Bt cotton seeds imported from the US.

Kalaspurkar described how, when the cotton plants died at the end of the season, the mealy bug moved to nearby plants such as the Congress weed. By mid-June when farmers were ready to plant the new cotton crop or another crop, the bug had multiplied enormously.

A year later, scientists at the Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR) in Nagpur, India, corroborated Kalaspurkar’s findings, reporting widespread infestation of an exotic mealy bug species on Indian cotton. The scientists conducted a survey at 47 locations in the nine cotton-growing states, and found two mealybug species infesting the cotton plants from all nine states: the solenopsis mealy bug, Penacoccus solenopsis, and the pink hibiscus mealy bug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus. However, P. solenopsis was the predominant species, comprising 95 percent of the samples examined. Furthermore, the scientists confirmed that P. solenopsis is a new exotic species to India originating in the US, where it was reported to damage cotton and other crops in 14 plant families.

During 2006, the mealy bug caused economic damage, reducing yields by up to 40-50 percent in infested fields in several parts of Gujarat.   At around the same time, mealy bug infestations were found in all the nine cotton-growing states: Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Severe economic damage was reported in 2007 in four districts of Punjab, two districts of Haryana, and low to moderate damage in parts of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Nearly 2 000 acres of cotton crop were destroyed by the mealy bug by mid-July 2006, and over 100 acres of bug-infested Bt cotton was uprooted in Arike-Kalan village in Bathinda. A report published by the Centre for Agro-Informatics Research in Pakistan in 2006 also stated that the exotic mealybug P. solenopsis had destroyed 0.2 million bales and 50 000 acres of cotton area across Pakistan, especially in Punjab and Sindh provinces. It warned that the pest was still increasing, and could result in an epidemic in the cotton-growing areas if unchecked.

Thus is the unstemmed devastation caused by this tiny bug. Methods hitherto used to combat this menace include the use of toxic pesticides, which come with their own set of cons. A effective and green solution needs to be devised to counter this destruction. Termirepel™, a product by C Tech Corporation aims to do just that. Termirepel™ is a non-toxic, non-hazardous insect and pest repellant. It can be best described as a termite aversive. It is effective against a multitude of other insects and pests like weevils, beetles, thirps, bugs, etc. It works on the mechanism of repellence and therefore does not kill the target as well as non-target species. Being non-toxic, it does not harm the soil and environment. Termirepel™ can be added to a thin agricultural film to protect cotton and other crops. It can also be incorporated in irrigation pipes to ward of pests.

 

 

 

Lace bugs

Lace bugs are also known as Tingidae. Lace bugsThey are 1/8 to ¼ inch long, light colored bodies, and elaborate ornate, lacy wings that look broad and flat from above. Lace bugs are known as Pronotum. The forewings of the adult have a delicate and intricate network of divided areas that resemble lace.

Lace-bug-undersideLace bugs can be very destructive to plants.Most of the lace bugs feed on the undersides of leaves by piercing the epidermis and sucking the sap. Lace bug damage to the foliage of trees and shrubs detracts greatly from plant its beauty, also reduces the plant’s ability to produce food. It decreases plant vigor and causes the plant to be more susceptible to damage by other insects, diseases or unfavorable weather conditions.

Plants which are mainly susceptible to it include Oak-Lace-Bug-EggsHackberry, walnut, basswood, white oak, bur oak, williow, chokecherry, hawthorn, amelanchier, cotoneasters, and other ornamentals.

Research shows that host plants are more susceptible to lace bugs if planted in full sun and subjected to drought stress.

Many chemicals are used to control lace bugs damage. Such are Permethrin, Cyfluthrin, Acephate, Scimitar and Carbaryl which are harmful for environment and human beings. They are also not very effective and do not provide a long lasting solution.

Lace bugsIn 2009- 2011 due to lace bugs net crop quality loss was estimated to be 40-95%. Macadamia lace bugs caused losses over 90% in variety of crops.

Estimated loss cost was USD 300,000 and control costs was USD 1750,000 for each group of livestock and associated pests in Georgia in 2006.

All the other alternative methods used like biological control, physical and cultural control, chemical control are not very effective and environment friendly. To overcome damage by the lace bugs we have to go for a better environment friendly and effective method.

C Tech Corporation provides us with its niche product Termirepel which is non-toxic, non-hazardous and environmental friendly insect repellent and repels 500 species of insects. Its life span is 25-40 years depending on the end application. It can be easily incorporated in agricultural tubing and hosing, drip irrigation, agricultural films, tarps, mulches. As it does not leach out from the application it does not contaminate ground water and soil.

Damage caused by white grubs

There are different species of white grubs which are difficult togrub (1) differentiate as larvae; their adult forms are easier to distinguish. Essentially, white grubs are simply the larva stage of adult beetles; all species of beetles begin their lives as white grubs. There are many types of white grubs such as Japanese beetle, European Chafer, May/June beetle, Oriental beetle, Masked Chafer, Asiatic garden beetle, Green June beetle, Sugar Cane grub. Most of the damage is caused in the second year of the larval stage.

White grubs live in the soil and feed on the roots of grass, farm and garden crops, potato tubers. The greatest damage to crops occurs after the appearance of the adults.

White grubs feed on the roots of corn, timothy, Kentucky bluegrass, sorghum, soybean, strawberry, potato, barley, oat, wheat, rye, bean, turnip, and to a lesser degree, other cultivated crops. They also infest various pasture grasses, lawns, and nursery plantings.

The infestation in the root for feeding can be so severe that the plants may grow no taller than 30 to 60 cm. The root system is badly damaged; injured plants will eventually die and can be easily pulled from the ground. Even light infestation usually results in increased lodging and reduced yield.

There are many methods used to control their damage such as Physical methods, Biological methods, and chemical methods. In chemical methods, chemical pesticides are used to control the damage. Chemicals used are organophosphate, trichlorfon, etc.

News article published in California Digital News Paper Collection is as follows:

RHS_SCN0006342_790887In Washington crops in Illinois, lowa and Wisconsin suffered to the extent of $7,000,000 last year from the attacks of common white grubs, while the damage to corn, timothy and potatoes in other infested areas of the country north of the Ohio, from the Atlantic Ocean to South Dakota, was at least $5,000,100 so the loss last year from this cause was not less than $12,000,000, according to conservative estimates made by John J. Davis of the United States Bureau of Entomology. Observations seem to make it certain, he says, in reporting his findings that in the northern states the total life cycle of this injurious species is three is three years. May beetles were unusually abundant. In 1908 and 1911, and the grubs caused the largest damage in 1909 and 1912. He advises farmers in the regions infested last year to plow deep this fall, the best time ordinarily being between October 1 and 15.

Animals like skunks, raccoons; moles etc that feed on grubs can alsogrub cause damage to the turf grass and other plantation in search of their food. Damage caused by white grubs initially resembles drought stress. All the alternative methods used to control white grubs for damaging turf grass and vegetation don’t  give good result and are also toxic as they give out harmful fumes when temperature rises.

The adult beetles are also dangerous for plants as they eat the foliage on many species of trees and shrubs including maple trees, crab apples, roses, and potentilla.

We at CTech Corporation provide you with our product Termirepel®™ which is non-toxic, non-hazardous and eco-friendly aversive for repelling termites and insects. It does not kill the insects and termites but it just repels them from the application. It has high thermal stability and does not leach out from the polymeric application. Termirepel®™ can be incorporated into pipes, tubing and hosing to protect the area.

Kudzu Bugs…

Kudzu bugs are a type of insect known as a true bug because of their semi membranous wing type and piercing sucking mouth parts. They are approximately 4 to 6 mm long as adults and are a mottled green and brown color. Many people mistake them for beetles, but they can easily be differentiated by their beaklike piercing sucking mouthparts. Beetles all have chewing mouthparts.

images (2)Kudzu bugs get their name from the fact they are known to feed on kudzu. They use their piercing mouthparts to suck juices from the plant. Unfortunately they also feed on other plants, including crops such as soybeans, which results in them being considered an agricultural pest.

Kudzu bugs are a recent addition to the U.S. list of invasive species. They were first sighted in Georgia in 2009 and are suspected to originate from Asia. Currently they have spread through several southeastern states, including North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

Homeowners usually are more concerned with kudzu bugs because of their overwintering habits similar to box elder bugs, cluster flies and Asian multicolored lady beetles. During the warm summer months, people do not see the bugs. Once fall temperatures start dropping, kudzu bugs congregate in massive numbers on sun-exposed surfaces to warm themselves. Next they locate sheltered voids, cracks and crevices to survive the winter, which can include people’s homes. Once indoors, they do not feed or reproduce. They are dormant during the winter, unless there is a warm day, and will vacate the building with the warmth of the spring.download (1)

Having potentially thousands of bugs crawling throughout the home is a traumatic experience for homeowners. The bugs also have an alarming chemical defense. When disturbed they release an unpleasant smell. One bug is slightly smelly but it can be quite pungent when large numbers release the chemical.

Kudzu bug females typically lay their eggs on the underside of the host plants.  Nymphs hatch and begin feeding on the plants. Eventually they mature into adults, reproduce and start the life cycle anew.

The mass sightings of the adults are the most disturbing sign for homeowners. If large numbers are disturbed, they can produce a strong odor. Host plants also may show sign of damage as the bugs feed.

Master Gardener – Tips for when Kudzu bugs cozy up for winter

By Charlotte Glen

Published: Friday, November 8, 2013 at 8:50 a.m.

 If insects placed personal ads, kudzu bugs would probably be running something along these lines right about now: “Small, brown, square bug seeking a cozy place to spend the winter with a few hundred of my best friends. No food required. Will be out by spring.”

If kudzu bugs are knocking at your door seeking a place to overwinter, your best defense may be a vacuum cleaner, since pesticides have little impact on this persistent invader. The good news is they will not damage your home and their rush to find winter housing will likely be over by Thanksgiving.

Kudzu bug 101

Native to China and India, kudzu bugs were first found in the United States in the fall of 2009, just outside of Atlanta. Since then, these small but highly mobile insects have spread throughout the kudzu-infested South, including most of North Carolina’s 100 counties. Kudzu bugs were first recorded in Pender, New Hanover and Brunswick counties in the fall of 2011.

During the summer months, kudzu bugs feed on kudzu, soybeans, field peas, butter beans and other legumes, but when the weather turns cooler they start to seek a place to spend the winter. Kudzu bugs overwinter as fully mature adults nestled under tree bark, tucked into mulch or leaf litter, or stowed away inside your house. People living near soybean fields or kudzu-infested areas, or who have hyacinth bean or wisteria vines in their yards, are most likely to see kudzu bugs around their homes.

The above article shows the futility of using pesticides against the Kudzu bugs. The products which should be used against these bugs need to be 100% effective to stop the infestations. Here comes the role of C Tech Corporation.pb-111017-kudzu-bugs-jb-01.grid-6x2

Termirepel®™can be easily described as termite aversive, used also against all types of insects and which works on the mechanism of repellence. It means that it does not kill the target insects or termites but only repels them, thus balancing the ecology and helping in maintaining the goal of sustainability. There are more than 500 species against which this product works.

This product is available in the form of masterbatches and can be incorporated into polymeric applications. It is also available in the form of lacquer which can be coated onto our home walls and fences by preventing these bugs from entering our homes and gardens.

This product is one of a kind and has a long shelf life. It is 100% effective and is a green solution.

 

DEET: A toxic ingredient in repellents!!

Today the world has developed with the technology and research where solutions are found for images (1)each and every problem. But the problem of pests lurking in human life since time immemorial is still rampant. There are many solutions available for the pest problems like usage of bug sprays. The bugs and other insects are host to many viruses and diseases. Bug sprays are very popular and are found in almost all households. People use these sprays to protect themselves from mosquitoes, bugs and other insects by spraying it on their clothes, around their house and even on themselves! In desperate need to protect themselves from these vile species; they do not bother to look at the listed ingredients on the spray. Most of the insect repellents used in countries like USA have hazardous chemical DEET as its active ingredient!

download (2)  DEET chemically known as N, N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide is slightly yellow oil and is used for more than 50 years now. DEET is available to the consumer in various forms. In fact, the­ U.S. Environmental Protection Agency currently registers 39 companies with about 140 products containing DEET. DEET products are available as liquids, lotions, sprays, and impregnated materials like wristbands or wipes. These products are all for direct application to the skin. DEET is easily absorbed through the skin. The concentration of DEET in various products ranges upto 100%. DEET in such concentrations is highly toxic and acts as a health hazard.

images The U S Army developed DEET in 1946 to protect soldiers in jungles from mosquito-borne illnesses. This old solution is still used and considered as safe for application on skin for protection against mosquitoes, fleas, bugs, etc. DEET is believed to work by blocking the chemical receptors for carbon dioxide and lactic acid, two of the substances released by our bodies that serve as attractants. Although DEET helps keep insects from locating people, there is probably more involved in DEET’s effectiveness, since mosquitoes won’t bite DEET-treated skin. However, skin only a few centimeters away from DEET is susceptible to bites.

download (1) The fact which is known and ignored is DEET being extremely toxic and non-hazardous. They are known to cause damage to nervous system and cause various other illnesses and may even be fatal. Effects of DEET include memory loss, fatigue, headache, tremors, muscle and joint pain, general weakness and shortness of breath. Such symptoms may not be evident until months or even years after exposure, making accurate diagnosis is difficult. However, these symptoms are consistent with those reported by soldiers who used DEET during the Persian Gulf War. Studies on rats showed that DEET caused brain cell death and behavioral changes.

There are various reports which show that the DEET is hazardous and dangerous and is not safe as claimed.

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DEET Finally Exposed as Neurotoxic

Monday, July 05, 2010 by: David Gutierrez

NaturalNews) New research shows that the insect-repelling chemical deet actually functions in the same way as deadly nerve gases and dangerous pesticides, by attacking the nervous systems of both insects and mammals.
“These findings question the safety of DEET, particularly in combination with other chemicals,” said researcher Vincent Corbel of Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement in Montpellier.
The chemical known as DEET is found in nearly every commonly used mosquito repellent in the world, and eight billion doses have been applied since its introduction to the consumer market in 1957. The chemical was originally developed as an insect repellent by the U.S. Army in 1946, following experience with jungle warfare in World War II.

DEET’s popularity comes largely from its effectiveness in repelling a variety of medically significant insects over longer periods of time than more natural repellents (such as certain vegetable-based oils), and the fact that it can be incorporated into sprays, liquids or lotions. Yet although researchers have long insisted that the chemical is safe, they still recommend that consumers use the minimum amount of repellent necessary to cover exposed skin or clothing, and those DEET repellents not be applied directly to any irritated or injured skin. While the United States allows the sale of 100 percent DEET repellents, many other countries limit maximum concentrations of the chemical to 30 or 50 percent.

In spite of the chemical’s long use, researchers are unsure exactly how   functions to repel mosquitoes. It has long been believed to affect mosquito behavior without harming the insects, probably by interfering with their sense of smell and their ability to find human prey.

Yet the new study, published in the journal BioMed Central Biology, suggests that deet may function by interfering directly with insects’ nervous systems.
images (2)“We’ve found that DEET is not simply a behavior-modifying chemical but also inhibits the activity of a key central nervous system enzyme, acetylcholinesterase, in both insects and mammals,” the researchers said.

In experiments performed in cockroaches and rats, the researchers found that deet blocked the action of the neurological enzyme acetylcholinesterase. This is the same mechanism that causes the toxic effects of popular carbamate and organophosphate pesticides, as well as chemical weapons such as sarin and VX nerve gas. This may mean that DEET repellants are actually insecticides and could damage the human nervous system.

Organophosphates are among the pesticides most commonly implicated in pesticide poisoning worldwide, and are also a commonly used suicide method in agricultural areas. Like nerve gases, organophosphates irreversibly inactivate acetylcholinesterase, leading to excessive salivation and eye watering at low doses, and muscle spasms or death at higher doses. Although carbamates are not as toxic as organophosphates, their effects can be just as severe at high enough doses.

Strong evidence also links these pesticides to dangerous health effects caused by long-term exposure even at low doses.

Previous studies have implicated DEET in causing seizures in children, but the current study is the first to uncover how the chemical acts directly on the nervous system.

The researchers also found that the effects of DEET were enhanced when it was used in combination with organophosphates or carbamates, as in mixed repellent-insecticide products.

Bahie Abou-Donia of the Duke University Medical Center said that the new findings are consistent with previous research into the risks of DEET.

“Deet is a good chemical for protection against insects,” Abou-Donia said. “But prolonged exposure results in neurological damage, and this is enhanced by other chemicals and medications.”

The researchers in the new study suggested that pregnant women and children under the age of six avoid using DEET-containing mosquito repellents. Abou-Donia went farther, calling for such products to carry warning labels about DEET’s potential to cause neurological harm.

 

The above study report shows that till today people were using perilous insecticides on their skin!  This insecticidal DEET gets absorbed through skin and cause neurological damage. Other horrifying news is this hazardous chemical was found in municipal water supplies in Minnesota as reported by Natural News in September 2010.

“Little is known about DEET’s effects if ingested in drinking water. Yet a 2004 U.S. Geological Survey study found that it was in the top 10 most commonly detected chemicals in a survey of 65 Minnesota lakes and streams. A 2006 study confirmed the chemical’s presence in one-third of 43 Mississippi River sites tested in the state, while a 2009 study found it in every one of 12 lakes and four rivers tested.

“It showed up just about everywhere,” said Mark Ferrey, a researcher at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.”

As a consequence, the state Department of Health has designated DEET as one of seven “chemicals of emerging concern” whose safety it will assess during the coming year.”

DEET is one of the most hazardous and toxic chemical and anyone claiming otherwise is clearly misguided. Even after such horrifying incidents coming to light, DEET based products are still used in many countries. It is estimated that one out three US residents use DEET based products. Using DEET is like giving invitation for neurological disorders instead of dengue and malaria. According to EPA, the likely seizure rate is only about one per 100 million users. But are we willing to take the risk and be that one person.

The problem of insects is out of control and an effective solution against them is the need of the hour. But the DEET based product is definitely not a right solution. So is there any other solution apart from using hazardous and toxic chemicals?

Yes there is! C-Tech Corporation has developed non-toxic, non-hazardous and environment friendly solution: TERMIREPEL™. Termirepel™ is non-toxic and non-hazardous product which is highly efficient and effective in repelling the insects like mosquitoes, fleas, ants etc. It is a broad spectrum aversive effective against more than 500 insect species. It is available in master batch can be incorporated in mosquito nets, tents etc. Termirepel is also available in lacquer form which can be coated on window and door frames to keep the insects away. The working mechanism of Termirepel is repellence and not killing.

Now, it is high time that we start the use of such non-toxic green products instead of hazards like DEET.


 

Thirp Damage….

Found in a rainbow of North American plants from avocados to beans, onions, citrus trees and images (4)market flowers, thrips are tiny insects. These species that are plant feeders can scar leaf, flower or fruit surfaces with silvery speckling when they puncture and suck out the cell’s content. Conversely, heavy pest populations can severely distort flowers and damage fruit. Other thrip species function as beneficial insects by eating mites, fungal spores and pollen.

When thrips have fed on a bud, it will often fail to open; or if it does open, the flower will be deformed. Flowers upon which the thrips feed may also become streaked and/or discolored. When thrips feed on plant leaves, the leaves will dry out and appear speckled with silvery flakes. The leaves will eventually wilt and fall off.

To lay its eggs, the female thrip will make a slit in a leaf then lay 25 to 50 eggs within it. The eggs can develop into adults within three weeks, or sooner for some species. Many species of thrips also reproduce asexually. They can produce many generations in a single season.

In addition to damaging and feeding on plants, thrips are known to bite humans. They can cause both skin and respiratory irritation to people, according to the University of Michigan, particularly to workers in fields where infestations exist.I-TS-FOCC-CD.008h

Thrips are small insects, only about 1/20″, but they can cause a lot of damage. At maturity, they are yellowish or blackish with fringed wings.  Nymphs have a similar shape but lack the wings. They are usually yellowish to white. Thrips are poor flyers. As a result, damage often occurs in one part of the plant then slowly spreads throughout it.

Thrips feed in buds, folded leaves, and other unexposed areas of plants. This makes them difficult to treat with an insecticide. They feed by sucking juices from the plant causing stippling, or small scars, on leaves, flowers and fruit. This results in stunting of the plant, leaf distortion and premature leaf drop. Flowers may be deformed and fail to open properly. Petals may show brown streaks and spots. Their excrement is black and shiny, which may be a clue to their presence.  In addition to this physical damage, thrips also transmit tomato spotted wilt virus and impatiens necrotic spot virus, for which there is no control.

If enough thrips attack a plant, the leaves may take on a silver streaked appearance. When there is a large enough infestations of thrips, the plant can be severely damaged. Fruits will not be able to fully mature.

I-TS-HHAE-CD.013hIn many species, thrips feed within buds and furled leaves or in other enclosed parts of the plant. Their damage is often observed before the thrips are seen. Discolored or distorted plant tissue or black specks of feces around stippled leaf surfaces are clues that thrips are or were present. However, some abiotic disorders, pathogens, and certain other invertebrates can cause damage resembling that of thrips. For example, lace bugs, plant bugs, and mites also stipple foliage, and lace bugs and certain plant bugs produce dark, watery fecal specks. Look carefully for the insects themselves to be certain that pest thrips are present and the cause of damage before taking control action.

Thrips are poor fliers but can readily spread long distances by floating with the wind or being transported on infested plants. New thrips introductions can pose serious threats and complicate identification. A recent introduction of Klambothrips myopori has caused serious leaf and shoot galling damage to Myoporum laetum(ngaio tree) and Myoporum ‘Pacificum’ (a groundcover) along the coast of California. This thrips was both a new introduction and an undescribed species, so that initially not even the experts knew what to call it or how it might be managed. This species is now well established and from its original detection site in San Diego has spread north along the coast to at least as far as Santa Barbara. It is expected to continue to spread to wherever Myoporum species have been planted.

images (3)Thrips prefer to feed in rapidly growing tissue. Feeding by thrips typically causes tiny scars on leaves and fruit, called stippling, and can stunt growth. Damaged leaves may become papery and distorted. Infested terminals may discolor, become rolled, and drop leaves prematurely. Petals may exhibit “color break,” which is pale or dark discoloring of petal tissue that was killed by thrips feeding before buds opened. Thrips cause silvery to brownish, scabby scarring on the avocado and citrus fruit surface, but this cosmetic damage does not harm the internal fruit quality. Feces may remain on leaves or fruit long after thrips have left. Where thrips lay eggs on grapes, dark scars surrounded by lighter “halos” may be found on the fruit. Thrips feeding on raspberries, apples, and nectarines can deform or scar developing fruit; sugar pea pods may be scarred or deformed. Citrus thrips feeding severely distorts blueberry shoot tips and foliage, reducing fruit yield.

images (1)Western flower thrips are primarily pests of herbaceous plants, but high populations occasionally damage continuously- or late-blossoming flowers on woody plants such as roses. Some plant-feeding thrips are also predaceous on other pests, such as spider mites. In young cotton seedlings in California, western flower thrips is considered beneficial because it feeds on spider mites.

Behavior, body appearance, and host plants help to distinguish among thrips species. For example, three dark spots on each forewing distinguish the adult predaceous six spotted thrips from pest thrips. Adults of western flower thrips and onion thrips, are noticeably larger than avocado and citrus thrips adults, so mature body size helps to distinguish them when they occur together on the same host plant. However, thrips can be positively identified to species only by an expert. Fortunately, most thrips are susceptible to some of the same controls, such as exclusion and pesticides.

imagesIt is more important to distinguish among thrips species in situations where integrated pest management methods are used. For example, predatory thrips or other natural enemies are highly specific to certain pests and are likely to help control only certain species of plant-feeding thrips. Certain thrips occur on many different plants but damage only a few of the plant species on which they are found, so identifying the thrips species may reveal that it is harmless in that situation and no control action is needed. For example, avocado fruit skin is scarred by avocado thrips and greenhouse thrips, but citrus thrips and western flower thrips are harmless in avocado. Citrus thrips occurs on many species of plants but damages only blueberries and citrus.

Although thrips damage to leaves is unsightly, thrips activity does not usually warrant the use of insecticide sprays. For instance, while thrips damage on citrus or avocado fruit may look unpleasant, it does not harm trees or affect the internal fruit quality. When damage is noticed on ripening fruit or distorted terminals, the thrips that caused the injury are often gone. It’s not until later when tissue grows and expands that injury caused earlier becomes apparent. While viruses vectored by thrips may cause plant loss, insecticide sprays are not recommended to prevent viruses because thrips are not killed fast enough to prevent the transfer of the virus to new plants. Prevention of thrips infestations is the only way to prevent infection by thrips-vectored viruses.

This can readily by achieved by using C Tech Corporation patented product Termirepel™.

Termirepel™ is a non-toxic, non-hazardous broad spectrum insect aversive masterbatch which works not only against termites but a host of other insects including beetles, ticks, thirps etc. It has been incorporated in different kinds of films, cables and wires etc all over the world and is found to be effective against even the most aggressive insects. It is effective against a multitude of other insects including agricultural pests. It can be used for a number of applications including agricultural films, tarps, pipes, plastics, ducts, tubing and hosing, wires and cables, railways, aviation, mulches and the automobile sector.

For prevention from damage caused by Thirps, films incorporated with Termirepel™ can be used to cover the area or mulches can also be used to save the plants. Such films can also be wrapped around big fruits to prevent damage. All this can be done by just repelling the insect and not killing them. Thus, following the course of ecological balance and sustainability.