Termirepel™ in agricultural films: A solution to all our pest problems

indexAgriculture is still the means of livelihood for a vast section of human population all over the world. In spite of the tremendous progress that has been made in this sector, it continues to be riddled with problems pertaining to pests. Pests are the nemesis of the agricultural sector. Every year millions of tons of crops are being damaged owing to pest damage. Currently 10-16% of global crop production is lost to pests. Crop pests include fungi, bacteria, viruses, insects, nematodes, viroids and oomycetes. The diversity of crop pests continues to expand and new strains are continually evolving. Losses of major crops to fungi, and fungi-like microorganisms, amount to enough to feed nearly nine percent of today’s global population.

Insects are responsible for two major kinds of damaged2 to growing crops. First is direct injury done to the plant by the feeding insect, which eats leaves or burrows in stems, fruit, or roots. There are hundreds of pest species of this type, both in larvae and adults, among orthopterans, homopterans, heteropterans, coleopterans, lepidopterans, and dipterans. The second type is indirect damage in which the insect itself does little or no harm but transmits a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection into a crop. Examples include the viral diseases of sugar beets and potatoes, carried from plant to plant by aphids.

dCrops and agricultural produce are susceptible to damage by insects and pests at each stage from pre-harvest to post harvest level. Post harvest damage recorded in Asia alone is approximately 6%. Every year millions of dollars worth food grains are lost to pests! Furthermore according to survey by World Food Program there are 842 million undernourished people in the world today. That means one in eight people do not get enough food to be healthy and lead an active life. In such circumstances, such blatant wastage of food should be avoided at all costs. This is uninvited and unwanted charity!

In our efforts to stem the damage to agricultural produce bowing to pests, we have taken refuge in the use of toxic pesticides. Although this has helped stem the damage to a considerable extent, they are not always effective. What they do simultaneously is irrevocable damage to our natural environment, having a negative effect on all its components. Toxic pesticides used rampantly in the agricultural sector worldwide contain extremely toxic potential carcinogens which are harmful to humans as well as to beneficial insect species like bees. Neonicotinoid which is principal ccdcomponents of numerous popular pesticides has been proved to be the sole cause of the Colony Collapse Disorder syndrome! It’s estimated that over the past five years, some 30 percent of bees in the United States have either disappeared or failed to survive to pollinate blossoms in the spring. That’s about 50% more than the rate expected. The problem is direr in some other countries. In Spain, recent data indicate a loss close to 80% of beehives.

The use of these toxic pesticides needs to be discouraged for the sake of the greater good. But at the same time crops need to be protected from the onslaught of vicious pests.

aThe use of agricultural films as a means to safeguard crops from pests has been explored since the past some years. Agricultural films are basically low weight LDPE or PE plastic films. Mulches, silage bags are just varied forms of a basic agricultural film. According to a new market report published by Transparency Market Research “Agricultural Films (LDPE, LLDPE, HDPE, EVA/EBA, Reclaims and Others) Market for Greenhouse, Mulching and Silage Applications Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2013 – 2019,” the global agricultural film market was valued at USD 5.87 billion in 2012 and is expected to reach USD 9.66 billion by 2019, growing at a CAGR of 7.6% from 2013 to 2019. In terms of volume, the global demand was 4,410.3 kilo tons in 2012 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.7% from 2013 to 2019.” Thus we can see that agricultural film usage is growing at a fast rate.

 

Agricultural films are being used increasingly in a2a bid to preserve and nurture plant health by preventing water loss, UV stabilization to cool soil and prevent insect attack, etc. But after using agricultural film too, the plants can still be susceptible to pests. This is so as these agricultural films are usually made of plastics like Polyethylene (PE), LDPE, etc; which can be easily damaged or chewed through by rodents and other pests. This would effectively leave the plants vulnerable to further attack by pests. Agricultural films by themselves are not insect and pest resistant. The agricultural film will be useful to the plant only if it could prevent pests from attacking it.

 

Thus there is a need for addition of some kind of additive in the agricultural film so as to make it effective against insects and pests. Termirepel™ a product by C Tech Corporation is a non-toxic, non-hazardous termite and insect aversive. It is available in the form of a polymer compatible masterbatch and thus can be incorporated in the agricultural film during the manufacturing process itself. It is an inert compound and highly stable at high extrusion temperatures. Also it is stable within the polymer matrix and will not leach out in the environment. It is developed keeping the safety of the environment in mind and is therefore eco-friendly.  Termirepel™ works on the mechanism of repellence whereby it acts on different levels ensuring that the target species is repelled away from the application. It does not kill and is therefore not life-threatening to the target as well as non-target species.

Termirepel™ is the right choice in our quest for alternative methods to protect crops from pest and in turn save agriculture!

 

Horn flies nuisances to livestock!!!!

The horn fly, Haematobia irritans irritansHorn_flies (Linnaeus), is one of the most economically important pests of cattle. The horn fly is half the size of the common house fly and is more slender, and the horn fly has piercing-sucking mouthparts. They stay on animals almost continuously.

Horn flies are one of the livestock pests with the greatest impact on the health and productivity of cattle. Economic losses due to horn fly damage are estimated at $36 million annually in Florida alone. U.S. annual losses total between $700 million and $1 billion, with up to $60 million spent on insecticidal control.

Haematobia-horn-fly-cattle-infestation-2Horn fly disturbs the cattle by sucking their blood. The flies feed frequently and exclusively on blood, piercing the skin of cattle with their proboscis and taking around 20 small blood meals each day. Pain and irritation due to the constant presence of the flies and their bites causes defensive behavior in the cattle that prevents adequate food consumption and rest.

The irritation and blood loss caused by horn flies insectcover2013leads cattle to lose 0.3 to 0.5 lbs in weight per day, and it reduces milk production in dairy animals. Although an individual horn fly only consumes 1.5 ml of blood per day (each fly takes between 24 to 38 blood meals per day), large populations may cause substantial blood loss. Irritation of the skin due to high numbers of horn fly bites in small areas may cause open wounds, which can increase the risk of secondary infections. The production of milk is related directly to the amount of blood flow going through the cow’s udder system. The greater the amount of blood flow, the larger the amount of milk produced by the cows. The horn fly is considered to cause the single most expensive loss to cattle producers each year. Horn flies cost the cattle industry over $876 million in losses each year. The horn fly is also a vector of several pathogens.

Mastitis or teat infection in dairy cows also has been face-flyassociated with horn fly feeding, wherein flies mechanically transmit Staphylococcus Aureus and other bacteria that cause mastitis in dairy cattle. Large numbers of flies play a role in the spread of such conditions as pinkeye and eye worms. Pinkeye is a severe problem each year in the late spring and summer as grasses mature and eyes start to get infected. The flies then light on the eyes of cows and carry the disease to other cows in the herd. This can lead to eye cancer or the loss of the eye as well as causing the producer to have to catch the infected animals to implement a treatment program. Another problem flies can cause is in the development of eye worms that will also lead to severe eye lesions.

Horn flies increase heart rate, body temperature, and increase water intake and increase protein requirements for cattle.

wideangSeveral methods of pesticide application are available such as dip, spray, dust, pour-on, self application and incorporation in ear tags. Ear tagging incorporated with insecticides gives the best result so far but use of insecticides is harmful to the health of cattle and has severe consequences to cattle’s health. So, insecticides should be replaced by non-toxic and eco-friendly solution.

To overcome this problem, C Tech Corporation provides you a product Termirepel™.

Termirepel™ is a non-toxic, non- hazardous and eco-friendly aversive for termite and other insects including horn flies. Its life span is 5-25 years depending upon the application. Our product can be directly incorporated in polymer during manufacturing itself. Our product helps the cattle to keep away horn flies and other insects from the application.

Why and how to use Termirepel™ in Animal Collars

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole“; Roger Caras. The same is true for download (2) all the other pets like cat, bird, etc. Today people try every possible way to make their pets feel safe and comfortable as they do for their own children.

Having a pet in the house is a no easy task. Pets have some very special requirements which need special attention. People happily take care of their pets, but the major hurdle they come across is with fleas and ticks.

kliIf you notice your animal scratching excessively, especially in a few isolated areas, inspect your pet closely. Fleas can be found on any part of your animal’s body. However, they can be seen mostly around the base of the tail, on the belly, behind the ears, and between the toes. Look closely! They are only about 1/32 of an inch. Because of their small size, you will most probably encounter “flea dirt” rather than the fleas themselves. Flea dirt is the dark, gritty particles of specks found on your animal, and is a combination of dried blood and flea feces.

In case of ticks, their season runs from early spring to midsummer. They will usually attach themselves to your animal in areas of the body with little or no hair such as the head, neck, ears, and feet. However, it can be found on any part of your animal.

When a tick attaches itself, it first uses its scissor-like mouth parts to make an incision in the skin. It then inserts a spiny “tongue” into this incision and begins to feed on the blood. Some types of ticks will even secrete a substance which acts as a type of cement to aid in attachment.

images (4)To get rid of the fleas and tick problem there are various solutions available in the market. One among them is flea and tick repellent collars of different brands. All these brands have different qualities, life, smell, color and look, but in all them one thing in common: Toxic chemicals. As per the statistics, Americans spend more than $1 billion each year on products designed to kill fleas and ticks on household pets, especially dogs and cats. While some of these products are safe, others leave harmful chemical residues on our pets’ fur and in images (3)our homes. These chemicals are highly hazardous to animals and humans, can damage the brain and nervous system, and cause cancer. These collars can also cause hair loss or irritation around the neck in animals. Let’s take look at some of the branded collars using branded toxic chemicals i.e. PESTICIDES.

Bayer’s product Stereo is a flea and tick collar for dogs and cats that uses exciting, innovative technology to release the active ingredients in controlled doses over an extended period of time. Endorsed as a long and effective solution for the flea and tick problem, this product contains Flumethrin 4.5%, Imidacloprid 10.0%. Both the chemicals are listed to have acute insecticidal properties and are pyrethroids.

download“Imidacloprid has been linked in animal studies to reproductive, mutagenic and neurotoxic effects. There is reason for concern about human exposures if it migrates into drinking water.”

Imidacloprid is newer systemic insecticide, a nicotine analogue, which acts on the nervous system. Patient can present with variable manifestations like irritability, labored breathing, emaciation, twitching and delirium.

The 4.5% of fulmethrin used in stereos and of 10% of Imidacloprid means 45000mg/kg of flumethrin and 100,000mg/kg is present in the product. The values shows that these harmful products are present in the collar are way above the LD50 values.  This proves that these collars are highly harmful and pose a great threat to the well being of our pets and our family. The working principle of this product is that it is released in small quantities and gets deposited on animal skin to kill to the fleas and ticks. The animal skin easily absorbs such chemicals, which leads to various ailments and sometimes even fatality.

The other chemicals used by many manufacturers in dog and cat collars are Tetrachlorvinphos and Propoxur

Tetrachlorvinphos (TCVP) is an organophosphate pesticide and is toxic to the nervous system. Young children are particularly susceptible because their brains are still developing, and their ability to metabolize these chemicals is impaired relative to adults. In addition, TCVP is designated by EPA as a likely human carcinogen.

Propoxur is a chemical in the N-methyl carbamate class of insecticides, which is closely related to the organophosphates. In addition to its neurological toxicity, propoxur is a known human carcinogen. In August 2006, California added it to a list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer.

Both tetrachlorvinphos and propoxur interfere with an essential enzyme (acetylcholinesterase) that normally controls messaging between nerve cells. The result of download (1)exposure is spasmodic overexcitation of the nervous system; this is the mechanism by which fleas and ticks are killed. In large doses, these chemicals can also harm or kill cats, dogs, and in extreme cases even poison humans. More commonly, at lower levels of exposure, these chemicals cause a variety of poisoning symptoms, many of which can mimic common illnesses; these include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, wheezing, sweating, and tearing eyes. More severe poisoning can cause muscle twitching, drooling, seizures, respiratory paralysis, and death. Some recent research indicates that exposure to this type of pesticide can impair children’s neurological development, resulting in pervasive disorders that may include delays in motor development and attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder.

Extensive studies have been done by NRDC ( ) which concluded that the compounds used the flea and tick collar for animals are pesticides and hence toxic products in the report “Toxic Chemicals in Flea and Tick Collars

These pesticides have been known to be harmful since a very long time, but are still used in images (6)many products. Some manufacturers may claim that these toxic products are present in small quantities in which they are harmless. But one should always remember that when used in small amounts, there might not be any immediate effects; however they will definitely harm us in the long run. We have witnessed several such incidents over the years. For instance, the infamous pesticide DDT used extensively in the 80s’ and 90s’ has started showing its malicious true colors since the past 5 years, which has resulted into it getting banned in many countries including the USA.

The problem of fleas and ticks is major and solutions have to be adopted for it. But we should stop and think what solutions we are using: Are they toxic? Will they harm our family? Is non-toxic solution available? The answers will probably go like: Yes the conventional collars are toxic. Yes these toxic chemicals will harm our family. And for the last question, yes there is non-toxic solution and it goes by the name of Termirepel™.

Termirepel™ is a non-toxic, nonhazardous and environment friendly product of C Tech Corporation. It is available in liquid as well solid masterbatch. It can be incorporated in the animal collar made up of polymer. It efficiently repels fleas, ticks and near about 500 different species of insects. It is also available in lacquer form and can be coated on the collar for a short period of protection. It is a safe and stable additive and does not produce any toxic fumes. The mechanism on which Termirepel™ works is repellence. It does not kill target or non-target species.

Termirepel™ is the only non-toxic, non-hazardous solution to keep our pets safe from ticks and fleas.

 

Prevent apple sawflies from destroying our apples in a non-toxic way!

Apples are easy to grow, productive, and there are shapes and sizes for every garden. They download (1)can be susceptible to a range of pests, diseases and disorders, but in most cases action can be taken to prevent or control the problem. It is a melancholy fact that the apple is attacked by a wide range of pests and diseases which at worst can reduce the crop to zero, and damage or even kill the tree. We learned this the hard way. It’s true that you can get some sort of crop by leaving nature to itself, but for consistent quality, and some years to get even one clean apple, you need to understand and outwit the little beasties and bugs. Apple sawfly is one among the many perpetrators of apple damage.

download (3)Adult apple sawflies are small insects with blackish brown heads and thorax and brown abdomens. The caterpillar-like larvae initially tunnel beneath the skin of the developing apples, causing a scarring and then further damage.

When apple trees are in flower, the sawfly, Hoplocampa testudinea, lays its eggs in the developing fruit. In June, the larvae tunnel their way under the skin of the fruit and into the core, causing the apples to fall. When they’re ready, they tunnel out of the apples, creating a second hole, and then bury themselves in the soil to pupate. Sometimes the larvae die and don’t make it to the middle of the apple, in which case the apples mature, but they’ll have ribbon scars and are sometimes misshapen.

images (2) European Apple sawfly overwinters as a mature larva in a cocoon a few centimeters below the soil surface. The larva pupates in the spring and adults emerge during the pink stage of apples. The female European apple sawfly lays eggs just after the king flower opens. Each female lays about 30 eggs singly in the opening flowers. Eggs are deposited singly at the calyx end of the flower, often at the base of or between the stamens. Sap seeps out of the wound made by the female when laying her eggs.   It turns red/brown and can be a good early warning of an attack.  A larva hatches after two weeks, newly hatched larva burrow into ph1-35dthe apple and feed on tissue just below the skin. As the larva matures, it tunnels deeper into the seed cavity and feeds on one or two seeds. Once under the skin of the fruitlet it tunnels in the surface layer before it burrows into the core. If it does not reach the core it still causes superficial damage which results in the characteristic curved scars. It tunnels out an area of the fruit, filling it with wet brown droppings or frass. Larvae may move on and attack two or three apples, and sometimes more than one grub is found in a single fruit. Often the fruitlets attacked later have masses of frass at the eye where the entry hole was made. After two weeks’ feeding, the apples_dock-sawfly_02_zoomlarvae leave the fruit to overwinter in the soil. There is one generation per year. Diapause  stage may last for up to three years.

First instar larvae feed beneath the fruit skin and create a heavily russeted, winding, ribbon-like scar that spirals out from the calyx end. If larva ceases feeding at this early stage, for whatever reason, this damage will likely be seen on mature fruit at harvest. If this tunneling stops early, tunneling scars are short and images (3)indistinguishable from damage caused by the tarnished plant bug. Second instar larvae tunnel into fruit towards the seed cavity. Reddish-brown frass is often seen protruding from an exit hole in fruit (Figure 4-60). Larval feeding into the core of the apple often causes fruit to abort, while sub-surface feeding creates scars visible on the fruit at harvest.

As the larva molts and matures, it moves towards the seed cavity or adjacent fruit. As the larva feeds internally, it enlarges its exit hole with wet, reddish-images (1)brown frass on the side of the fruit. The larva moves to other fruit in the cluster to continue feeding. A single larva can damage several apples. Damaged fruit drops during the “June drop” period. Fruitlets that suffered only initial feeding damage by a larva will stay on the tree and develop as fruits. These fruits are misshapen and have a long ribbon-like scar about 4mm wide, often starting at the eye end of the fruit and extending around the circumference.

The European apple sawfly is an introduced pest that was first noted in North America infesting crabapples on Long Island and Vancouver Island during 1939 and 1940, respectively. Since then it has spread into southern New Jersey, Vermont, New Hampshire, and the Southern Tier of New York State. The pest is especially troublesome in the apple-growing regions of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and the Hudson Valley of New York. In the Pacific Northwest, the European apple sawfly appears to be limited to Vancouver Island. The pest is distributed over the entire continent of Europe but is most common in the north. It is found throughout England but is abundant only in certain localities. The larvae feed on all apple and crabapple varieties but show a preference for early or long-blooming varieties with a heavy set of fruit. Sawflies are primitive hymenopterous insects and are related to bees, wasps, and ants. Although two generations a year have been reported in England, only one seems to occur in populations in North America.

The apple sawfly now occurs in almost all the apple orchards. In 1988, it cause near about 14% of damage in the commercial apple orchard in Quebec. 

Let’s take a look at the following article which shows how apple sawflies are a nuisance;

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Battling European sawfly and powdery mildew

By Dan Woolley | Apr 2011

Nova Scotia Fruit Growers’ Association (NSFGA) members recently received some expert advice on how to deal with two increasingly prevalent problems in Annapolis Valley orchards – European sawfly and powdery mildew

European sawfly

Erika Bent, who operates Agricultural Pest Monitoring, told attendees of the recent NSFGA annual meeting the European sawfly was only an occasional problem in Nova Scotia until 2005 and 2006. By the 2008 harvest, fruit injury level ranged from zero to six per cent. Six per cent is “quite high” for one insect, said Bent.

Sawfly larvae overwinter in the soil, pupate in the spring and emerge as adult flies just before the apple trees bloom to lay their eggs in apple buds and blossoms, Bent explained, adding it takes eight to 10 days for the sawfly’s eggs to hatch. Within four weeks, they are fully grown larvae feeding on the fruitlets.

Growers can reduce sawfly damage by applying insecticide when the larvae are moving from fruitlet to fruitlet, said Bent, who during trapping research in 2007 began capturing adult sawflies about May 22 and spotted their first eggs by June 5. She recommends spraying for sawfly at the time apple blooms are opening.

lloControl is difficult, Bent admits, as growers cannot spray for the adult sawfly during bloom. Instead, she suggests spraying as close as possible to the bloom to reduce the adult insects, then spraying again after the bloom to stop the larvae from moving between the developing fruit.

Currently, there are two insecticides registered for sawfly in Canada, Bent explained, and one of them – Guthion – is being phased out, leaving Assail as the only control for sawfly.

Quebec and Ontario are introducing a predatory parasite for European sawfly, but it is not a stand-alone control, she said.

The saying goes, “An Apple a day keeps the doctor away”. But now the case has become that the apple themselves need a doctor to keep them safe from vicious pests like apple sawfly. Conventionally people use two methods to fight this problem. One is to physically remove the tainted apples from the orchards so that the other apples do not get infected. Following this method is very tiring and is not at an efficient method to protect the apples from pests. The other method is using toxic and hazardous insecticides. Use of insecticides is harmful as these chemicals generally find their way in the food chain and harm living beings.

Termirepel™; a solution of C Tech Corporation is both effective and efficient and it does not harm target or non-target species. Termirepel™ is a non-toxic, non-hazardous and environment friendly product which works against pests like termites, ants, beetles and near about 500 species of other insects including apple sawfly. Termirepel™ is available in masterbatch form and can be incorporated in agricultural film and mulches to protect the plantation. It is available in liquid form and can be sprayed around the apple trees.

Termirepel™ works on the mechanism of repellence and is the best green solution available to protect fruits, crops, vegetation from the voracious pests.