Wood wasp’s affinity to wood – A cause for worry

The names “wood wasp” is a wood-boring insect in the order Hymenoptera, family Siricidae. Of download (1)greatest concern are the large, non-stinging wasps that normally are attracted to and complete their life cycles in newly dead or dying conifer trees. Timber salvaged from these trees can be processed into infested lumber. This can lead to adult wasps emerging in recently completed buildings or structures.

The dozen species of wood wasps in California, Oregon, and Washington look similar. They are large insects, generally 1 inch or longer, and wasplike in appearance but have an elongated, cylindrical body without a noticeable constriction or “waist.” They often are black or metallic dark blue or combinations of black, red, I-HY-SCAL-AD.001and yellow. They make a noisy buzz when flying. A female wood wasp drills her ovipositor nearly 3/4 inch into the wood of a weakened or dying tree and lays 1 to 7 eggs. At the same time, she squirts in a fungus from her abdominal gland. She continues this process, laying up to 200 eggs.

The eggs hatch in around 4 weeks and the larva spends its time eating the wood-destroying fungi that its mother thoughtfully injected along with the egg. At the base of the ovipositor there is a pair of glands that contain the fruiting bodies of the fungus, and some of these are injected with each egg.

Wood wasp damage in buildings is more cosmetic than structurally weakening. The total Wood-wasp-resting-on-timbernumber of insects emerging in any one house is limited, usually fewer than a dozen. Emerging wood wasps can chew through just about any substance, and you can see their large exit holes in wallboard or plaster walls, hardwood floors, linoleum, carpeting, nonceramic floor tiles, and other interior surfaces.

Wood wasps don’t reinfest structures. Even if male and female wood wasps had the HYW13_09opportunity to mate in the building, the females would not be stimulated to lay eggs in dry, finished lumber.

Though they are not as aggressive as carpenter ants or drywood termites, their presence is not welcomed equally. Let’s take a look at the following news article on wood wasp;

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That’s what you call a sting operation: Police seal off house on holiday Island after seven meter wasps nest found

By Steve Nolan, 12 April 2013
A seven metre long wasps nest has reportedly been discovered in an abandoned house by police officers in Spain.

Officers were called to the empty property in San Sebastian de La Gomera on the island of Tenerife after a series of calls from concerned neighbors. Police sealed off the home when the found the 22ft nest, which is said to have almost filled a room, and millions of wasps in the house, according to UPI.com.

Experts believe that the nest was built by an African species of wasp which had migrated to Tenerife.

The Canary Islands are located around 100km from the African coast.

Police are said to be trying to find out who the property belongs to.

The nest may well be the biggest ever found.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest one found to date was discovered in Waimaukau in New Zealand in April 1963 and was an impressive 3.7metres, or 12ft 2ins long, more than 5ft in diameter and 18ft in circumference.

Thought to have been created by German wasps, that nest was so heavy that it fell from the tree it was hanging in and broke in two. 

The size, type and colour of a wasps nest depends on the species of wasp that builds it.

They tend to be predominantly made from paper pulp – the wasp gathers wood fibres from weathered wood and softens it by chewing and mixing with saliva.

The previous biggest nest in the last 50 years was discovered in the attic of a pub in Southampton, Hampshire, in 2010.

Measuring 6ft by 5ft the nest was home to an estimated 500,000 wasps.

Another giant nest was found at the Avery Garden Centre in Taunton, Somerset last summer.

The average common wasp nest contains around 4,000 to 5,000 wasps – but colonies have been known to reach populations of 20,000.
Though the wood wasps are mild in comparison to termites and carpenter ants, no one wants to wants to discover a big foul wood wasp nest in our house.

To curb this problem of the wood wasp, a unique solution in contrast to the typical hazardous, non-effective has to be adopted. And there is a solution, infact a Green solution provided by C Tech Corporation: TERMIREPEL™. Termirepel™ is a non-toxic, non-hazardous and environment friendly product, with a high efficacy to repel insects like wood borers from the wood. Termirepel™ is a multitasking product; along with wood wasp it protects the wood from vicious termites, notorious carpenter ants and other insects. Termirepel™ in solution form can be injected at high pressure in the lumber so as to prevent the infestation. It is also available in lacquer form which can be applied on the furniture, patios, floor as coating so as to prevent further infestation.

The Annoying blue bugs of autumn!

Since time immemorial, the entire insect world has seemed intent on either stealing our blood or stinging us or ruining our crops and plants. Either way, they can make life miserable. People spend a lot of time in their yards, planting, pruning, and caring for their landscapes, with the aim of protecting their plants and trees from insects and making sure that they grow beautifully. However, many trees and shrubs have problems with pests such as aphids or other sucking insects. These insects excrete honeydew, a sweet, partially digested plant sap that is a main food of many ants. Plants with these sucking pests not only attract ants, but help feed and grow entire ant colonies. One such type of aphid is the blue ash aphid.

Woolly aphids (1)Blue ash aphids are small, blue-coloured insects that come from blue ash trees. They arrive after the first frost of the new winter season melts away every year. These insects are known by several names, conifer root aphid, blue ash aphid, Oregon ash aphid or smoky-winged ash aphid. Aphids feed by piercing host tissue and sucking plant sap through tube-like mouth parts. While removing plant sap, aphids may also inject toxins, plant growth regulators or pathogens along with saliva to aid feeding. Aphids excrete large amounts of honeydew which is essentially unprocessed plant sap. Many insects use honeydew and therefore are attracted to these colonies. The congregations give tree trunks a fuzzy blue appearance that extends up to three feet away from the base. Damage to the roots of fir trees can cause yellowing and stunting of small immature firs.

The blue ash aphids have a similar life cycle as normal, but instead of attacking the above ground parts of the plant they attack the roots of the plant. Like ordinary aphids they suck the sap from the plant thereby weakening it and possibly transmitting viruses and other diseases. When the infestation is heavy the plant or tree will wilt especially on dry days. The leaves may turn yellow and fall prematurely and the plant will be stunted. These pests often go largely unnoticed because they are underground. The damage they do show up mostly when the conditions are dry.

The below article would help understand the situation better.

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Blue ash aphids invade Spokane

 Posted: Oct 20, 2009

Kevin Randal

7631963_origSPOKANE, Wash. – Millions of little blue bugs can be seen just about anywhere in the Northwest.

You’ve probably seen them, there in your face, they invade your yard and many are asking what can be done to stop them.

Experts say the bugs are Blue Ash Aphids that come from Blue Ash Trees in the area. They come after the first frost of the season every year and stay for a couple weeks at least.

Phone calls have been flooding pest control companies and garden shops wanting to know how to get rid of them. Experts tell KHQ local news there’s nothing anyone can do but wait for them to leave.

Trees and plants should not be affected by them because most plant life has gone dormant anyway.

Experts also say they’re not a threat to public health.

The blue ash aphids are more of a nuisance than a threat. They are harmless to humans except for the sneezes they cause as we breathe them in. These pesky little gnat-like insects make breathing a challenge. Since they arrive in large swarms, complete eradication is not worth the time or effort and may be impossible. Thus we need a foolproof solution to deal with these pests.

At C Tech Corporation, we offer a safe and foolproof solution to deal with these tiny insects. Termirepel™ is a non-toxic, non-hazardous product that primarily repels insects from the application. It is a broad spectrum repellent which works against almost 500 species of pestering bugs thus efficaciously fending them away from the application. The best feature of this product is that it is environmentally safe and causes no harm to the insect as well as humans and the environment. It is available in masterbatch and lacquer form, and as a liquid solution. To keep these insects at bay, this product can be coated on the tree trunks in lacquer form. The repelling mechanism of the product would ward off the blue ash aphids and any other insect that could harm our trees.

Attack of the Bagrada Bugs!

At a time when increasing agricultural produce and improving agricultural yield is given paramount importance, our fruits and vegetables have been under siege by one more pest. Bagrada-hilaris2This is the adult Bagrada bug, which goes after winter crops such as cabbage, kale, broccoli, arugula, cauliflower and radish. It sucks the sap out of tender leaves, leaving puncture marks and a stippled or wilted leaf. The Bagrada bug, Bagrada hilaris, also called the painted bug, is a stink bug that attacks various vegetable crops and weedy mustards and is particularly devastating to young seedlings and leafy greens. Native to northern Africa, the Bagrada turned up in the United States in Los Angeles in the June of 2008.

 The Bagrada sucks the juices from the bite and leaves a toxic sort of saliva at the scene of the crime that can cause the plant to die even after the bug has left. Further, even if the Bagrada’s sap-sucking ways aren’t fatal, they can cause extensive wilting and yellowing, and stunt the growth of their hosts. These vile pests feed by inserting piercing mouth parts into plant tissues, which creates starburst-shaped lesions on leaves and stems. Continued feeding causes leaf scorch, stunting, blind terminals and forked or multiple heads on broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Initial damage to leaves is observed along the margins as stippling, or small tan or white dots left where the leaves were pierced by insect mouthparts and the juices sucked out. If feeding pressure is severe enough, the stippled areas merge and the leaf eventually wilts and dies.

 Adding to their nastiness is the fact that Bagradas bagrada_bugs_r620x349are capable of flying up wind to find new plants to feast on, and that they lay most of their eggs in the soil, thus making traditional predators worthless as possible controls. The infestation may be widespread covering the stems and leaves of the tree, leaving faecal droppings on the backsides of leaves. Local growers estimated that in some fields Bagrada bugs caused as much as 35% yield loss in green cabbage and greater than 35% yield loss in red cabbage! In broccoli, damage estimates by growers have ranged from 15‐30% losses due to these insects.

 The severity of this issue can be better understood by reading the below article.

  grower

Pesky Bagrada bugs expand northward in California

 09/16/2014 

Vicky Boyd

Bagrada bugs, which were first confirmed in California six years ago, have been steadily expanding their range to the east and north.

They now have been confirmed as far north as Yolo County and have taken up residence in counties stretching from Santa Clara and San Mateo west to Fresno and Inyo counties, according to a University of California news release.

The university has tracked the pest’s expansion using citizen scientists.

Bagrada bugs, which have also hit crops in Arizona’s Yuma Valley, prefer cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, kale, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and broccoli.

In home gardens, they also have been found on green beans, cantaloupe, corn, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes and sunflowers.

In addition, the bugs have been found on ornamentals, including sweet alyssum, stock and candytuft.

Adult Bagrada bugs are about the size of a watermelon seeds with black backs and white and orange markings.

1Immature nymphs are more round with red, black and white markings. They can be mistaken for ladybird beetles.

Both adults and nymphs have piercing and sucking mouth parts. As they feed, they remove plant sap and cause dead spots plant leaves and stems where they feed.

Under severe infestations, especially with young transplants, the pest can stunt, deform and even kill plants.

Originally it was hoped that Northern California’s colder winter temperatures would help prevent their northerly march.

But bugs simply take up refuge in the top layer of soil around the crops and appear to survive.

The Bagrada bug lays most of its eggs in the soil, so natural predators such as wasps aren’t effective controls. Picking the bugs off plants by hand is not feasible because the infestations are so thick and sudden, with multiple generations occupying one plant at a time. Thus we need a solution which would effectively keep the Bagrada population in check, keeping them away from our vegetables and crops, while at the same time not having any negative impact on the vegetables or the environment.

C Tech Corporation offers a product called Termirepel™, which is a non-toxic, non-hazardous, environmentally safe insect repellent. It can repel more than 500 species of insects on account of it being a broad spectrum anti-insect repellent. The most striking feature of Termirepel™ is that it neither kills the target species, nor the non-target species. It will simply keep the insects away from the application. This product is available in masterbatch and lacquer form, and as a liquid solution. Termirepel™ can be added in mulches or incorporated in agricultural bags and films, which could be used to keep our vegetables and fruits safe and guarded against the pesky Bagrada bugs!

Termirepel™ to protect our Crape Myrtles!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACrape myrtles are beautiful trees that showcase their beauty in candy colours every summer. Unfortunately, the trees that brighten our hottest months are under attack by a foreign invader. Have you seen a strange white cottony growth on the trunks of beautiful crape myrtles? If you look closely, you’ll notice that it is alive! Meet the crape myrtle scale. It destroys the bark of crape myrtles causing a lot of damage in a small amount of time. It’s also accompanied by heavy layer of black sooty mold on the branches. Crape myrtle Bark Scale is a small insect that appears as a white or grey felt-like encrustation.  They may be found anywhere on crape myrtles, and often appear near pruning sites and branch crotches of more mature wood.

Generally, the first sign of crape myrtle bark scale is the black sooty mold on the tree bark. The scale excretes honeydew that coats leaves and limbs, resulting in a sticky coating from the excess sugars excreted from the insects’ feeding. Sooty mold grows on the honeydew.  This results in a black coating that appears on the bark of the branches and trunks of crape myrtles. Additionally, white cases are visible, and they enclose the adult female scales. The tiny pest was first identified in the Dallas area about 10 years ago and is believed to have entered the country from Asia. Since then, it’s been slowly making its way across the South, arriving in Shreveport-Bossier City about four years ago. Infestations have also been verified in Houma, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and Georgia.

It was reported that out of the 430 Crape CrapeMyrtleBarkScaleShreveportIILOWMyrtle trees on the campus of Louisiana State University in Shreveport, 60 percent of these iconic trees are affected by the Bark Scale. Scales can be found on various parts of the tree as oval, white, crusted clusters of insects with a powdery waxy appearance. The insects don’t seem to be fatal to trees, but they are unsightly and weaken trees so they aren’t likely to bloom profusely. The bark scale has been known to stress the tree and make it less healthy. The scale gives these beautiful trees a burnt appearance which makes them look unsightly and weak.

The below article would explain the situation better.

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“Pest” Disfiguring Crape Myrtles in McKinney

By Catherine Ross

May 5, 2014

A pest is leaving its mark on one of North Texas’ favorite flowering plants.

In McKinney, the crape myrtle has become an emblem of the city where this year they received congressional recognition as “America’s Crape Myrtle City.”

The plant is native to Southeast Asia but has been cultivated throughout warm climates, including Texas.

“We’re really proud of crape myrtles and our association with crape myrtles,” said Neil Sperry, renowned Texas horticulturalist and a board member of the Crape Myrtle Trails of McKinney.

Sperry said his organization, over the last decade, has helped plant 20,000 crape myrtles within city limits.

However, over the same time, something “unsightly” has also taken root in the plants.

“It’s moved up through Collin County over the years and become a serious problem,” said Dr. Greg Church, the Collin County AgriLife Extension Agent through Texas A&M.  “[It's] two different organisms, making the plant look bad.”

Church said little insects feed off the plants, in turn, excreting honey dew.  That substance attracts a “sooty mold fungus,” which transforms the bark.

The pest is called “crape myrtle bark scale” and, according to experts, is threatening both the aesthetics and the utility of the plant.

“During drought conditions, which we’ve experienced the past three years, it can weaken the plant,” Church said.

There have been no plant deaths attributed to the bark scale, but the condition is spreading across the American South, specifically in the past two years, though it’s been present in North Texas since 2004.

Church said if the plant is manageably small enough, the bark scale can be cleaned off with water and some light soap.

However, Sperry recommends placing insecticide at the roots of larger crape myrtle and clusters.

7-4-11 001Crape myrtle is one of the few trees that bear colourful flower displays through much of the summer, come in a variety of stunning colours, is easy to grow, and until now has been relatively pest free. Unfortunately, the pest-free reputation is changing with the advent of the bark scale. With their extremely high reproduction potential, there could be at least two generations of the bark scale in one year. This can be a difficult pest to control and it may take multiple years of treatment.  So, how do we fight this pest?  Keep reading!

C Tech Corporation provides a unique non-toxic product called Termirepel™ which is an environmentally safe insect repellent. It can repel more than 500 species of insects on account of it being a broad spectrum anti-insect repellent. The most striking feature of Termirepel™ is that it neither kills the target species, nor the non-target species. It will simply keep the insects away from the application. Termirepel™ in lacquer form can be coated on the trunks of our beloved crape myrtles, which would effectively keep the bark scale from infesting and causing the trees any damage!

Apple maggots eating damaging our apples!

5534611Apple maggot is a native pest of the eastern United States and Canada. In 1979 it was discovered in Oregon and has since moved into California, Washington, and other Western states. Hawthorn and apples are favored host plants, but cherries, pears, and other fruits have been attacked.

Adult flies are somewhat smaller than houseflies and have clear wings with characteristic black bands, a pronounced white spot on the back of the thorax, 220px-Rhagoletis_pomonellaand a black abdomen with light-colored crossbands. Female flies have four crossbandson the abdomen, and males have three. The apple maggot is closely related to the walnut husk fly and cherry fruit fly. It can be distinguished from these other pests by the banding on its wings.However, it is difficult to distinguish apple maggot from snowberry maggot, a close look-alike that occurs throughout California but that does not attack apples and pears. The larvae of the Apple Maggot Fly (Rhagoletis pomonella) can do serious, wide spread damage to an apple crop, causing fruit to drop prematurely and deforming and rendering mature fruit worthless. This is the most serious pest for the kitchen orchardist. The maggots live inside the apple until it drops to the ground, then they leave and make a cocoon in the top 5 to 10 cm (2 to 4 inches) of soil.

Maggot1Female apple maggot adults deposit eggs singly under the apple skin. Damage is caused when larvae burrow and feed on apple flesh. Browning of the trails occurs as the apple responds to this injury and bacteria associated with maggots cause fruits to rot internally. They can attack immature fruit starting in June or July and successive flights can continue laying eggs into the fall. The eggs hatch within a few days as larvae.

Using their needle sharp ovipositor, the female fly lays one egg in a pin size puncture in the skin Maggot2of the apple (ovipositing). She capable of depositing an average of 200 eggs and therefore can infect a lot of apples. In young apples the puncture will cause the skin to form a dimple as the apple grows and it (the dimple) is sometimes covered with a white wax. Female flies prefer to lay the eggs on fruit which is beginning to ripen, and therefore they will often be found in early apple varieties first. Apple maggots hatch and burrow inside the apple making brown decaying tunnels through the flesh and seldom entering the core. This burrowing usually disfigures the apple’s outside shape. The brown trails are what has earned the maggot the common name “railroad worm”. Damaged apples may appear to ripen early and drop prematurely. Given a choice, the female fly will seek out the earlier, softer apple varieties first. If she lays eggs in harder, immature apples or in the later winter varieties, some maggots may die due to the hardness of the fruit. Abandoned orchards may have almost all of the apples infested with the maggots.

Maggot4These flies are slightly smaller than the common house fly. If they are in an orchard of early bearing varieties of apples, the flies may have a tendency to emerge earlier. Their Zebra striped wings make them easy to identify although there are some other similar fruit fly relatives with slightly different stripe patterns (like the cherry fruit fly). The male apple maggot flies are smaller than the females and only have three white stripes on the abdomen instead of four. There is a period of 8 to 10 days after emerging when they are feeding and becoming reproductively mature before they start laying eggs (referred to as the preoviposition period). Eggs are laid in the earlier maturing, softer varieties of apples first. The magtrailmaggots stay in the apples until they ripen and fall to the ground. Mid July to mid August is when they can be found in the greatest numbers although some can be found until mid September.

These worms remain inside the apple damaging them and the real trouble is when such apples find their way into our home. Let’s take a look at the following article highlighting the trouble caused by these pests;

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CORE BLIMEY! PREGNANT MUM FINDS MAGGOT IN APPLE; Vanessa Sick after Biting into Rotten Fruit

Byline: Tina Junday NEWS REPORTER

A PREGNANT woman was horrified after finding a maggot wriggling out of an apple she was eating at her Coventry home.

While I’m a Celebrity stars might be used to chomping on such “delicacies” in the Australian jungle, Vanessa Ryan was sickened to find the creature in the fruit.

The 25-year-old, who is about to give birth, had taken two bites of the apple, which was bought in a supermarket, when she realised there was a maggot inside.

She threw the apple onto the mantelpiece and watched in horror as the maggot slithered onto the wall at her home in Dallington Avenue, Coundon.

She then ran to the bathroom and was sick.

Her husband Ciaran, 25, had bought the pack of apples from the Morrisons store, in Holyhead Road, for their five-year-old daughter Jessica.

Vanessa, who works as a customer services adviser for Coventry Building Society, said: “I’m surprised I didn’t go into labour after that. It was disgusting. I fancied an apple – it looked fine.

“I took the first bite and ate it but when I took the second bite the whole apple fell apart in my hand and this maggot was staring back at me.

“I spat out the piece of apple I’d eaten and threw the apple on to the mantelpiece.

“It made me sick – it was the last thing I wanted being pregnant. I’ve already gone through morning sickness. …

Concrete steps have to be taken to protect the apples from these vile pests. Use of toxic pesticides is definitely not the answer. The solution adopted should be such that the non-toxic and does harm the environment while protecting the apples.

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.

 

Termites can drive you crazy!

imagesTermites though extremely small and tiny creatures have managed to stir us humans into noticing them and acknowledging their existence. The primary reason is the tune of damage they cause which has a direct impact on the economy of the country and thus the humans. Termites attack in groups and feed on any form of cellulose especially wood. This little bit of trivia makes us realize that almost everything around us is susceptible to a termite attack. Termites always seek for moisture filled places and therefore basements and the space under wooden boards are their favorable infestation places. Termite damage often looks similar to water damage. Outward signs of termite damage include buckling wood, swollen floor sand ceilings, areas that appear to be suffering from slight water damage and visible mazes within walls or furniture. Termite infestations also can exude a scent similar to mildew or mold. Dry wood termite infestations may only become apparent after a colony has burrowed so deeply into an infested item that the veneer cracks and the maze-like tunnels beneath become visible. Such damage is common in antique furniture pieces.

 

Termite swarm season will arrive with warmer weather

RUTH CORRELL

MAR 26, 2014

 

Subterranean termites are the most destructive wood-feeding insect in Tennessee, and even though they do their part to recycle dead and fallen trees back into the soil, termites can also attack the wood, paper and other wood scrap sources around a home, according to University of Tennessee entomologist, Dr. Karen Vail.

The National Pest Management Association estimates that it costs the U.S. about $5 billion per year to repair and treat damage caused by these insects.

Dr. Vail says that termite signs should be easy to spot. “The termite swarm season will be starting shortly. Winged termites will fly, drop to the ground, drop their wings and search for a moist, protected area to mate and start their colony. In a home, the swarmers, or a pile of their wings, are often found on the window sill.”

Winged termites can be distinguished from winged ants fairly easily. Termite wings are nearly equal in size and shape, but the ant’s front wings are larger than the hind wings. Winged termites have straight antennae and the ants are elbowed. The termite thorax is broadly attached to the abdomen, but in the ant, the waist is pinched. In Tennessee, termite swarmers are typically dark brown to black.
Termite workers on the other hand are white, soft-bodied wingless insects that travel above ground in mud tubes that are as least as wide as a pencil. It is recommended to search your basement, crawlspace or foundation walls and look for these tubes.

When termites damage wood, they eat the softer wood and leave behind the denser wood giving the wood a layered effect. Mud will probably be present in the layers. Termite-damaged wood will be soft and allow a screwdriver to easily penetrate. Puckered paint may indicate termites are feeding below the surface.

If you do discover termites, it’s definitely time to call a pest management professional. Suggestions for choosing a pest management firm and termite control strategy can be found in the UT Extension publication Subterranean Termite Control. You may download a free copy from the UT Extension publications website. Enter the name of the publication into the site’s search engine.
Dr. Vail reminds consumers not to be pressured into signing a contract with a pest control agency immediately. Termite damage occurs slowly. The amount of damage caused by taking an additional day, week, or month to make an informed decision is negligible.
Many structures were pretreated with a soil termiticide before the house was built and, if properly done, treatment should provide at least 5 years of protection. At other homes, a professionally installed and maintained termite baiting system may detect and treat termites. However, if wood or wood scraps were buried in the backfill, or under porches or steps, or if spreader boards or grade stakes were not removed before the concrete set, then termite food was left in place. Construction site preparation, installation and cleanup determine some of a structure’s susceptibility to subterranean termites.

The following suggestions can be followed to help make a home less conducive to subterranean termite invasion:

• Reduce the amount of cellulose around the structure. Keep a 12- to 18-inch bare zone next to the foundation and use inorganic mulches (pea gravel or river stone) instead of plant-based ones “near” the foundation. Replace wooden landscape timbers with those made of other materials such as concrete or vinyl. Don’t stack firewood against the house. Keep tree roots from getting close to the foundation.

• Reduce moisture sources around the home or building. Ensure the irrigation system is working properly. Termites love moisture to make mud tubes and for mating. Repair outdoor water faucet leaks quickly. Keep crawlspaces dry by either using a plastic cover with ventilation or by using an encapsulation system. The finished grade outside the house should slope away from the house to prevent water from collecting under the house. 

Termites can be controlled but total elimination is less certain. The homeowner should be vigilant at all times.

Thus we can see the extent of damage termites have caused and will continue to cause in the long run. This is an extremely unsettling revelation and needs immediate attention.

New methods need to be devised to exterminate this ever- hanging threat to our precious wooden structures. The time has come for going the unconventional way here. We at C Tech Corporation can provide a long lasting and effective solution to combat termite infestations. Our product Termirepel™ is a non-toxic and non- hazardous termite aversive. It is effective against a host of termite species including dampwood termites as also the most aggressive ones. It is available in the form of polymer compatible masterbatches as well as in lacquer form. Termirepel™ is the one and only effective solution to our termite woes!

 

 

Gall wasps destroying trees…

downloadAnother teeny tinny insect is here to cause unprecedented and huge damage to our trees and plants.  The gall wasps, also called gallflies, are a family (Cynipidae). Their common name comes from the galls  they induce on plants for larval development. About 1300 species of this generally very small creature (1-8 mm) are known worldwide, with about 360 species of 36 different genera in Europe and some 800 species in North America.

download (1)The larvae of most gall wasps develop in characteristic plant galls they induce themselves, but many species are also inquilines of other gall wasps. The plant galls mostly develop directly after the female insect lays the eggs. The inducement for the gall formation is largely unknown; discussion speculates as to chemical, mechanical, and viral triggers. The hatching larvae nourish themselves with the nutritive tissue of the galls, in which they are otherwise well-protected from external environmental effects. The host plants and the size and shape of the galls are specific to the majority of gall wasps, whereas about 70% of the known species live in various types of  oak trees.  One can find galls on nearly all parts of such trees, some on the leaves , the buds , the branches , and the roots . Other species of gall wasps live in eucalyptus trees , rose bushes or maple trees , as well as many herbs. Frequently, the determination of the species is much easier through observation of the galls produced rather than the insect itself.

A gall provides the developing gall wasp with a safe refuge for the most vulnerable stage of its life cycle, but many other wasps have found a way to penetrate this defense and parasitize the larvae within. Some of these parasitoids  use their long, hardened egg-laying tube (ovipositor) to bore into the gall and lay an egg on the helpless gall maker.

The galls cause the upper surface of the leaf images (1)to lighten in color and form a kind of blister that is often ringed with a yellow halo. Severe infestations will cause the leaf tips to turn brown. Heavily damaged leaves may curl and fall from the tree and the entire crown of the tree may be affected. Each gall contains a single wasp larva that feeds on the inner lining of the gall. The galls drop to the ground when they have matured. The activity of the larva inside the gall actually makes the gall jump around on the ground after they have fallen from the tree. The insect overwinters inside the gall. In the spring, the females emerge and lay their eggs in newly opened leaf buds. The galls form in response to chemicals in the larva’s saliva.

Gall makers must attack the plant at a very precise time if normal plant tissue is to be successfully stimulated to form a gall. It has been shown that trees whose buds open earlier than nearby trees have larger numbers of these galls than trees whose buds opened later.

Let us look at the below news article demonstrating the effects of gall wasps damage;

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 Tiny insect menace chokes trees across Cape Cod

20 Oct, 2013

DENNIS, Mass. — A minuscule menace is buried in the gnarled, deformed limbs of black oak trees across Cape Cod, slowly choking them to death.

Its common name — the crypt gall wasp — is like something out of a horror movie, but for property owners, the evil it wreaks is all too real.

Hordes of the tiny wasps deposit their eggs in the trees’ new spring growth. The larvae grow inside the wood and form swelled chambers known as galls.

A year later, the adult wasps — measuring only 5 millimeters — emerge through pinprick holes in the wood and repeat the cycle over again, cutting off the system that distributes nutrients throughout the tree.

Starved of food, twig growth slows, leaves turn brown and eventually, if the infestation continues unabated, the tree may die.

Even though much is known about the tree-killing culprit, much is still a mystery, including whether it is a native or wash-ashore.

“So little is known about the life cycle,” Russ Norton, educator in horticulture at the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension, said.

Norton, who is monitoring a research site in Nickerson State Park in Brewster, and other researchers are working to fill in those gaps.

Recently, workers with Arborjet, a Woburn company that tests and sells tree injection systems and insecticides, took a stand against the crypt gall wasp in Dennis Village Cemetery, a setting seemingly made for the fight against the pernicious pest with the deathly name.

Arborjet is working with University of Massachusetts-Amherst professor of entomology Joseph Elkinton and one of his graduate students to study the best ways to deliver insecticide that will stop the wasps in their tracks.

Researchers are not even convinced the species has been correctly identified, Elkinton and Arborjet officials said.

“We’re starting from square one with this insect,” Elkinton said.

Widespread damage from the wasp became apparent on Martha’s Vineyard a couple of years ago, he said.

But, while a similar infestation on Long Island crashed after only three years, the outbreak on the Vineyard has lasted longer.

On Cape Cod, property owners and arborists started seeing widespread damage in 2012.

“You probably don’t even see the symptoms for two years,” Peter Wild, CEO and founder of Arborjet, said.

At the Dennis Village Cemetery, Arborjet’s Don Grosman demonstrated how the injection systems use the tree’s vascular system to transport chemicals to fight the wasps, Grosman said.

A small black plug called an arborplug is inserted into holes drilled into the trunk, he said.

A needle attached to a pressurized reservoir is then connected to the plug, forcing the chemicals into the tree’s active tissue.

The company is testing two solutions: TREE-age, which relies on emamectin benzoate, a pesticide that causes insect paralysis, and IMA-jet, based on imidacloprid, a pesticide derived from synthetic nicotine, according to the National Pesticide Information Center, a collaboration of the University of Oregon and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Unlike spraying or other methods, injecting the chemicals keeps them contained within the tree and out of the surrounding environment, Grosman said.

“We pride ourself in that we put everything into the tree,” he said.

Even so, only a small amount of each product is required, he said.

For a tree with a 20-inch diameter, only 8 grams of the solution is used, Grosman said.

Although work in Hawaii on a similar infestation in banyan trees has shown that the method works, the exact effects on the crypt gall wasps are not yet clear, Grosman said.

About 50 trees in Barnstable, West Harwich and Dennis were injected with the two chemicals. An additional 20 trees are being monitored as controls.

The effect on different levels of infestation is being studied, Grosman said.

The trees will be checked over several years to see how long the chemicals keep the wasps at bay.

So far, there are pockets of the infestation in black oaks across the Cape, he said.

“It’s widespread but at the same time it’s somewhat sporadic,” he said.

This could be because of changes in the weather such as drought or it could be because of other factors, such as disease or the amount of salt used on nearby roadways, Grosman said.

At the cemetery, digging for graves could even be a factor, he said.

Natural conditions could lead to a collapse in the wasp population, such as what happened in Long Island, he said.

Infestations of exotic species are the cost of climate change and global trade, Wild said.

Still, like so much else with the crypt gall wasp, there is much more to be learned, both men said.

Education is the first step, Wild said. “Usually by the time you call the arborist, it’s time to cut the tree down,” he said.

Once a gall begins to develop, it is almost impossible to stop or reverse its development. Unless registered insecticides can be applied when gall wasps are flying, they offer little or no effective measure of control. Lack of serious plant damage from leaf galls and the difficulty in proper timing of insecticide applications pose a strong argument against the use of insecticides to reduce galls on oak.

imagesMoreover chemical control is seldom suggested for management of leaf galls on oak. Cultural methods of control may be effective in reducing the impact of these insects. Some fallen leaves may harbor various life stages of gall-producing pests. Therefore, it may be useful to collect and destroy all infested leaves. Some of these pests overwinter in twigs and branches of oak. Where such woody galls are detected, prune and destroy the infested plant material when the galls are small and have just started to develop. But this isn’t a 100 percent effective treatment and more treatment options need to be explored.

 C Tech Corporation can offer a solution in the form of their non-toxic, non-hazardous product Termirepel™. Termirepel™ is an eco-friendly insect aversive. It is available in the form of polymer masterbatches as well as lacquer form which can be coated on the trees or diluted and sprayed on them.