Termites are small insects that live in colonies. There are about 4000 species of termites like subterranean termites, Drywood termites, Formosan termites, Dampwood termites and so on. Termites are known as “Silent Destroyers” as they are secretly hidden and damage without giving any sign of destruction. They can eat 24 hours and 7 days a week non-stop.
Termites like ants secrete Formic Acid which works as their venom; An English naturalist John Ray was the first person who isolated the Formic acid from the ant in 1671. Formic acid is highly acidic and damages wires and cables.
Termites eat dead plant material, different forms of wood, leaf litter, soil and animal dung. They eat cellulose in its various forms as plant fiber. About 10% of the 4000 species can cause serious structural damage to buildings, crops or plantation forests. Termites try to eat anything which they come across, lead batteries, car tyres, billiard balls and underground telephone and power wires and cables, even soft stone. They also damage telecommunication wire and cables.
Termites make huge nests. In these structures million of termites live. The elaborate structures are made by using a combination of soil, mud, chewed wood/cellulose, saliva and feces.
The economic damages are more than $ 336 billion per year. Most of the control costs are related with agricultural sector. Termites control constitutes 40% of the total business turnover of the Malaysian Pest control industry. These damages are not covered by insurance companies and paid by the owner itself. This shows the large economic damage caused by termites.
Subterranean termites also called are highly destructive termites which causes major structural timber damage to domestic and commercial building in Australia. The damage is estimated to exceed $100 million.
Some of the most destructive termites found in Australia and annually they damage more than 180000 Australia homes or buildings. Coptotermes Acinaciformis is second most destructive termite in Australia and causes the greatest amount structural damage to building, timber structures, electrical wiring. Schedorhinotermes intermedius commonly found in tree stumps is the most artistic termite as they form complex ruts and grooves. Nasutitermes Walkeri prefers to build its nest on either the main truck, on large branch and travel under the ground close to the surface looking for food. Nasutitermes exitiosus builds nest between 300mm-750mm high and can cause damage to hard wood, fences, post and sub floors where the timber are in contact with the earth.
Termites hamper progress in agricultural sector, damage telecommunication wires and cables, gas sector, heritage building, railways. Present generation relies totally on telecommunication, information transfer, signaling in railways and power transmission.
Telecommunication wires and cables make life easier; it makes communication easy and accessible. Communication is the heart of industrial development and business sector. Wires and cables are the integral part of life in the running scenario.
The conventional methods like insecticides cannot be used in wiring, as they are not thermally stable. When they are heated, they release harmful gases which can be dangerous for the workers and lead to harmful diseases. These pesticides are not suitable for polymeric applications.
Termirepel™is an excellent solution to the pest problem. Termirepel™ is an anti-termite aversive manufactured by C-Tech Corporation in India. It does not kill termites just keeps them away. It is a non-poisonous, non-harmful and environmental friendly aversive and available in LDPE or EVA forms and it is compatible with all kind of polymers. Its life span is 25-40 years varies from application.
Termirepel™ can be incorporated with the telecommunication wires and cables and protects them effectively from termites attack.