“We are everywhere”, this is what cockroaches, and bedbugs feel proud about. Numerous incidences have occurred in the past few decades and they seem to be found in every corner of the world except Polar Regions and extremely cold countries.
In this article, we will shed light on the escalating infestations by termites like cockroaches, bedbugs, Cimicidae and other insects in the Railways.
These insects swarm in tropical and temperate climates and have the potential to reproduce speedily and thrive very close to the human dwellings where they are supported by food and shelter to grow are generally seen around garbage, kitchen and food storage areas. A female roach is capable of producing 300 – 400 off springs during her life span which implies an intense threat in the coming years.
The roaches have been on this planet since ages i.e. for more than 300 to 400 million years with about 4000 species existing till date. The German, American, Brown banded and the oriental species are the most wanted urban pests. They are a threat to public health and considered major disease causing organisms.
According to the National Pest Management Control Association,
“Cockroaches have been reported to spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms, and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. Germs that cockroaches eat from decaying matter or sewage are protected while in their bodies and may remain infective for several weeks longer than if they had been exposed to cleaning agents, rinse water, or just sunlight and air”.
A 2005 NIEHS national study on factors that affect asthma in inner-city children shows that cockroach allergens appear to worsen asthma symptoms but unfortunately a very few percentage of the people globally are aware of its adverse health effects.
The common bedbug (Cimex lectularius) has been an ancient public health pest- feeding on blood and causing itchy bites. According to a few experts, this drastic increase in the number of insects like cockroaches and bedbugs is due to a lot of tourist visits, ignorance about the impact of the infestations of such pests, their increased immunity to the insecticides/ pesticides and improper pest control practices.
Cockroaches and bedbugs are more commonly found in human dwellings where they are likely to be supported in terms of food and shelter to increase their colonies. In the past they have been increasingly creating a chaos for the passengers travelling in trains, flights etc. Bedbugs are bothering the people with their presence in the seating arrangements and the roaches are often found in the food items, the rest rooms, the pantry coaches etc. Bedbugs are now considered a threat to America’s $ 30 billion tourism industry.
Few evidences are discussed below:
Bedbugs start bugging train passengers
Feb 21, 2012
The Konkan Railways has been receiving innumerable complaints regarding the pestering issues. The passengers travelling in the AC coaches are having a hard time dealing with the bedbugs, roaches, Cimicidae. Bedbugs and Cimicidae are parasitic insects and feed on human blood. The most common places for them are the mattress. Most of the people wish to travel in the AC coaches but it becomes stressful to travel in such conditions. V J Accamma, Chief Public Relations Officer of Southern Railway, confirmed TOI that they have been getting numerous complaints.
Will we ever… get rid of bed bugs?
Oct 19, 2012
Many countries are viewing the same scenario despite their constant endeavor. The past decade has seen a drastic rise in their numbers and last month New York’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, a resource for other people with bed-bug infestations, had to fumigate one of its floors.
Roaches bug Railway commuters
June 1, 2007
Huge termite infestations have been recorded on the Western and The Central Lines in Mumbai and also affected their offices. They have affirmed that the trains and platforms have been infested with cockroaches, bedbugs and termites. At Borivali Railway station, around 9 lakh printed card tickets were found infected with white ants. The tickets have been lying unused, stacked up at the office. The Railway official swear that the coaches are cleaned regularly but this menace has been continuously growing. The officials also claim that the platforms and trains are being cleaned every night in the wee hours. Regular cleanliness drives are being carried out to ensure that the stations and trains are rendered clean, according to Pranai Prabhakar, WR’s Chief PRO.
Cockroaches cluster on trains
March 3, 2010
The average Railway Carriage houses around 1000 roaches, 200 bedbugs and 200 fleas. Insecticides/ pesticides no more threaten these pests. The cockroaches are found behind the ceiling and the lighting panel and bugs in the seating fabric.
Common Pest Control Alternatives:
According to a recent survey the pests have overcome their threat to the pesticides or insecticides sprayed against them. The pesticides currently in practice are not suitable for widespread use as they are quite expensive. Unfortunately, the chemicals are unable to achieve the desired results of controlling the parasitic insects. Insecticides like Bifenthrin, Dieldrin, Permethrin, Resmethrin etc. are toxic and contribute majorly to polluting the environment whether land or water.
Fumigation of a specific area is still practiced but this introduces toxic chemicals into the environment.
Introduction to Termirepel™
Termirepel™ is a non- toxic, non- hazardous and environmentally friendly anti termite/ insect aversive masterbatch for usage in polymeric to coating applications. Few in house tests of the product conducted prove that it does not comprise any toxic heavy metallic compounds like copper or lead and also least negligible.
The masterbatch can be successfully used as a wood preservative as well as lacquer or varnish. It can be applied at all the entry points including the corners, beneath the window panes, the rods attached with seat berths etc within the coach.
The roach or the bedbug will experience an unpleasant reaction as soon as it comes in contact with Termirepel™ incorporated application. The problem of cockroaches and bedbugs has a wide domain causing a lot of inconvenience to major percentage of the human population.
A green alternative is the need of the decade to fight this escalating dilemma that have alerted the topmost tycoons of the Railways worldwide who are trying their best to achieve their control. A result oriented sustainable alternative is worth looking forward to.