Protecting our plants from insect nuisance!

imagesAgriculture plays a crucial role in the development of an economy. It is the backbone of our economic system. Agriculture not only provides food and raw material but also employment opportunities to a very large proportion of the population.

However, the damages inflicted by insects to crops lead to huge productivity losses along with crop contamination. About 200 different types of diseases in plants are solely caused due to insects. Although these pests are small in size, the damage they cause is very evident.

A plant disease is usually defined as an abnormal growth and/or dysfunction of a plant.  Plant diseases are generally caused by microscopic organisms such as fungi, bacteria, protozoa, parasitic green algae, etc. Many plant diseases in the field become much more serious and damaging in the presence of insect vectors that spread the pathogen to the new hosts.

Continuous feeding and tunneling of insects into the plant tissue create an entry point for the diseases which are not transmitted by the insects. In some cases, plants themselves carry the causative agents of the disease and spread them from one plant to other. Otherwise, insects carry the pathogens either on the outside or inside of their bodies and inject plants hypodermically as they feed on them.

Insects with chewing mouthparts, for example, grasshoppers, caterpillars, and beetles cause feeding damage such as holes or notches in foliage and other plant parts, leaf skeletonizing, leaf defoliation, cutting plants off at the soil surface, or consumption of roots.

The appearance of spots of various shapes and size on leaves, shoots, stems, fruits etc. is one of the most commonly observed signs of insect damage. As insects feed on plants, they simultaneously secrete toxins into the various parts of the plant namely the shoots, leaves etc. For instance, the toxic saliva secreted by leafhoppers, known as ‘’hopper burn’’, causes yellowing of leaves.

Other harmful effects of insect infestation include stunted growth and deformed leaves and flowers, reduced photosynthesis, weakening of plants, interference with the process of translocation, etc.

Many insects have a tendency of inserting their mouthparts into the plant tissues and sucking out all the necessary nutrients and juices essential for the plant growth and nourishment. This sucking action acts as a hindrance to plants growth.

Insects also secrete honeydews on the leaves which support mold growth on plant surfaces. Although sooty molds don’t infect plants, they can indirectly damage the plant by coating the leaves that inhibit sunlight penetration.  Thus the plant’s ability to carry out photosynthesis is reduced, further resulting in weakening of leaves, premature leaf drop, etc.

Insects can also cause injury to plants when they lay eggs (oviposit) into plant tissue. Heavy oviposition into stems can cause death or dieback of stems or branches on the plant. Dieback of the ends of stems or branches is often called flagging. Oviposition in fruits can result in misshapen or aborted fruits. For instancecucumber beetles lay orange egg masses on the underside of leaves. They also munch holes in the same leaves.

The use of conventional pesticides to combat the problems caused due to insects is proving to be dangerous to the environment. Apart from polluting the soil as well as the groundwater reserves, these pesticides also affect the beneficial non-target species such as bees, earthworm etc. which are necessary for human survival.

Today we are facing an acute problem of food shortage. About 11.3% of the total population of the world is starving. Thus there is an immediate need to find a solution to avoid the damages caused by insects to our plants.

At C Tech Corporation we have come up with a solution to avoid the damage caused by insects to plants. Our product Termirepel ™ is a non-toxic, non-hazardous insect aversive. Termirepel ™ is available in the form of solid masterbatches, liquid concentrate and in lacquer form. The product is compliant with RoHS, RoHS2, REACH, APVMA, NEA and is FIFRA exempted. This product acts through a series of highly developed intricate mechanism ensuring that insects are kept away from the target application.

The product can also be incorporated into agricultural films, greenhouse films, plastic mulches used on a large scale in the agriculture as well as horticulture sector. The fencing and the tree guard can be coated with Termirepel™ to protect the plants from insect damage. Termirepel ™ does not leach out, thus there is no soil pollution. Groundwater reserves are also not polluted. Also the non-target beneficial species like earthworms, bees etc are not affected.