Termites – A bane to human existence.

Termites though extremely small and tiny creatures have managed to stir us humans into noticing them and acknowledging their existence. The primary reason istermite1 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.

swarmsTermite infestations are rampant all over the world. February, March and April are the months when subterranean termites swarm as was experienced   by the clueless homeowners of Orange County as they came home to thousands of termites as was reported by the local pest control agency in Orange county on 2nd Feb,2013. The incident left the home owners scared and shook up as some of them even mistook the termites to be flying ants. This incident was caused by a particular sect of termites which include the young king and queen termites as they set out for mating. These types of termites are distinctly different from the normal whitish “worker” termites. When the conditions are right, the young kings and queens burst out of their nest and begin their short flight. They often follow the prevailing breeze because they are poor fliers. Some break off their wings while still in flight and spiral down to the earth. Others may land and then remove their wings. These kings and queens are not attracted to one another until their wings have been clipped off. They have a very high mortality rate of 97% and only about 3% survive.

Countries like China have been at the receiving end of termite related imagesdamage for quite some time now. As the damage done by termites often goes unnoticed over long periods of time the detection of an infection is often in the later stage. Termites have damaged nearly 4,500 houses in the Guizhou province of China. The China News Service reported that since July 2012 termites have been rampant in the Xingyi city damaging thousands of homes forcing the evacuation of 1,700 people. The termites have caused an estimated direct economic loss of about 34 million Yuan ($5.45 million) at the time of going to press in Feb, 2013. The losses must have escalated now. Termites damage homes by eating away at the wood structure thus threatening the structural integrity of the whole set up. Termite infested homes are a life risk. Termite infestations are more severe than any of us give them credit for, as was experienced by a lawyer when he was asked to pay $68 K in damages to another lawyer for concealing termite infestation in his house as was reported on the official website of Campbell Law PC in April, 2013.

museumThese measly creatures are sure causing us a lot of money!!Jamal Shahid of a newspaper in Islamabad, Pakistan reported on 28th Jan, 2013 that Gallery 3 of the National Art Gallery was closed due to termite infestation. The termite infestation was a severe one and being detected at a very later stage forced the immediate closure of the gallery. The art that the gallery houses is worth millions and therefore no risk could be taken exposing it to termite damage. The infestation came to light when the authorities found conical mounds of sawdust under wooden skirting along the walls. The main reason for the termite attack was postulated to be the use of substandard wood used for skirting the frames and gallery railings which is more susceptible to a termite attack. This unforeseen closure of the gallery would definitely amount to huge financial losses as well as the constant threat of precious art getting destroyed. Thus an effective solution needs to be formulated to keep these creatures from causing us any further grief. Avoidance is a better solution than treatment in his case, as it is very difficult to save a piece of wood once it has been attacked by termites. The right and smart thing to do would be to keep them away from our precious wood. This is effectively achieved by Termirepel a non-toxic, aversive termite repellant which keeps the termites away while at the same time not killing them.

If bees would disappear man would too in 4 years!!!

“If the bees disappear from the surface of the earth, Man would have no more than four years to live”

Bees are flying insects closely relatedimages to wasps and ants, and are known for their role in pollination and for producing honey and beeswax. There are nearly 20,000 known species of bees in seven to nine recognized families.

The most important thing that bees do is pollinate. Pollination is needed for plants to reproduce, and so many plants depend on bees or other insects as pollinators.

When a bee collects nectar and pollen from the flower of a plant, some pollen from the stamens—the male reproductive organ of the flower—sticks to the hairs of her body. When she visits the next flower, some of this pollen is rubbed off onto the stigma, or tip of the pistil—the female reproductive organ of the flower. When this happens, fertilization is possible, and a fruit, carrying seeds, can develop.

In North America around 30% of the food humans consume is produced from bee pollinated plant life. The value of pollination by bees is estimated around $16 billion in the US alone.

images (2)Honey bees play a critical role in agriculture. The most important role honey bees play is pollination.The value of crops that require pollination by honey bees, in the United States alone, is estimated to be around $24 billion each year and commercial bee pollination was valued around $10 billion annually.

The harmful agricultural pesticides are the threat to bee’s life. One of the most commonly used pesticides is Neonicotinoid pesticide.

Neonicotinoid are a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically related to nicotine. It is the world’s most popular class of pesticides, used in agricultural practices.

Nearly one in three commercial honeybee colonies in the United States died or disappeared last winter, an unsustainable decline that threatens the nation’s food supply.

From research it has been clear that even at non-lethaldead-bee-flickr-javier-martinez-solera doses the pesticides can disrupt bee navigation and make them vulnerable to disease and stress. Neonicotinoid are now leading to the bee’s colony collapse disorder.

Several European countries, including France, Germany and Italy, have banned agricultural Neonicotinoid.

The commercial bee industry would expect to lose 10 to 15 per cent of its colonies, but over the past five years mortality rates have increased dramatically, ranging from 28 to 33 per cent.

The dangers of Neonicotinoid pesticides are not only up to bees but also to birds, and also to stream- and soil-dwelling insects accidentally exposed to the chemicals, have been underestimated by regulators and downplayed by industry.

For agriculture protection we have think about something which is non-toxic, non-harmful and eco-friendly and does not kill the non-target necessary insects which are useful for ecological balance.

hhhTermirepel is best suited for all the criteria as it is non-toxic, non-hazardous and Eco-friendly. The mechanism that Termirepel uses will repel the termites and insects from the application area but will not kill any target and non-target species like bees.

Termirepel is ROHS and REACH compliant and FIFRA exempted. Termirepel is based on the green chemistry.

Tiny Fire Ant causing big problems

Fire ants are a variety of stinging ants with over 285 species allimages (62) over the globe. They are also known as Ginger ants, tropical fire ants and red ants. Fire ants live in colonies that may have 100,000-500,000 ants. They are aggressive in nature and size range from 2mm-6mm. Their bodies are divided into three sections- head, the thorax and the abdomen with three pair of legs and a pair of antennae. Fire ants bite and inject a toxic alkaloid venom called solenopsin a compound from the class of piperidine which is painful sting for human, it sensation is similar to one feels after burning by fire so it is known as “Fire ant”. The sting results painful, itchy and persistent pustules and sometimes in severe allergic reactions.

imagesThey damage agricultural crops and equipment livestock, wildlife, public health and electrical equipment such as air conditioners, traffic signal boxes, electrical and utility units, telephone junctions, airport landing lights, electric pumps for oil and water wells, computers and even car electrical systems. There control methods are extremely costly. Their range expands rapidly and today they occupy 13 US states and Puerto Rico.

In US estimated more than US$5billion spent annually on the medical images (1)treatment, damage and control in RIFA (Red Imported Fire Ant) infested areas. The ants cause approximately $750million in damage annually to agriculture assets.

Over 40 million people live in RIFA infested areas in the southeastern United States between 30 and 60% of people living in fire ant- infested areas are stung each year. Australia invests A$175million on intensive program. In Texas agriculture land damage cost exceeded $90million in the year 1999-2000. Fire ants affected countries are Australia, Hong Kong, Philippines, Taiwan, United States, Thailand, Hills of Macau, Chinese provinces of Guangdong Guangxi and Fujian.

There are many conventional methods used for controlling fire ants such as- Granular baits, Mound treatments and Broadcast insecticide treatments.

images (2)In granular baits treatment some type of food which is attractive to fire ants with addition of very small amounts of slow-acting insecticides. It is expensive, slow-acting and takes 2-8 weeks to have benefit from fire ants.

Mound Treatment is also known as dry or liquid drench treatmentsimages (3); in this a fast acting insecticide is used that is to be applied directly to individual fire ant mounds. The mound treatments can only applied to mounds. It is time consuming and less effective and take few days to provide effective results.

Broadcast Insecticide Treatment is applied to the lawn and landscape surface. This is more expensive than other control methods but it is effective in smaller areas because ants that move into treated areas will be eliminated as long as the chemical is active.

images (4)Queensland, Australia reported that an ant that attacks everything that comes in its path is slowly spreading. As these ants are more aggressive than common ants, they can harm animals, crops, flora and fauna and humans. The scientists at the Queensland government, Department of Primary Industries (DPI) have started eradication program of $50million for the pests. They also aim to educate the public about how the ants look like and how to stop them from spreading.

Most of the areas in Taiwan are affected by exotic red fire ants. About 50% since 2003 but regardless of the infestation government budget for pest control is NT$40million-NT$20million in next year. As fire ants are among the world’s top 100 most invasive species in Taiwan they spread quickly through urban areas in greater Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli and chiayi countries. They are not only a threat to Taiwanese ecology but the necrotizing alkaloid in their venom can cause a person to go into shock or can even be fatal if the person is allergic. In 2004, the council of agriculture (COA) established a national red exotic fire ant prevention center as the infected area increased from 36,000 hectares to 55,000 hectares.

The conventional methods are not very effective and also they degrade the quality of soil due to harmful chemical additives present in them. To control the fire ants damage, an effective and eco-friendly measure is needed which can prevent the damage in safe and eco-friendly manner.

Termirepelis non-toxic, non-hazardous and environmental friendly aversive which is capable of keeping away fire ants from the application. Its life span is 25-40 yrs depending on the application. As it is compatible with all kind of thermoplastic and thermosetting polymer, it can be easily incorporated with wide range of applications where fire ants create damage such as in agricultural sector .It can be used in agricultural film, in drip irrigation hosing and tubing; in wires and cables; in gas pipelines; heritage construction; railways.