Termirepel™- An effective solution against Spider mites…

2Spider mites are members of the Acari (mite) family Tetranychidae, which includes about 1,200 other species. Spider mites are extremely tiny creatures, less than 1mm (0.04 in) in size and they vary in color. Among plant pests, mites are amongst the most difficult to control, and are responsible for a significant portion of all pesticides used on ornamentals. Individual spider mites are almost microscopic, yet when they occur in large numbers, they can cause serious plant damage. They generally live on the undersides of leaves of plants, where they may spin protective silk webs, and they can cause damage by puncturing the plant cells to feed. Spider mites are known to feed on several hundred species of plants. They lay small, spherical, initially transparent eggs and many species spin silk webbing to help protect the colony from predators they get the “spider” part of their common name from this webbing.  A single mature female can spawn a population of a million mites in a month or less. This accelerated reproductive rate allows spider mite populations to adapt quickly to changing conditions. Usually one should look out for Spider mite damage in the summer months when the temperatures are high and conditions are dry as these conditions are most suitable to spider mite proliferation.

Many different species attack shade trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. Spider mites  attack a wide range of plants, including peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, beans, corn, cannabis and strawberries.  The top of the leaves look like they have a bronze cast to them usually, but sometimes the look may be a silvery cast or even just a dull gray look. When spider mites attack the underside of leaves, we may mistake them for dust as they give a brownish brazen tinge.

Spider mites lack chewing or piercing-sucking mouthparts. 1They use a pair of needle-like stylets to rupture leaf cells and then push their mouth into the torn tissue to drink the cell sap. Small groups of cells are killed, which results in a stippling or speckling on the upper leaf surface. On plants which are heavily infested, the foliage will often become gray, yellow, bleached, dry, or bronzed, with leaf drop, loss of vigor and eventual death if untreated. With a magnifying hand lens, cast skins, eggshells, and individual mites as well as mite colonies are visible on the undersides of leaves.

An early sign of infestation is a very fine, light speckling or localized pale yellow spots on the upper surface of leaves. Careful examination of the undersides of affected leaves, preferable with a hand lens or magnifying glass, will reveal colonies of mites. A more generalized bronzing discoloration develops as infestation progresses.

3Spider mites continue to be a pest problem in dry beans, soybeans and field corn in droughty areas. When left untreated, spider mites can cause extensive and irreversible damage to soybean foliage, so growers need to keep an eye on their fields – especially if the weather remains dry. Researchers muse that ‘Amino acids are more available to insects when they feed on stressed soybeans instead of healthy soybeans’. This means that the mites can proactively use these nutrients from stressed plants to synthesize proteins for use in their reproduction.

Spider mite damage is typically most visible at first in the most stressed areas of the field; this often includes field edges. Soybean growers are likely to first notice foliar damage in the form of subtle stippling of leaves, which can progress to bronzing.

If a mite infestation develops, leaves may be severely damaged 7and the food manufacturing ability of the plants progressively reduced. If an infestation is severe, leaves may be killed. In corn, effects on yield are most severe when mites start damaging leaves at or above the ear level. Infestations may reduce corn grain yields due to poor seed fill and they have been associated with accelerated plant dry down in the fall. The quality and yield of silage corn also may decline due to mite feeding.

Damage is similar in soybeans, and includes leaf spotting, leaf droppage, accelerated senescence and pod shattering, as well as yield loss. Early and severe mite injury left untreated can completely eliminate yields. More commonly, mite injury occurring during the late vegetative and early reproductive growth stages will reduce soybean yields 40%-60%. Spider mites can cause yield reductions as long as green pods are present.

Not just soybean and corn, other crops of great economic importance like coffee beans have to bear the brunt of a mite infestation. Let us look at the following news article:


chicago tribune





Spider mites latest threat to Colombian coffee crop

September 06, 2012|Reuters

Colombian farmer Jairo Morales is worried. His coffee trees are speckled with crimson as tiny red spider mites attack his plantation, posing a threat not only to his livelihood but also to output in the world’s No. 3 coffee growing country.

The mites cling to the leaves of coffee plants and gradually turn them reddish until they wither and die.

The threat comes at a time in which Colombia is struggling to raise annual coffee output to 11 million 60-kilogram sacks, the country’s long-term average.

The tiny arachnids have always been a menace to coffee crops in the Andean country, but other predator insects have usually kept them at bay.

“This has been a surprise. I’d never seen anything like this in the many years that I’ve been growing coffee. I often see small areas by the side of the road, but never an attack like this,” Morales said.

Red spider mites have attacked many plantations in Caldas, the No. 4 coffee producing region in Colombia, contributing about 10 percent to the country’s total coffee output.

Morales suspect that the increasing number of spider mites could be a consequence of the ashes that covered the area after the Nevado del Ruiz volcano eruption in June, which apparently killed the insects that prey on the arachnids.

“The risk is that they ‘burn’ the leaves, and it takes a long time for the plants to recover,” said the farmer at his plantation on a mountain slope in the Caldas region.

“If the coffee trees fail to grow branches and flower we’ll lose the crop that we’re about to harvest and we can lose next year’s because they will not flower,” he said.

Crops in the Quindio, Risaralda and Valle del Cauca regions also have been hit, though less severely, according to the coffee grower’s federation.

Colombia, the world’s top producer of high quality arabica beans, has missed its annual coffee production goals for three consecutive years due to torrential rains brought on by the weather phenomenon La Nina.

Heavy rains prevent flowering, which last year resulted in an output of 7.8 million sacks, the lowest in three decades. Production this year is expected to be around 8 million bags.

5Moreover due to their ever growing population, spider mites quickly adapt to changes and learn to resist so chemical control methods can become somewhat ineffective when the same pesticide is used over a prolonged period. Spider mites are difficult to control with pesticides, and many commonly used insecticides aggravate the problem by destroying their natural enemies. Use of the wrong pesticide at the wrong time can result in a season-long infestation of mites, which will be difficult to control with miticides. Although the labels on common pesticides do include spider mites, they usually contain pyrethroid. Because they contain pyrethroids they will be highly toxic to all beneficial insects such as predatory mites, big-eyed bugs and other insects that would normally prey on the spider mites. What is likely to happen following a pesticide application is that some of the spider mites will be killed and most or all of the predators also will be killed. Very quickly, the spider mites that were not killed by the application will begin to produce eggs, and when those eggs hatch there will not be any predators present to kills the mites. Thus use of conventional pesticides will not effectively deal with the problem, but just might aggravate it further! The conventional pesticides and insecticides can thus not ensure that the problem won’t recur.

Termirepel™ a product by C Tech Corporation can provide much needed relief from this problem. Termirepel™ is a non-toxic, non-hazardous insect and pest repellent. It is effective against a wide array of pests that attack the agricultural sector, some worse and difficult to eradicate like spider mites. Termirepel™ is available in the form of liquid concentrate which can be further diluted and made into a spray, to be sprayed on the plants. Termirepel™ is also available in the form of polymer masterbatches to be added to agricultural films and micro-irrigation pipes during processing. This product will not kill the spider mite population but will just discourage their proliferation as well as return. It is designed in such as a way so as to discourage subsequent attacks. Thus it works on the principle of prevention being better than cure.




Termirepel™ – An Effective Solution

Termites are a group of social insects that are regularly on the verge of producing formosan-termitesa vast number of colonies. They eat nonstop i.e. 24 hours in a day and seven days a week. The termites survive on cellulose they derive from their nutrient sources like wood of living trees, timber sources and also paper, cloth, furniture etc.

The two most invasive species of termites that are very common are: Drywood and Formosan Subterranean termites. The drywood termites are attracted towards the dry wood which implies that they do not require any sort of source Drywood-Termites-300x197of moisture whereas in case of subterranean termites, they require a moisture source for their habitat. The subterranean species comprise a large number of members in a single colony around a million members and additionally, they can attack wood at a very rapid rate.

Few evidences in various sectors are discussed below.

Agricultural Sector

Though the termites are significant natural decomposers and play a very essential role by degrading the dead and decaying organic matter but there is a worst side of these ecologically important organisms.

They are responsible for numerous preharvest as well as postharvest losses damaging a major percentage of agricultural crops like maize, corn, peanuts, coffee etc owing to their ravenous appetite for their cellulose content. assam-termitesThey also damage the proper functioning of the farming infrastructure and equipments and the grain storage bags as well as the containers for shipping the agricultural products.


They can destroy any property/ building structure causing an estimated $ 300 million every year especially Formosan Subterranean termites. They can enter into any property through slits in the footings, can damage the foundation, footings and slabs and also eat through the roof support beams and cause it to collapse. Once they find an entry into any building structure, they will destroy any cellulosic material.

Wires and Cables.

The termites are also known to cause power/ electrical losses by damaging the electrical panels. Termites are attracted to warmth and hence have the affinity for wired and cables. They also eat through plastic water pipes, lead batteries, car tyres and even billiard balls.

Recently, a group of termites attacked the German base on the Afghan Border causing a short circuit of electronic equipment causing the collapse of the runway. The termites have already infested 200 hectares of the airport land including under the concrete runway that may cause a collapse when heavy planes land.


Termites like bedbugs and cockroaches are a nuisance for the passengers travelling in trains. The bedbugs are commonly found in wooden furniture, sofa linens, sheets, seat births in the trains etc. The passengers travelling in the AC coaches have encountered such bedbug bites, infestations. Their infestations are carriers of dreadful diseases.

Termites are perennial problems. Permanent, non toxic solution, sustainable solution should be adopted to take care of these tiny creatures.

Cabbage parasites and pests that can damage human brains and even kill humans!!

From studies conducted by Terry Erwin of the Smithsonian Institution’s Department ofpic Entomology in Latin American forest canopies, the number of living species of insects has been estimated to be 30 million. Insects also probably have the largest biomass of the terrestrial animals. At any time, it is estimated that there are some 10 quintillion (that’s 10,000,000,000,000,000,000) individual insects alive. All these insects try to create havoc in people’s lives one way or another. Like humans are engaged in specific different occupation, the insects too follow the same ideology. Their major and favorite field of work is 220px-Groene_savooiekool_schade_van_kooluil_(Mamestra_brassicae_damage)agriculture. Different species of insects work in specific type of vegetation and are very successful in doing their job i.e. destruction of the vegetation. Let’s take a look at such dutiful (enemies) workers in the cabbage field.

Cutworms, imported cabbage worm, cabbage looper, diamondback moth larvae, and cross-striped cabbage worm can be early season pests of cabbage. These pests can cause serious damage to young transplants as well as causing serious leaf feeding damage to the older plants. Damage to the head or wrapper leaves often reduces marketability. Because many of these pests are much more difficult to control as large larvae, control will always be most effective when directed toward small larvae.

The cabbage worm is not really a worm at all.  This pest of the Cabbage Family (brassicas) is pieris_rapaecat101508cactually a caterpillar!  It is the larva stage of the cabbage white butterfly.  These pests can be seen flying around your garden in late spring and through the summer. The butterflies feed on nectar and lay yellow, oval-shaped eggs on the underside of brassicas.  Caterpillars soon grow to about an inch, eating leaves of the Cabbage Family.  These caterpillars can even eat into the center of a cabbage head!  Although damage is usually minimal, just holes in leaves which are still edible, large infestations can decimate plants that rely on leaves for photosynthesis. If allowed to become numerous, cabbageworms can completely defoliate plants; they also eat their way into cabbage heads from near the base of the plant, resulting in decay and general poor appearance of the cabbage. Presence of white butterflies signals the start of infestation.

cabbageworm (1)The cabbage looper larvae are light green in color with a pale white stripe along each side and two thin white stripes down the back. The body tapers toward the head. The larvae have no legs in the middle area of their body, this area arches when the insect moves. In larval stages of the insect, they move with a looping motion.

Large larvae will often curl up and drop down to the base of the plant when the leaf is disturbed. As they grow, they move toward the center of the plant. They generally feed on areas between leaf veins.

The imported cabbageworm is the common velvety green caterpillar seen on the leaves of importedcw_damage1_000cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and other crucifers. The young caterpillars feed on the leaves; older, larger larvae move about freely on the plant and eat out irregular holes on the larger leaves and often penetrate the head of the cabbage, or get into the developing flower (edible part) of broccoli or cauliflower. Early-grown cabbage is seldom severely injured because it reaches maturity before the imported cabbageworm populations have built up significantly. Late-grown cabbage is very susceptible to injury from this insect, however. From about mid-July on, this insect is like to be a pest of some importance.

Diamondback moth larvae, despite their small size, can be very destructive to cole crops. dbm_larva1_000Eggs are laid singly or in small groups on the undersides of lower leaves. Eggs are small, yellowish-white and somewhat football-shaped.

Larvae are small, yellowish-green, spindle shaped, and have a forked tail. When mature, larvae are 5/16 inch in length.The pupae are found in a gauze-like cocoon attached to leaves or stems of the cabbage plant. The moth has a small, slender, grayish-brown body with folded wings. The wings of the male form three yellow diamond-shaped spots where they meet.

Larvae feed on all plant parts, but prefer to feed around the bud of young plants. The young larvae mine between the upper and lower leaf surfaces. Look for young larvae emerging from small holes in the underside of the leaf. Older larvae create irregular shot holes while leaving the upper surface intact. Larvae often drop from the plant on silk threads as soon as the leaf is disturbed.

Along with damage to the cabbage these creatures also pose a great threat to human life.  The following article gives an example of the threat these pests pose.

Brain ‘worm’ cases worry doctors

Saturday, Oct 18, 2008

BANGALORE: Vipul Sharma, a 34-year old banker, was healthy and hearty until last week when he fainted at his workplace. The condition of his heart was fine. His blood pressure and sugar level were normal. What went wrong with his health, his colleagues wondered, as they took him to the nearby hospital.

The doctors, who examined him, had an answer. He had tapeworm in his brain. The condition is medically termed as cerebral cysticercosis, more commonly known as parasitic infection.

City doctors say parasitic infection in brain is becoming common with hospitals getting at least two to three similar cases every week.

“Animals like pig are a definitive host of tapeworm. The larva comes to human body due to the intake of pork. If it is uncooked or not boiled adequately, the larva of the worm gets inside the human intestine, grows and, at times, moves up to the brain,” said Dr Ramesh Raju, HOD of emergency ward of Manipal Hospital.

Sometimes, individuals get parasitic infections from their pets too, he said. 

However, Vipul was a pure vegetarian.

Doctors say 70 per cent of cerebral cysticercosis cases are found in people who live on greeens. Be it spinach, broccoli or cabbage, tapeworm can find a hiding place anywhere. Raw food and salads, if taken without washing or boiling, can help tapeworms enter human bodies.

Generally, taeniasolium or pork tapeworm is the variety that causes parasitic infection.

“The larva gets inside the intestine and grows. While their head sticks to the intestinal wall, the worms start surviving on the food of the intestine and grow. These worms can grow real big and they form segmented body structure. Now each of these segments will have eggs. Later, the segments get detached from the tapeworm. The larva gets discharged inside the stomach, penetrates the intestinal wall and enters the blood stream,” said Dr N K Venkatramana, neurosurgeon and vice-chairman, BGS Global Hospital.

Once the larva gets inside the blood circulation and spreads to various parts of the body including liver, muscles and brain, it gets calcified. Only in the intestine, the larva can survive on the food supply.

When it gets inside the brain, the larva starts irritating the surrounding area and results in the victim having fits. Cerebral cysticercosis can occur in three stages.

While the initial stage can restrict itself to swelling of the brain followed by severe headache, in the second stage, the patient suffers from epileptic attacks. Later, the symptom can be silent or lead to a long-term epilepsy.

“The third stage can be that of multiple cysts inside the brain that can lead to epcephalitis. This is a severe form of disease where the patient goes unconsciousness and needs intensive therapy. It can also cause death. This stage is known as cysticircle granuloma,” DrVenkatramana said.

At times, cyst can also be formed inside the spinal chord due to larva calcification.

Huge amount of cabbage vegetation has been destroyed because of these various worms. In order to stop this pillage of vegetation and also to ensure that the worms do not find their wayto our brains, we should adopt a strong solution to evade this problem. C Tech Corporation provides a solution;Termirepel™. It is non-toxic, non-hazardous and environment friendly product which protects the vegetation from near about 500 insect species like cabbage worms. The fact that it is non-toxic and does not kill target or non-target species shows its superiority to the conventional toxic pesticides.

Termirepel™is available in masterbatch form and can be added in agriculture films, mulches to protect the vegetation from pests. It is also available in liquid form and can be sprayed in around the vegetation.

Root Maggots: A deep-rooted cause for worry…

Root maggots are the immature stage, or larvae, of small flies that belong to the insect order Diptera i.e. flies and the family Anthomyiidae. Root maggots occur worldwide. They are short-lived insects. Maggots are not particularly large creatures; their maximum length being 1/4th of an inch. The maggots are – cream colored, elongate with the head end pointed. Root maggots thrive in organic matter.

images2Root maggots constitute the most serious annually recurring insect pest problem of vegetable production. They attack all varieties of crucifiers. When root maggot larvae feed on root crops such as turnip, rutabaga and radish, they leave surface scars and feeding tunnels thus literally scarring the plant. Any feeding scars may render the produce unacceptable for market thus causing severe losses. The root is severely damaged. Feeding tunnels make the plant vulnerable to infection by soft-rot bacteria and to secondary infestation by springtails and thrips. Feeding by root maggot larvae on the stem, leaf and flowering crucifers like cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts and kohlrabi results in severe decline in the health of the plant. Young plants may be girdled and may die. Root systems in older plants may be extensively damaged and the tap root may be destroyed completely.

Root maggots attack different crops like cabbage, onion, canola, etc. They are named based on the crops that they target as canola root maggot, cabbage root maggot, onion root maggot, etc.

The cabbage maggot, Delia radicum, is a sporadic pest of 1many Cole crops including cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, turnips, radishes, and other crops of the mustard family. Occasionally, they attack other vegetables such as beet and celery. When cabbage maggots emerge, they immediately start feeding on the roots of the host plant seedlings. Plants are more susceptible to cabbage maggots during a wet, cold spring with most of the damage limited to the early spring plantings. Injury from the second generation in late June or July is usually not severe because the maggots prefer cool, moist conditions and younger, tender plants. Maggots feed on the root hair and can create extensive, slimy tunnels on the root surface and throughout the roots. Larvae feed on roots and tunnel into the taproot, producing brown streaks on the root. The lower leaves of infested plants often turn yellow, with severe damage resulting in arrested plant growth. Feeding damage may also promote disease, causing further stress on the plant. Root maggots and root disease often show up together in the same field.

Severe root maggot damage can occur in fields with back to back canola plantations if crop rotation is not followed. Based on average canola prices, the yield losses quantified in the study were equivalent to $108-$140 per acre after only three years of continuous canola. In canola, severe maggot infestations can cause plant wilting, stunting and reduced flowering, decreased seed weight, and lower seed yields. If feeding tunnels are extensive and girdle the root, plant lodging and death can occur. Roots damaged by these maggots are more susceptible to invasion by root pathogens such as Fusarium than intact roots. Yield reductions of the range of 50 and 19 percent from root maggot damage for crops of Brassica rapa L. and B. napus L., respectively, have been reported. In a four-year survey conducted by a team of scientists, of nearly 3000 canola fields across Western Canada, the greatest degree of damage over the largest area was found in central, western and northwestern Alberta, although localized areas with severely damaged roots occurred along the northern edge of the entire Parkland  eco region. Soil type can play a part in the degree of root maggot infestation of canola.

images3The onion maggot (Delia antiqua) is one of the most destructive insect pests of onions and related plants. Injured seedlings wilt and die. Larger bulbs may survive some injury but are often poor keepers. Once onion maggots infest an area, they seem to be a problem every year. White onion varieties are more susceptible to attack than other varieties. Stunted or wilting onion plants are the first signs of onion maggot damage. At this time, you may find the maggots in putrid, decomposing onion plants. Light infestations may not kill onions but may make them more susceptible to rots. Onions of all sizes may be attacked, especially in the fall, when cooler weather favors the maggot’s activity. Damaged onions are not marketable and will rot in storage causing other onions to rot.

Let us look at the following news article about root maggot damage.

Continuous canola can lead to root maggot damage

CONTINUAL DROP Study finds drop in yields significant after first year

Posted Oct. 5th, 2012

If your rotation is canola, snow, and canola again, you’re setting yourself up for a root maggot infestation.

Insects love it when you grow the same crop year after year, and root maggots and canola are no exception, University of Alberta entomologist Lloyd Dosdall told attendees at a recent Alberta Canola industry update seminar.

Dosdall was part of a research team that examined how canola rotation — or the lack of it — affects crop damage, yield and seed quality. The study examined 13 different treatments done across Western Canada at five different sites from 2008 to 2011.

Several sites were continuously cropped with canola, while others had a canola-wheat-canola rotation or only had canola in one of the three years. At the end of the season, researchers examined root damage to determine the severity of root maggot infestation.

“The damage to canola that was grown continuously was more severe than when canola was rotated,” said Dosdall.

Root maggot larvae overwinter in soil and the study found the damage they cause increased every year.

“We had the highest yields in the first year of continuous canola, and then they just dropped down significantly in the following two years,” he said.

Dosdall said the loss from continuous cropping ranged from a loss of $280 to $380 per hectare.

The above article suggests that crop rotation is one way of preventing root maggot infestation. But crop rotation is not always desirable or economical. In such circumstances the crucifers don’t stand a chance. This is so because there are no insecticides available to treat root maggots; unbelievably so! This presents before us a huge problem. In these trying times Termirepel™ a product by C Tech Corporation can provide us with the necessary relief. Termirepel™ can be broadly defined as a non-toxic and non-hazardous termite aversive. But it is also highly effective against a multitude of other insects and pests. Termirepel™ in the form of an atomized spray can be used as a new age insecticide but in this case explicitly non-hazardous and environment friendly. Also Termirepel™ is available in the form of solid masterbatch which can be incorporated in drip irrigation pipes during polymer processing. The unique feature of this product is that it acts by a mechanism of repellence and does not kill the target species.




Webworm spinning a deadly web around your trees…

Webworms are the caterpillar form of a small white moth. The moths fly around during the summer laying their eggs on the underside of tree leaves. The moths seem to prefer alder, willow, cottonwood, apple, pear, peach, pecan, walnut, elm, and maples, but will eat a very large variety of trees and shrubs.

      indexThe fall webworm, Hyphantria cunea, is a moth in the family Arctiidea known principally for its larval stage, which creates the characteristic webbed nests on the tree limbs of a wide variety of hardwoods in the late summer and fall. The moth is native to North America, ranging from Canada to Mexico, and is one of the few insect pests introduced from North America into other continents all over the world. It now has occupied probably its entire range in Europe from France to the Caspian Sea in the east. It has also penetrated into Central Asia. It has spread into China, southern Mongolia, Korea and southern Russia and is now considered holartic in distribution.

One or two generations of the pest occur in a year. However, in Tennessee several generations may occur in a year. This pest tends to go through periodic population explosions. Outbreaks every four to seven years may last for two to three years.

The adult moth lays her eggs on the underside of leaves8 in ‘hair’-covered clusters of a few hundred. Eggs hatch in about a week. The caterpillars are highly variable in coloration, ranging from a pale yellow, to dark grey, with yellow spots and long and short bristle. The maximum length is 35 mm. Webs are progressively enlarged, and much messier looking than those of other caterpillars.  Larvae feed inside the tents until the late instars. Very young larvae feed only on the upper surfaces of leaves. Later, they consume whole leaves. The larval stage lasts about four to six week. The larval stage of this pest skeletonizes and consumes leaves inside the protection of a tent-like web that they enlarge as they require additional food and grow. On shade trees webs usually occur on occasional branches.  The fall webworm feeds on just about any type of deciduous tree. It feeds on almost 90 species of deciduous trees commonly attacking hickory, walnut, birch, cherry, and crabapple wherein leaves are chewed; in result the branches or the entire tree may become defoliated.

The fall webworm is a widely distributed native pest of shade trees and shrubs and appears from late summer through early fall. This species acts similarly to the eastern tent caterpillar, but the fall webworm constructs its nest over the end of the branch rather than at tree crotches. The large conspicuous webs contain caterpillars, dead partially eaten leaves, and fecal droppings.

imagesThis pest usually eats leaves late in the season and the nests are generally concentrated to limited areas. Although trees experience heavy damage from webworms in the fall, it is the summer defoliations that cause the most stress on the trees. Summertime is when pecan trees are actively developing their nut crop and storing food for the winter in their roots. By the time defoliations occur in the fall, the impact to the tree is minimized because it has stored its winter food and produced its pecans. Fall webworms in South Texas prefer pecan trees to most other trees, but will munch on mulberry, hickory, oak, willow or redbud just as readily. The webs are made by groups of caterpillars hatched from the same egg mass. Webworm caterpillars and moths are active at night when most of their predators (paper wasps, hornets, and birds) are inactive. The caterpillars feed on leaf material and leave the stems and veins behind. Although these caterpillars are hairy, they do not sting; however, they can cause an irritating rash if their hairs come in contact with human skin.

Webworms enclose small branches and leaves in their light gray colored webs. Constant infestations of individual trees will cause limb and branch diebacks. There are several chemicals that help to control the webworms, but they may not be practical due to the problems related to application complications in larger trees.

A sure and effective way of combating fall webworms was devised by2 C Tech Corporation in the form of their product Termirepel™. Termirepel™ is a non-toxic, non-hazardous, environment friendly insect and pest aversive. Majorly targeted at curbing the termite menace, it is 100% effective against host of other insects and pests like webworms, beetles, etc. Termirepel™ is available in liquid concentrate form which can be diluted further and made into sprays that can replace conventional harmful insecticides. The spray can then be just sprayed on the trees or plants affected.

Termirepel™ is also available in the form of lacquer which can be applied on the trees and the surrounding areas. Termirepel™ is unique in its aspect that it works by the mechanism of repellence and not by killing. Thus, target as well as non-targeted beneficial species are not harmed but are merely kept away from the application.



Cutworm’s threat to agriculture

Cutworms are not worms. They are caterpillar mothcutworm_ernie larvae that hide under litter or soil during the day and come out in the dark to feed on plants. The larvae typically attack the first part of the plant it encounters like stem, seedling etc and cut it down hence they are known as cutworms.

Cutworms attack a wide range of plants. Some common vegetable hosts include asparagus, bean, cabbage and other crucifers, carrot, celery, corn, lettuce, pea, pepper, potato and tomato. A few species feed on turf grass.

agrotisMost common species of cutworms are bronzed cutworm, variegated cutworm, black cutworm, dingy cutworm, glassy cutworm, army cutworm, spotted cutworm, sand hill cutworm, redbacked cutworm, pale western cutworm, claybacked cutworm, bristly cutworm.

Bronzed cutworm-This species can be found in every state except the Gulf States, Utah, and Wyoming.  The economic damage in corn occurs when it is planted into sod or pasture grasses.

Variegated cutworm- These species are found in every state and can attack forest trees, vegetables, and field crops including corn, alfalfa, clover, cotton, sunflower, tobacco, and wheat. Damage may result in reduced yield potential of alfalfa, corn, clover, sunflower, and wheat.

Black cutworm-These species are found in Southern Canada, the Continental United States, Hawaii, and Central and South America.  Main damage made by larvae is that they feed on many host plants including corn, vegetables, cotton, tobacco, and several weed species.

Dingy cutworm- These species are mainly found in southern Canada, Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, and Utah.  The larvae feed on vegetables, clover, alfalfa, tobacco, wheat, corn, grasses, and broadleaf weeds.

Glassy Cutworm-These cutworm species are found throughout South America and North America, except for southern states. It is mostly a pest in crops planted after sod or pasture, especially in low ground.

Army Cutworm- This cutworm species is found in the North American mountain regions. It has been found in all states west of the Mississippi River, but highest densities are found in the semiarid areas. The larvae damage the host plants including wheat, barley, mustard, alfalfa, vegetables, and various weeds.

Spotted Cutworm- This species which is found throughoutcutworm North America is of minor economic importance in the Midwest.  The larvae can climb and feed on leaves, stems, buds, or fruits of the host plant.

Sandhill Cutworm-These cutworm species are found in Washington, South Carolina, and Colorado. The larvae are seldom seen above the ground surface because they stay below the soil surface and feed on the underground parts of the plant.

Redbacked cutworm- These cutworm species occur throughout Canada from coast to coast and south to Colorado. Most of the economic damage is caused by severing plant stems at the soil surface.

rsz0422bcwyounglarvaldamageRICEPale western cutworm- These cutworm species are found in the Great Plains in the Texas Panhandle and westward through the Rocky Mountains.  They feed on weeds and crops of wheat, oat, corn, barley, alfalfa, and sunflower that are grown under dry conditions. The cutworm burrows through the soil, feeding on the stem below the soil surface, which can result in plants that wilt and die.

Claybacked cutworm- These species are found in North America is most abundant in North Central United States. These larvae can be very destructive to seedling corn, especially corn following clover.

Bristly cutworm- These cutworm species are found in east of the Mississippi and inCEW larvae the states of Louisiana, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, and Texas. The larvae feed near the soil surface and can survive on many plants. They mostly feed on noncultivated plants, or hay, grasses, and legumes.

Different methods used to control cutworm from damaging crops are cultural, physical and insecticides.

Fotolia_11936463_Subscription_LIn cultural method weeds and plant residue are removed to help reduce egg-laying sites and seedling weeds that nourish small cutworms.

Physical control can be created by a barrier that physically prevents cutworm larvae from feeding on plants.

Insecticides control; in which harmful chemical like carbaryl, Cyfluthrin, Permethrin are used to protect crops.

These methods don’t give effective results and are also harmful to human and environment due to use of harmful chemicals. Termirepel is the best solution to control damage caused by cutworm.

Termirepel is a non-toxic, non-hazardous and environmental friendly insect aversive which can repel 300 species. It has a long life span upto 40years depending upon the application.

Termirepel can be incorporated into film and drip irrigation, tubing and hosing to protect the agricultural land from cutworm infestation.

Crop damaging- Whiteflies

Whiteflies are tiny, sap-sucking insects that damagewhitefly-on-leaf-300x199 leaves of many plants. There are about 1550 species of whiteflies. They feed by tapping in the phloem of plants, introducing toxic saliva and decreasing the plants overall turgor pressure.  It has ability to carry and spread disease and has wide impact on global food production. In the tropics and subtropics whiteflies have become one of the most serious crop protection problems. Economic losses are estimated are hundreds of millions of dollars.

There are several species of whitefly that cause crop losses through direct feeding, one of the species of whiteflies are important in the transmission of plant diseases.

48whitefly-nymphs-largeThe whitefly has caused more than $1billion crop damage nationwide.  In California, silverleaf whitefly has caused estimated $350million in crop damage since 1990 and has largely damaged the sweet potato crop.

In U.S, whitefly caused over $500 million damage in agricultural production in 1991.

In Los Angeles times on 23rd March 1993 reported the import of beetles to combat the whitefly problem.

EL CENTRO, Calif. — Imperial Valley farmers, caught in the worst agricultural crisis this century, Monday pinned their hopes for the future on what looked like tiny specks of dirt.

Barely visible to the naked eye, the specks were ladybird beetles imported from Israel for a special mission: to destroy the silverleaf whitefly, which has caused more than $200 million in crop damage and sent the regional unemployment rate soaring to 33%.

One hundred of the small brown beetles were released Monday in 10 locations throughout the farming region, which, for the past three years, has been devastated by the whitefly, bad weather and an ongoing recession.

“It’s been like a triple whammy,” said Abdel L. Salem, the city1890.400x400 manager in El Centro, where the jobless rate is three times the California average. “Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does. We’re putting a lot of our hopes on the beetle.”

The beetle, whose scientific name is Serangium parcesetosum, has undergone tests for a year and a half at UC Riverside, where entomologists have monitored its success against the citrus whitefly, and, for the last six months, against the silverleaf variety.

Some of those scientists were at City Hall to turn 10 of the beetles loose inside a windsock-like sleeve placed over branches of hibiscus and orchid plants, both of which are big draws for hungry silverleaf whiteflies.

“We’ll let them do their work for about a month, then we’ll come back to check,” said entomologist Tom Bellows, to whose laboratory the beetles were imported from the fields of Israel, where they achieved remarkable success against the citrus whitefly.

Researchers will return to determine whether the beetles have laid eggs, at which time the sleeve enclosures holding them will be removed.

whitefliesFully grown, the beetles are no more than two millimeters in size. Once set free inside the sleeve, they aggressively went to work, feasting on even smaller white specks–the nymphs, or offspring, of the silverleaf whitefly. Although the adult whitefly is almost twice its size, the beetle can gobble up even the more mature variety.

Still, Bellows said that in a best-case scenario, it will take at least a year before the ladybird beetle has an effect on agriculture in the troubled valley.

“The whitefly has caused an insurmountable amount of economic damage to our region,” said Imperial County Supervisor Dean Shores, who estimates the loss for 1991 at $137 million, with an additional $100 million in damage recorded since last April.

Ninety-eight percent of the area’s normally rich melon cropsilverleaf_whitefly_03 was lost in 1991. Struck by the futility of trying to raise crops against such odds, farmers last season opted to plant fewer than 100 acres of melons, instead of the usual 15,000.

Thomas Perring, an entomologist at UC Riverside, said Monday that the silverleaf whitefly has now caused as much as $750 million in crop-related damage across the southern United States. In California, the bug has been detected in the Imperial, Coachella and Palo Verde valleys, and in parts of the southern San Joaquin Valley.

“But no area has been harder hit than ours,” Shores said. “We’re hoping this is another tool that will work. If we can reduce the amount of pesticides we’re using to control the whitefly–and, shall I say, failing miserably–we’ll have succeeded far better than we ever have before. We’re just praying it works.”

Melons, cotton, alfalfa, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower–all have been sorely affected in this flat corner of the state, known to many as the nation’s winter salad bowl.

The area has been troubled for years by the poinsettia whitefly and the sweet potato whitefly, but the team from UC Riverside discovered about a year ago that the silverleaf is a separate species and far more virulent than the others.

By now, almost everyone in this dusty desert community is aware of the fly’s reputation.

whiteflyJack Armstrong, 80, a retired farmer who for years was one of the county’s leading harvesters, said the silverleaf whitefly has been the valley’s most horrific nuisance, surpassing even the so-called mosaic fungus (named for the pattern it left) that plagued the cantaloupe crop from 1955 to the mid-1960s. “It’s real, real sad,” Armstrong said.

The whitefly has also devoured employment opportunities for Jose Rojas, 41, and many of the dozens of others who were waiting in line Monday at the city’s unemployment office. As the clerks behind the window confirmed, one of every five Imperial County residents is now receiving food stamps.

“I’m so tired,” he said. “I’ve been without a job for so long. I just keep wondering when it will get any better, or if it ever will.”

Insecticides are used to control the whiteflies infestation. Pesticides used for whitefly control usually contain neonicotinoid compounds as active ingredients. Neonicotinoid are extremely toxic to bees, which are essential for the pollination.

To control the whitefly infestation a non-toxic, non-hazardous and environmental friendly solution is needed.

Termirepel is a non-toxic, non-hazardous and eco-friendly insect aversive. It is effective against 500 species. Its life span is 25-40 years depending on the end application. It can be easily incorporated in agricultural tubing and hosing, drip irrigation, agricultural films, tarps, mulches. It does not leach out from the application and contaminate ground water and soil.