Rodents: Threat to our gas pipes!

Rat-eaten leaking LPG pipe leads to explosion at Tonca”, Goa, India
“Rat-nibbled gas pipe triggers explosion, 5 of family injured”, Pune, India
“Rodents Triggered Fatal Blast” a headline published in The Official Critter Control Newsletter during the fall of 2007

Every year, myriad such cases are reported. These common headlines flooding the newspapers, which often get unnoticed, raise a great question about rodents being a threat to human life. The answer is yes!

Rodents are characterized by a single pair of unremittingly growing incisors in each of the upper and lower jaws and about forty percent of all mammal species are rodents which are found in vast numbers on all continents except Antarctica. There are about 4000 species of rodents, which includes rats, mice, porcupines, guinea pigs, hamsters etc. Most rodents have short tough bodies, short limbs and long tails. They use their sharp incisors to gnaw food, excavate burrows and defend themselves.

Rodents have a great affinity for plastics and polymers because of their sweet smell, also they like the texture of the PVC to sharpen their teeth. The continuous chewing and gnawing of the rodents, in particular rats, have led to numerous gas blasts due to damage caused by them in the gas pipelines. Gas pipelines are made up of PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) and plastics which attract rodents by its smell and inviting texture to nibble upon.

There have been several notable incidents of gas blasts caused by rodent damage in the world.

Ten flats, located in the Kamat Complex – Phase II, Tonca, India were damaged following an explosion that occurred due to LPG that leaked from a stove connecting pipe , however, no casualties were reported. The LPG company officials found that the connecting pipe was eaten up by rats. Jeston Silveira , who resides in the flat along with his dog, suffered heavy damages due to the explosion. The loss reported was about Rs 40 lakh. A part of the kitchen wall of the flat collapsed following the explosion while a section of the two-storey residential building – three flats, also suffered damages, the loss due to which was put at Rs 4 lakh. The intensity of the explosion was such that it led to the damage of the main doors and window panes of the six flats located in the neighboring block situated some 50 meters away from the block where the blast took place.

44a9c849-da3c-8deb-6249b27865a8a732Another news headline, which took the limelight, was the explosion in North Shields which killed an old woman, in her eighties in 2007. RATS gnawed through a pensioner’s kitchen pipes, causing a colossal gas explosion. A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation suggested that rodents were responsible for chewing a hole in the gas pipes leading to the hob and oven. The leak created a “perfect” mix of gases in the couple’s home, making explosion inevitability.

In Pune (2013) India, five members of a family suffered burn injuries in an explosion caused due to a cooking gas leak as a result of nibbling by rats.  The gas had leaked through a 2mm hole on the rubber tube that a mouse had nibbled. The poorly ventilated kitchen added to the explosion’s intensity. “The explosion blew off the roof and doors of the two-room house and caused severe damage to the property and household items”, quoted the crime inspector. The blast affected five people in the family, including a couple and three children. Later, the oil marketing company confirmed that the explosion was caused due to leakage of cooking gas which occurred as the rubber tube was bitten by a mouse.

From all the above, one thing can be made really certain. The pipes have to be made rodent resistant. The use of conventional fumigants, rodenticides is no longer considered to be an effective solution to get rid of the rodent infestation as these rodents are becoming increasingly resistant to them, the traditional baits and traps are also proving to be useless. Therefore, we are in an urgent need of an infallible plan to combat the problem of increasing number of rodents.

There is 100% efficient solution available with CTech Corporation. We have come up with a unique product known as Combirepel™. Combirepel™, a nontoxic and nonhazardous rodent and insect aversive can be incorporated in the gas tubing and pipelines, hindering the rodents from attacking them. It is an anti-rodent and anti-insect additive specially developed for a range of polymeric and coating applications including  pipes, wires and cables films. It can be incorporated into nearly all base polymers like HDPE, LDPE, PVC, PE etc.

The mechanism followed by our product is repellence by attacking their olfactory senses and it does not  kill the target species. The products do not interfere with the working of the end application it is used in. They are stable at high temperatures; they do not leach out or produce any toxic fumes and have a long shelf life of up to 50 years as per the application.


Is your home safe from rodents?

mouse-in-houseA beautiful Sunday afternoon. Your favorite TV series is about to start. You are all excited and ready for it and a power cut!!! What could get any worse? Interestingly, most of the times the culprit behind ruining such perfect settings for many people are none other than the tiny, innocent looking rodents!

Rodents are small and destructive furry animals. Squirrels, rats, mice, beavers etc. are some of the most commonly found rodents. It is believed by many people that the invasion of rodents occurs in the cooler months in search of a warm and cozy place to reside, but the less known fact is that they can invade our homes even during summers in search of food. They enjoy hiding out in dark secluded areas and are commonly found in basements, attics or crawl spaces. Clearly, rodents do not make good guests and finding these nasty unwanted creatures in our homes can be extremely annoying.

Common pathways for entry of rodents include poorly sealed heating and air conditioning ducts , roof and wall vents installed without strong well-attached hardware cloth screening, roof and wall joints and edges without properly installed metal flashing, doors hung unevenly or lined with unprotected soft rubber weather stripping etc.

Another fact about rodents is that they are blessed with a single pair of continuously growing incisors. The overgrown incisors can be of huge discomfort for the rodent and also cause injuries. Thus to keep these incisors in check they always are in search of something hard for gnawing purposes. For example, they gnaw on cables, furniture, wires, gas and water pipes, structures of homes etc. thus damaging them. These chew marks are a good sign that these pests are inside your home. Often times they leave little droppings around your home. At times you may see their tracks in the dust or dirt and if you have actually seen a rodent around your home, it is best to assume that there are more as they are very quick in multiplying and adapt quickly to the environment.

Rats and mice cause more damage inside our homes than any other mammal in the world. They spoil food, countertops, and dishware, damage insulation, plumbing, wiring causing potential unseen hazards. Their presence is unsafe and unhealthy as they are potent to transmit numerous diseases like Leptospirosis, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, Rat bite fever etc. Rodents can also lead to allergies due to their droppings and urine. They even act as a medium for introducing other pests in your house. Rodent-induced fires from damaged electrical wiring or nest building in electrical panels cause a huge loss of property and threaten human safety. There also have been many reported incidences of fire caused by the gas explosion due to rodents chewing on the gas pipelines.

The control of rodents is an integral step to safeguard health, lives, food, property, and economics. The use of conventional fumigants, rodenticides is no longer considered to be an effective solution to get rid of the rodent infestation as these rodents are becoming increasingly resistant to them, the traditional baits and traps are also proving to be useless in preventing rodents from invading our homes. Therefore, we require a long term and sure shot solution that can help prevent the damaged caused by these rodents in our homes.

C Tech Corporation can offer a solution to overcome this damage. Combirepel™ is a non-toxic, non-hazardous, non-carcinogenic and environmentally safe, anti-rodent additive. The masterbatch of Combirepel™ can be incorporated in wires and cables, gas pipelines and other polymeric applications to protect them from the rodent attacks. The wooden furniture and other structures can be protected by using Combirepel™ lacquer which can be coated directly on these surfaces.

The specialty of Combirepel™ is that it does not kill but only repel the target species. It is engineered using the unique set of complex compounds. Combirepel™ is cost effective, inert, and thermally stable and does not degrade on exposure to heat and sunlight. It does not volatilize and does not degrade in the soil. It is RoHS, RoHS2, REACH compliant and FIFRA exempted.

Pesky whiteflies!

dscf3522Whiteflies, also known as Aleyrodidae, are soft-bodied, winged insects closely related to aphids and mealy bugs. These pests are omnipresent and they are so tiny that they are usually camouflaged. They can be as small as 1/12 of an inch, somewhat triangular in shape, and are often found in clusters on the undersides of leaves.

Whiteflies tend to suck on ornamentals and warm-weather vegetable plants, including tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and okra. They also like sweet potatoes and plants from the cabbage family. They suck plant juices and produce a sticky substance known as honeydew which can cause fungal diseases in leaves! This, in turn, leads to weakening of plants and also in some cases the plants may not be able to carry out photosynthesis. Leaves turn pale yellow and there is deterioration in the plant quality. In addition to this ants get attracted to the honeydew causing further damage.

Whiteflies are capable of overwintering and reproducing throughout the year in warmer climates. Many times the whiteflies lay eggs on the undersides of leaves. This is the beginning of a new generation! When the eggs hatch, the larvae looks like teeny white ovals without legs; they don’t move but they immediately start sucking the plant juice. This is why gardeners miss the whiteflies until it’s too late. Adult females can produce up to 400 eggs, which can hatch in between one week and a month.

In the year 2015, about two-third of Punjab’s cotton crop was destroyed by whiteflies causing an estimated loss of Rs 4,200 crore. There were reports of at least 15 cotton farmers committing suicide. Punjab had nearly 12 lakh acres under cotton and almost all of it was BT cotton. Over the years the whitefly attacks and population had been controlled by extensive use of chemical pesticides. The farmers had sprayed pesticide for about 10-12 times in a period of two months. Each spray had a cost of about Rs 3,300 per acre. But the whitefly was unaffected. On investigation, it was concluded that the whiteflies had developed a resistance to the commonly used pesticides.

Let us look at some other recent news where these pesky pests have been found guilty of destroying valuable produce.

Whitefly populations explode on Georgia fall vegetables

 By Kyle Dawson, November 5, 2016, University of Georgia, USA

Whitefly populations in South Georgia have exploded over the past several weeks, troubling vegetable producers during the fall growing season. University of Georgia horticulturist Tim Coolong said growers must be up to date on spray programs, though combating whitefly populations of this magnitude will still be difficult. In some cases, it might be impossible to stop whiteflies before they spread viruses.

The damage and loss caused by these tiny whiteflies are huge! We cannot afford this significant amount of crop damage caused by pests like whiteflies. There is an urgent need for a sustainable solution.

Combirepel™ anti-insect additive, a CTech Corporation product is the best solution for the prevention and control of insect infestations. Combirepel™ masterbatch can be incorporated in agricultural films, mulches, greenhouse films etc. during polymer processing. It can also be incorporated in silage bags and packaging films to protect the crops in the post-harvest stage from pest damage.

Combirepel™ lacquer can be added to paints which can then be applied to fencing, etc. It follows 6 tiered mechanism, which is extremely effective on insects like whiteflies, ants, beetles, grasshopper, termites etc. Combirepel™ is a nontoxic and nonhazardous anti-insect additive. It is thermally stable and does not degrade on exposure to heat and sunlight. It does not kill or harm the insect but repels them. It does not volatilize and does not degrade the soil. It is RoHS, RoHS2, REACH compliant and FIFRA exempted.