Emerald Ash Borer!

Agrilus planipennis, commonly known as the emerald ash borer, is a green buprestid or jewel beetle native to northeastern Asia that feeds on ash species. This Asian insect was likely transported in wood crating, pallets and other packing material which was shipped to the United States in the mid-1990s, according to Michigan State University Extension (MSUE). The Emerald Ash Borer is responsible for the destruction of tens of millions of ash trees in 27 states. In its native range, it is typically found at low densities and does not cause significant damage to trees native to the area. Outside its native range, it is an invasive species and is highly destructive to ash trees native to northwest Europe and North America.

EAB populations can quickly rise to damaging levels. Host species include green ash, white ash, black ash, blue ash, and pumpkin ash.After initial infestation, all ash trees are expected to die in an area within 10 years without control measures. Every North American ash species shows susceptibility to EAB as North American species planted in China also shows high mortality due to EAB infestation.

Signs and symptoms are indicators of insect attack. A sign is a physical damage to a tree, such as a gallery, a hole, or a feeding notch in the leaf, resulting from the attack by an insect. A symptom is a tree’s response to insect attack and includes premature yellowing of foliage, dead branches, thinning crowns, or bark cracks. Crown dieback is one common symptom of EAB infestation. Dieback of the upper and outer crown begins after multiple years of Emerald ash borer larval feeding. Trees start to show dead branches throughout the canopy, beginning at the top. Larval feeding disrupts nutrient and water flow to the upper canopy, resulting in leaf loss. Leaves at the top of the tree may be thin and discolored. Let us look at another symptom known as Epicormic Sprouting. When trees are stressed or sick, they try to grow new branches and leaves wherever they still can. Trees may have new growth at the base of the tree and on the trunk, often just below where the larvae are feeding.  Woodpeckers, on the other hand, eat emerald ash borer larvae that are under the bark. This usually happens higher in the tree where the emerald ash borer prefers to attack first. If there are large numbers of larvae under the bark the woodpecker damage can make it look like strips of bark have been pulled off of the tree. This is called “flecking.”

Now let us have a look at the signs of infestation done by an emerald ash borer.

D-shaped emergence holes: As adults emerge from under the bark they create a D-shaped emergence hole that is about 1/8 inch in diameter.

S-shaped larval galleries: As larvae feed under the bark they wind back and forth, creating galleries that are packed with frass (larva poop) and sawdust and follow a serpentine pattern.

Larvae: Larvae are cream-colored, slightly flattened (dorso-ventrally) and have pincher-like appendages (urogomphi) at the end of their abdomen. Larvae are found feeding beneath the bark.

Adults: Adult beetles are metallic green and about the size of one grain of cooked rice (3/8 – 1/2 inch long and 1/16 inch wide). Adults are flat on the back and rounded on their underside.

Here are some recent news articles pertaining to the damage caused by the EAB.

 Public is paying price of emerald ash borer infestation

April 19, 2017, USA
OSCODA – High winds sweeping through Iosco County this month have toppled trees on top of power lines, causing electrical outages and home damage.

Most of the felled trees are dead or dying ash trees, killed by emerald ash borers (EAB), an invasive insect which was discovered in southeastern Michigan and Windsor, Ontario in June 2002.

“Municipalities and homeowners are paying for the EAB invasion,” said Eric Brandon, Alcona Conservation District forester for Alcona and Iosco counties.

EAB are so aggressive that ash trees die within two or three years after becoming infested. Damage is caused by the larvae, feeding in S-shaped tunnels on the inside of bark of branches and tree trunks. It is the inner bark, or phloem, which transports nutrients and water.

Emerald ash borer destroying Door Co. trees

April 11, 2017, USA

Thousands of ash trees are dying as the emerald ash borer eats its way up the Door County peninsula. One of the hot spots for the disease is the downtown of the city where chunks of bark lie under the ash trees and woodpeckers are feasting on the emerging tiny insects.

More than 12 million ash trees throughout the county are at risk since the emerald ash borer bugs were found near Fish Creek and in Sturgeon Bay in 2014. Ash trees account for about 13 percent of the county’s estimated 115 million trees, said Bill Ruff, a forester for the state Department of Natural Resources in Door and Kewaunee counties.

There are a variety of treatment options that can serve as a control measure for the EAB, but they are not a cure.

Insecticides with active ingredients such as imidacloprid, benzoate, and dinotefuran are currently used. These insecticides are toxic in nature. They kill the target as well as the non- target species. They are harmful to human health as well.

C Tech Corporation can offer a solution to overcome the damage caused by EAB to our trees. Combirepel™ is an ideal solution for prevention from damages inflicted by EAB. Combirepel™ is a nontoxic and nonhazardous insect aversive.   It is highly effective against insects like EAB, grasshopper, worms etc. It is cost effective and cost efficient, inert, stable up to 1400 deg Celsius temperature, long lasting etc.

Combirepel™ is available in the form of polymer masterbatches which can be incorporated in plastic tree guards, fencing of the trees, mulches, etc.

Beaver Nuisance!

The beaver is a large, primarily nocturnal, semi aquatic rodent. The beaver is a large, stocky appearing rodent, generally 35 to 40 inches long from head to tail. It has a broad, flat paddle-shaped tail, short ears and generally brown fur. The beaver’s four large front teeth enable it to girdle or cut down large trees or other vegetation used as foods or dam and lodge construction materials. Beaver weigh between 30 and 40 pounds at maturity, but keep growing slowly their whole lives and may reach 80 pounds or more. Beaver can live as long as 11 to 12 years in the wild. Beaver are primarily nocturnal, both feeding and working during the night. Beaver are true vegetarians, eating only plant material. Their diet in Arkansas consists primarily of bark, twigs and leaves of trees such as sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), cottonwood (Populus spp.) and willow (Salix nigra)), but they may feed on any available tree species, including pine (Pinus spp.) and Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana). Beaver also eat the roots, stems and leaves of aquatic plants, as well as feed on agricultural crops such as corn (Zea mays), soybeans (Glycine max) and fruit trees.
The two most common problems associated with beavers are flooding that results from blocked structures and damage caused to trees.
Flooding becomes a crisis after unusually heavy rain or when snow enters bodies of water with significant blockages. Dams built by beavers may cause flooding, which in the most severe cases may weaken structures, washout roads, and alter watercourses. While beaver dams  contribute to this type of flooding, they can also store water during periods of drought and slow down the movement of water from land to river systems, thereby preventing more serious floods and significant financial damage downstream.

Damage to trees in urban and suburban areas is likely to be noticed before it becomes critical, but perhaps not before a valuable tree or two has been lost. Operators of commercial forests attribute millions of dollars of timber loss annually to beavers. In Ontario, beavers have been known to eat almost every tree and shrub species available. In the Toronto area, preferred foods and building materials are poplars and willows. Beaver activity may cause damage to public and private property in the form of flooding or tree damage. Girdled, cut or felled trees may topple over, fall onto other trees, utility lines, or precariously hang over public pathways or roadways. In addition, they often gnaw on living trees just to grind down and sharpen their continuously growing incisor teeth.

Beaver Dams Creating Flood Risk for Rancho Cordova Neighborhood
April 19 2017, USA
Beavers are being blamed for causing some significant damage in Rancho Cordova.
The beavers are toppling dozens of trees, creating a flood risk in the area. On the surface, it looks like a peaceful pond, with trees, wildlife and a popular jogging path along Mather Boulevard, but a family of beavers has been busy making themselves at home. “They have cut down about 40 trees to create a beaver den,” said city spokeswoman Maria Kniestedt. “We think they do it at night because we’ll come back the next day and there will be more trees down.”

Border-dwelling beaver wages battle against North Vancouver trees
December 27 2017, Canada
A beaver, normally a symbol of Canadian pride and unity, has caused destruction on the border between two municipalities on B.C.’s North Shore.
Linda Lambert said the beaver has been living in Lower MacKay Creek just to the west of Capilano mall for several months, and has been wreaking havoc on trees in the area.
“He’s wandering out of the creek-bed where he lives and attacking these trees, the ones that have been planted by the municipality and the ones that were there naturally,” she said.

Biologists classify beavers as ‘keystone species’. Beavers build dams in water and create wetlands upon which many species and endangered species depend. They purify and control water by filtering silt from water bodies in which they live. High water table, less erosion and cleaner water results from these beaver dams. They can also prevent forest fire from spreading in neighboring region. Beaver dams also protect downstream spawning areas from sedimentation and increase salmon and trout populations.
Hence to use conventional methods like electric fencing, exclusion fencing, frightening devices, toxicants, fumigants, toxic rodenticides would not be appropriate. As these methods directly harm beavers.

Combirepel™ an anti-rodent and anti-insect additive, a C Tech Corporation product is an ideal solution for the prevention and control of beavers. Combirepel™ is available in the form of solid masterbatches, liquid concentrate and in lacquer form. The product is compliant with RoHS, RoHS2, and REACH and is FIFRA exempted. This product acts through a series of highly developed intricate mechanism ensuring that rodents are kept away from the target application. The fencing and tree guards can be coated with Combirepel™ to protect the trees, shrubs etc. from the damage caused by the beavers. The product can also be incorporated into agricultural films, plastic mulches, plastic pots etc. used on a large scale in the agriculture as well as horticulture sector in order to avoid damages caused by these beavers to the crops. Thus Combirepel™ is definitely an effective and a long lasting solution to avoid the beaver menace.

Aphids: Huge threat to our plants!

Aphids, also known as plant lice, are small sap-sucking insects and members of the super family Aphidoidea. Aphids are among the most destructive insect pests on cultivated plants in temperate regions. They are capable of extremely rapid increase in numbers by asexual reproduction. The damage they do to plants has made them enemies of farmers and gardeners around the world. About 4,400 species of aphids are known, all included in the family Aphididae. Around 250 species are serious pests for agriculture and forestry as well as an annoyance for gardeners. They vary in length from 1 to 10 millimeters. Aphids are small, soft-bodied, pear-shaped insects that are frequently found in large numbers. Their bodies may be translucent, but are usually various shades of green, brown, yellow, or white, sometimes blending in with the plant on which they are feeding. Many aphid species have two tube-like structures, called cornicles, which extend from the back and secrete a defensive fluid. Adult forms may be winged or wingless, depending upon their stage of development during the season. Winged forms have four membranous wings that rest upright above the body.

A generation of aphids survives the winter as eggs, which allows them to withstand extreme environmental conditions of temperature and moisture. In spring the eggs on the plant hatch, leading to the first generation of aphids. All the aphids born from the winter eggs are females. Several more generations of female aphids are born during the spring and summer. A female can live for 25 days, during which time she can produce up to 80 new aphids. Spring and summer reproduction occurs asexually. In these cases, the resulting aphids are basically clones of the mother. In addition, the young are born live rather than as eggs. When the fall approaches, there is a generation that grows into both male and female individuals. Females fertilized by the males lay winter eggs on the plant where they are, closing the cycle.

Aphid damage is usually most noticeable on shade trees and ornamental plantings. Leaves, twigs, stems, or roots may be attacked by aphids, whose mouthparts are designed for piercing the plant and sucking the sap. Aphids attack nearly all species of plants. When leaves are attacked by aphids, damage often appears first as spotty yellow discolorations, usually on the undersides of leaves; the leaves may later dry out and wilt. Some aphid species form galls or cause distorted, curled, or deformed leaves. The galls are swellings of plant tissues that are usually globular or spindle shaped, with mouth-like openings. Many galls turn brown and are considered unsightly. Each gall or deformed leaf may contain numerous aphids in all stages of development. Aphids attached to other plant parts such as stems or twigs may cause stunted growth, early leaf fall, or twig mortality. Many aphid species secrete honeydew from the anus; this sweet, sticky substance consists mainly of excess sap ingested by the insect and contains sugars and waste materials. At times, enough honeydew may be secreted to cover not only the aphid infested foliage but also objects below the affected tree or shrub. After a time a black, sooty fungus that grows on honeydew and gives everything it has covered a dirty gray appearance. Because of its sweetness, the honeydew attracts other pests such as flies, wasps, and especially ants, whose presence may be the first visible sign of an aphid infestation.

Let us look at some news articles pertaining to the damage caused by aphids.

Aphids seen at threshold level in southwest Missouri wheat
March 23, 2017, USA

Jill Scheidt, agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension, scouted fields west of Lamar and near Iantha for the March 1 crop scouting update.

Wheat was found to be in the tillering stage.

“Wait to apply nitrogen until just before jointing stage, when nitrogen is most efficiently used. Early nitrogen applications should only be made if tiller count is below 60 tillers per square foot,” said Scheidt. “This avoids overly lush growth, which can make wheat susceptible to disease, aphids, lodging and late freeze damage.”

Aphids damage early crops
August 6, 2013

 There has been significant aphid damage to early sown crops, particular in central NSW.

Pest Facts reported there were many accounts of damage in the Central Tablelands region around Mudgee, NSW.

The damage began in July once the resistance imparted by seed treatment wore off.

Oats have been one of the worst impacted crops.

Oat aphid, corn aphid and rose grain aphid favor barley, but are found in all cereal crops. Heavy infestations of these sap sucking insects cause the crop to turn yellow, be stunted and generally appear unthrifty.

All three aphids can damage crops by feeding on them and in some instances by spreading barley yellow dwarf virus.

According to a recent study by researchers at Iowa State University aphids has become a threat to soybean in the recent years because they possess a unique ability to block the genetic defense response of soybeans and may open the door for other pests to do even more damage to the crops. Their research further made significant contribution as the scientist stated that Aphids emerged as a serious threat to Iowa soybeans around 2000. The insects are native to Asia and most likely came to the United States via international travelers or plants brought into the country.  In the years since, aphids have caused soybean farmers major headaches, reducing yields in affected fields by up to 40 percent, a scientist said.

These creatures thus cause a lot of damage in the agricultural sector. Also they invite more pests like the ants to the plants further endangering them. Conventional methods used to combat them include the use of toxic pesticides which are extremely hazardous to the environment. New methods need to be developed to do away with aphids for good. The method used should be 100% effective and should not endanger the environment in any way whatsoever.

Combirepel™ is a non-toxic, non-hazardous insect and pest repellent. It can be best described as a termite aversive. It is effective against a multitude of other insects and pests like weevils, beetles, bugs, aphids etc. It works on the mechanism of repellence and therefore does not kill the target as well as non-target species. Being non-toxic, it does not harm the soil and environment. Combirepel™ can be added to a thin agricultural film to protect plants and crops from insects like aphids. It can also be incorporated in irrigation pipes to ward of pests.


Woodworm damage!

Woodworm is the wood-eating larvae of any of many species of beetle. It is a collective term used to describe all wood-boring insects that attack wood and timber, causing structural damage to buildings. There are a number of wood boring insects that attack timber with the most common being the ‘Common Furniture Beetle’  that attacks soft wood. One may not realize that they have a woodworm problem until the resulting damage becomes visible. If left untreated woodworm can seriously weaken timber which may lead to structural failure of timbers. The levels of damage to the property are dependent on the size of the woodworm infestation. Fresh exit holes in timber, tunnels in wood, bore dust, weak and damaged floorboards, crumbling wood, dead beetles, eggs are some of the common signs of woodworm infestation. Any of these signs could mean you have a woodworm infestation.

Round or oval shaped holes with sharp edges are a clear indication of woodworm infestation. Tunnels in wood, also known as galleries are the result of woodworm boring through the infected timber. Bore dust, also known as frass, is caused by emerging adult beetles. This is usually visible below the infested timber. Crumbling wood can be found around corners or edges of roof joists or floorboards.

The amount of harm caused by woodworm depends on the species of beetle and the type of wood.

Common Furniture Beetle: Attacks softwood (conifer) and the sapwood of European hardwoods. Rarely causes structural weakening although tunneling along the grain of the wood can potentially cause extensive collapse.

House Longhorn Beetle: Only attacks the sapwood of softwood timbers. As softwood is often used in roof timbers, an infestation can often result in severe structural weakening.

Powder post Beetle: Causes damage to wide-pored hardwood with a high starch content, such as ash, elm, and oak. Tunnels along the grain and can cause severe damage, often infesting block or parquet flooring.

Deathwatch Beetle: Prefers European hardwoods, especially oak, ash and chestnut that have been “softened” by partial decay. The larvae tend to tunnel towards the center of the timber, so that damage may be more extensive than is apparent from the exterior.

Let us look at some news articles pertaining to the damage caused by the woodworms.

Revealed: how altarpiece broke in disastrous fall at London’s National Gallery
Recently published records show that 14th-century work suffered serious damage in 1989
June 9, 2016, UK
The Art Newspaper has learned that a 14th-century Italian altarpiece from the National Gallery in London fell and broke in two in 1989. According to recently published trustees’ minutes from the time, the gallery’s then-director, Neil MacGregor, told the board that it was “probably the most serious non-malicious damage in the gallery’s history, [and] particularly regrettable as the altarpiece had one of the very few original 14th-century frames surviving”. The bulletin reported: “Over the centuries, the canopies above the central panel had become so eroded by woodworm that they were unfortunately damaged during the process of examination… the woodworm damage probably happened over many decades during an infestation of the sacristy or oratory in Tuscany, where the altarpiece was cited in its early history.” There was no mention that it had fallen and broken in two.

Are woodworm infestations about to chew their way through your home?
May 19, 2015, UK

PLYMOUTH residents are being urged to be wary of a woodworm infestation of their homes this spring.

The insect traditionally emerges in households during this time of year and an infestation of the bug could result in severe structural building damage.

Also known as the Common Furniture Beetle, signs to look out for of an active woodworm infestation include the appearance of tell-tale new emergence holes and the dust – known as frass – which falls from them.

Woodworm can infest a wide variety of timber.

This can include structural building timbers, furniture, and even wooden ornaments.

If left unchecked, and with the right conditions, infestations can even lead to the total collapse of vulnerable timbers within a building.

The conventional use of insecticides is no longer considered to be a safe and effective method to get rid of these woodworms. Some insecticides are even not advisable due to their toxicity and potentially damaging effect on human health and the environment. Moreover, overuse of toxic chemicals in residential settings puts occupants at risk so it’s preferable to avoid unneeded repeat treatments.

So do we have a green solution for this problem? Yes, we do! CTech Corporation’s  Combirepel™.   Combirepel™ an  anti-insect and anti-rodent polymer additive is an ideal solution for the prevention and control of woodworms. It follows 6 pronged strategy which is extremely effective against woodworms as well as insects like ants, termites, grasshopper, bugs etc.

Combirepel™ is nontoxic and nonhazardous anti-insect and anti-rodent 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 is RoHS, RoHS2, REACH compliant and FIFRA exempted. Combirepel™ is available in the form of a masterbatch, liquid concentrate, and lacquer solution. Combirepel™ lacquer can be applied as a top coat over the wooden objects and furniture to protect them from the woodworm damage.


Roaches found everywhere!

Cockroaches are insects of the order Blattodea, which also includes termites. Currently, 4600 species and over 460 genera are described worldwide. They are an ancient group, dating back at least as far as the Carboniferous period, some 320 million years ago. Cockroaches are somewhat generalized insects without special adaptations like the sucking mouth parts of aphids and other true bugs; they have chewing mouth parts and are likely among the most primitive of living neopteran insects. They are common and hardy insects, and can tolerate a wide range of environments from Arctic cold to tropical heat. Most species of cockroach are about the size of a thumbnail, but several species are bigger. They have a relatively small head and a broad, flattened body, and most species are reddish-brown to dark brown. They have large compound eyes, two ocelli, and long, flexible antennae. The mouth parts are on the underside of the head and include generalized chewing mandibles, salivary glands and various touch and taste receptors.

Cockroaches are one stubborn species of insects to eradicate. They show a fascinating and unbelievable knack for survival against all odds that is almost enviable. And they are not just in our houses but everywhere, where they can find food. Cockroaches cause damage in the following ways:

Feeding Damage: One of the earliest and most easily disregarded signs of cockroach damage is the signs of feeding. Most roaches infesting homes, chew on starchy items. Furthermore, cockroaches love to live in areas that are particularly damp or dark. The German cockroach feed on books and their bindings thereby destroying them. These cockroaches are also very fond of starchy food like cereal, sugary substances and meat products. The larger roaches usually prefer chewing on paper products, thus destroying them in the process. In addition, the fecal material from feeding can contaminate food and stain other products.

Disease Transmission: Cockroaches transmit numerous diseases. Cockroaches produce secretions that can affect the flavor of various foods and have also been implicated in the transmission of diseases. Disease-producing organisms such as bacteria, protozoa, and viruses have been found in cockroach bodies. Different forms of gastroenteritis (food poisoning, dysentery, diarrhea, etc.) appear to be the principal diseases transmitted by these cockroaches. These disease-causing organisms are carried on the legs and bodies of cockroaches, and are deposited on food and utensils as cockroaches forage.
Allergies: A host of studies recognize cockroaches and their byproducts as strong indoor allergenic agents. Since the prevalence of asthma in children has been increasing steadily over the years, the need to control cockroaches is more important than ever. An increased exposure to cockroach allergens is one key factor responsible for the higher prevalence of asthma in poor urban areas.

Let us look at some evidences of damage by these cockroaches worldwide

  • Cockroach infestation forces temporary closure of Burbank restaurant
    March 30 2017, Los Angeles Daily News, USA
  • Sewage discharge, cockroach, rodent infestations force temporary closures at 8 San Fernando Valley restaurants
    February 20 2017, Los Angeles Daily News, USA
  • Cockroach ‘infestation’ discovered at hospital
    January 3 2017, UK
    Across the four hospitals run by The Pennine Acute Hospital Trust in Greater Manchester – The Royal Oldham Hospital, Rochdale Infirmary, Fairfield General Hospital in Bury and North Manchester General Hospital – there were 302 pest sightings in the past year. Reports between April 2015 and March 2016 included a cockroach ‘infestation’ in the day surgery ward at the Royal Oldham Hospital, maggots found in the accident and emergency ward kitchen and a call logged from the Royal Oldham Hospital laundry which read: “Urgent – there are lots of cockroaches”.

A spokesman for Pennine Acute said: “Recent mild winters have          seen an increase in vermin across the country. “We take patient,          staff and visitor safety seriously and deploy preventative
measures to pest control by employing a pest control contractor
to visit each of our four hospitals every week, particularly in areas
where facilities are susceptible to vermin.”We have also
introduced additional housekeeping measures, such as frequently
emptying bins and cleaning across our sites.”

  • Cockroach-Infestation In Newborn Ward At Frere Hospital Stains Record: Da
    October 15 2016, South Africa
    An apparent infestation of cockroaches at Frere Hospital’s M1-N “Kangaroo Ward” for mothers awaiting the release of their premature and newborn babies is a stain on the good record of the facility, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape said on Wednesday.
    “The DA truly values the sterling work performed by Dr Rolene Wagner and her team at the Frere Hospital and requests that Ward M1-N, and specifically the loose fittings in the ward, should be fumigated and inspected before any more infants and new moms are expected to share a neonatal ward room with cockroaches,” said Celeste Barker, the DA’s Eastern Cape Shadow MEC for Health.
    She said that last week Thursday, Bronwen Spenceley — the young mom of a premature baby girl weighing just 1.5kg – was admitted to M1-N. The ward, though appearing to be clean, has proven to be unhygienic and hazardous.
    “The ward, though appearing to be clean, has proven to be unhygienic and hazardous.
    “The bedside metal cabinets are crawling with cockroaches and when a heater is switched on, the insects come crawling out of all possible apertures – including the beds,” described Barker.

These roaches need to be dealt with. One very important and essential way of doing it is maintaining proper hygiene at all times at all places especially in places like eateries where food is abundant and supervision is lacking. Other conventional methods include the use of potentially toxic and dangerous chemicals as insecticides and pesticides. But the use of these chemicals though conventional should be stopped as there is a chance of human contact and food contamination.
So do we have an effective solution for this problem? Yes we do!
Combirepel™ is non-toxic and non-hazardous insect/termite and rodent repellent. It works on the concept of green chemistry repels the target species and does not kill them.  Combirepel™ is available in the form of lacquer and can be applied on wooden articles such as door frames, food storage cupboards, etc. It can also be incorporated in paint to be applied on surfaces which need protection.  Combirepel™ can thus effectively keep cockroaches away from our food as well as our lives!

Rodents in Hotels!

The Indian tourism and hospitality industry has emerged as one of the key drivers of growth among the service sectors in India. Studies show that the demand for hotel rooms in India grew about 20% in 2015. Moreover, by 2025, foreign tourist arrivals in India are expected to reach 15.3 million, according to the World Tourism Organization. Hotel industry is a zero-tolerance zone for rodent infestation! A rodent sighting in a restaurant could severely damage the hotel’s reputation and result in the loss of customers. Severe rodent infestations can result permanent shutdown of such establishments. Pest control is significantly sensitive in the hospitality industry. Around-the-clock activity, restaurants, guest rooms and storage areas present unique challenges when it comes to rodent control in hotels.

Presence of rodents in hotels and restaurants can have some serious consequences like bad reviews, reduced revenue, loss of business, stock replacement costs, possible fines and legal costs etc. Treatment to eradicate such pests, replacement of contaminated stock or defaced items due to pest damage can lead to huge monetary losses. Damage to buildings and fixtures, electrical equipment, contamination of food by rodent urine, droppings, filth etc., transmission of a large number of deadly diseases etc. are some of the major problems faced by the hotel industry due to pests like rodents.

Let us look at why do rodents invade hotels and restaurants? Availability of food almost everywhere in kitchen areas, leftover trays, trashcans and waste containers is the major reason for rodents invading the hotels. Also the availability of warmth in laundry areas, nesting sites, water in soda and ice machines, HVAC units, water fountains etc. are other reasons for their invasion. In garden areas the burrowing activities especially that of bandicoot rats create additional damage and cost. Power outages in hotels are the worst things to happen. And many a time’s rodents are found to be the culprits for these. Rodents are blessed with a single pair of continuously growing incisors. Apart from fulfilling their dietary requirements, these little nibblers continuously need to gnaw on something or the other, to avoid overgrowing of teeth. Electrical wiring, insulation top rodent’s snack list due to their smooth texture, bright colors and also the odor that they exude.

Rats mainly invade hotels through windows and doors in hotels and restaurants. However holes and cracks around doors, windows, vents and utility penetrations can also be the potential entry points for them. Their flexible body structure allows them to get access through the tiniest of openings.

Let us look at some latest news articles pertaining to the damage caused n rodents in hotel industry.

The filthy cockroach infested restaurant that had health inspectors so shocked they closed it on the spot
March 30 2017, UK
The filthy conditions were discovered by food hygiene bosses during an inspection of Istanblue in Royton in November last year. German cockroaches were found in a cutlery drawer, on salad, and in a dishwasher, and fridges, floors and walls were all covered in dirt. Environmental health officers say adequate procedures had not been in place to control pests and parts of the Mediterranean restaurant had not been kept clean or maintained in good repair and condition.

Reports of  rodents close 2 restaurants
March 1 2017, USA

Two area restaurants were shut down last month because of evidence of  rodent   activity and other possibly hazardous conditions, according to health inspection reports. In February, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations (DBPR) issued emergency closures for one business in Panama City — Ramon Pizza at 4100 15th St. — and one in Port St. Joe — Smiley Fried Chicken at 405 Baltzell Ave. Sanitation and safety specialists reported finding conditions that could contribute directly to a food-borne illness or injury at the time of their respective inspections.

Rundown, rat-infested former Saint John motel soon to be sold
January 1 2017, Canada

The former Fairport motel and restaurant, a once-popular spot in west Saint John that is now falling apart and attracting rats, will be sold to a private buyer, the provincial
government says.

These uninvited guests are undoubtedly posing severe threat in the hotel industry. In order to avoid this nuisance caused by rodents there is an urgent requirement of a solution to this problem.

The conventional methods used to get rid of the pests include use insecticidal baits, glue boards and traps. However these solutions are temporary and do not provide an effective solution against the pest nuisance in hotels. 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. Also fumigation is a tedious, time consuming and an expensive method and is highly toxic. Exposure to such chemicals for a long time can cause damage to lungs, nervous system and even paralysis in severe cases. Therefore, we are in an urgent need of an infallible plan to combat the problem of increasing number of rodents.

C Tech Corporation can offer a solution to this problem. Our product Combirepel™ is a non-toxic, non-hazardous rodent and insect aversive. This product acts through a series of highly developed intricate mechanisms ensuring that rodents are kept away from the target application. Combirepel™ is available in liquid concentrate which can be diluted in paints as well as in lacquer form. These products can be directly applied in the kitchen, laundry areas etc. to avoid damages due to rodents.  The product is compliant with RoHS, RoHS2, and REACH and is FIFRA exempted.

Green way to combat bedbug menace!

Bed bugs are flat, reddish-brown, oval insects up to 4 to 5 mm long or the size of an apple seed. Bedbugs do not fly, but they can move quickly over floors, walls, and ceilings. The common bed bug (Cimex lectularius) has  been a pest feeding on blood, causing itchy bites and generally irritating the human hosts. Bedbugs are considered to be a public health pest by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) . Bedbugs can live anywhere in the home. They can live in cracks in furniture or in any type of textile, including upholstered furniture. They are most common in beds, including the mattress, box springs, and bed frames.

Bedbugs are most active at night. They may bite any exposed areas of skin while an individual is sleeping. Common locations for bedbug bites are the face, neck, hands, and arms. Bed Bugs feed exclusively on blood, and people have various responses to Bed Bug Bites. They feed by piercing the skin and withdrawing blood through an elongated beak. The bugs feed from three to ten minutes to become engorged and then crawl away unnoticed.

Most bedbug bites are painless at first, but later turn into itchy welts. Unlike flea bites that are mainly around the ankles, bedbug bites are on any area of skin exposed while sleeping.

Let us now look at the characteristics of bedbugs. Adult bed bugs are light brown to reddish-brown, flattened, oval-shaped, and have no hind wings. The front wings are vestigial and reduced to pad-like structures. Bed bugs have segmented abdomens with microscopic hair that gives them a banded appearance. Adults grow to 4–5 mm long and 1.5–3 mm wide.

Female bedbugs can deposit one to five eggs a day, and may lay 200 to 500 eggs in a Bed Bug’s lifetime. Under normal room temperatures and with an adequate food supply, they can live for more than 300 days. Newly hatched nymphs are translucent, light in color, and become browner as they molt and reach maturity. A bed bug nymph of any age that has just consumed a blood meal has a bright red, translucent abdomen, fading to brown over the next several hours, and to opaque black within two days as the insect digests its meal.

Let us look at some recent news articles pertaining to the bedbug menace.

Bed bugs found at two Norfolk schools

March 24, 2017, Norfolk, USA

Bed bugs have been found at two public schools in Norfolk.

Norfolk Public Schools say both incidents involved a single bed bug located in a classroom, happening at Ruffner Academy and Lake Taylor High School.

Bed bugs take over a Denver woman’s apartment

March 20, 2017, Denver, USA

Upon stepping into Elizabeth Trujillo’s apartment in Columbine Towers, it doesn’t take long to notice an infestation.

They’re bed bugs, and they’re crawling everywhere. Trujillo said the problem wasn’t always so visible.

“It’s so bad, “said Trujillo.

The infestation is so bad; the bugs were crawling on Trujillo during Denver7 interview. She says she’s been living in the apartment complex for two years, but the bed bugs issue began about a year and half ago.

“I’m tired of living with bed bugs. If they aren’t in my bathtub, they are in my bed and on the floor. They are crawling all over the place,” said Trujillo.

Bedbugs invade school for the deaf in Koforidua

March 19, 2017, Koforidua, Ghana

The Koforidua School for the deaf has been hit by bedbug infestation.
Starr News sources say the pupils reported the development to the school authorities, prompting a fumigation of the compound. However, the insects have refused to disappear causing discomfort for the school and disturbing pupils in their hostel.

Bedbug re-infestation frustrates residents

March 15, 2017, Glasgow, Scotland

Camilla Marshall has scars spotting her arms from an infestation of bedbugs that affected several apartments last May in the Woodbine Crest Seniors Complex where she lives in New Glasgow.

Marshall was upset to learn last week that bedbugs had been spotted once again in her complex, albeit in a different section of the building. She said this is the third time bedbugs have been reported in recent years in the complex, adding it’s frustrating to her and other residents.

The Eastern Mainland Housing Authority did treat the affected apartment this time, but Marshall said it still concerns her. She lost a lot when her apartment was impacted last year. She believes the bugs got into her apartment on a piece of furniture another resident had given her.

That gift ended up costing her much more than she expected.

“I lost my headboard, footboard, box spring, mattress, book case, chesterfield and a $800 Lazy Boy chair,” she said.

She estimates she lost about $3,000 from the ordeal, but wasn’t given any compensation.

So how do we get rid of them? Regular pest control is considered to be one of the solutions. However the use of toxic insecticides is now proving to be futile in getting rid of these nasty little creatures. A 2013 study in the journal Nature Scientific Reports suggested that bedbugs have evolved ways to resist insecticides.

So is there any other effective solution for this problem? Yes there is.

Combirepel™, an anti-insect and anti-rodent additive, a C Tech Corporation product is an ideal solution for the prevention and control of bedbug infestation. It follows 6 pronged strategy which is extremely effective in preventing the damage caused by bedbugs as well as insects like ants, beetles, grasshopper, termites etc. Combirepel™ is a nontoxic and nonhazardous insect and rodent repellent. 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 is RoHS, RoHS2, REACH compliant and FIFRA exempted. The product in the form of liquid concentrate can be blended in any paint or organic solvent and can be applied over the various surfaces vulnerable to damages caused by bedbugs like the walls, ceiling etc. Combirepel™ lacquer can also be used as a coating for furniture for protection. The masterbatch of Combirepel™ can be incorporated in wires and cables which are used in domestic wiring.

Carpenter Ants!

Carpenter Ants!

Carpenter ants are large ants indigenous to many forested parts of the world. They are among the largest ants found in the United States. Most of these ants are black in color, but some species may also have reddish or yellowish coloration. Carpenter ants can grow as long as three-fourths of an inch, depending on the type. Queen lays 9 to 16 eggs the first year and may live up to 25 years. Eggs complete their life cycle in about 6 to 12 weeks. The body of these carpenter ants has three distinct sections consisting of the head, thorax, and abdomen. The thorax and abdomen are visibly divided by a pinched waist, which helps distinguish carpenter ants from termites. They also have six legs and a pair of elbowed, or bent, antennae.

These ants are found everywhere, both outdoor as well as indoor, mostly in moist and hollow wood. They are capable of damaging any wood within which they nest. The ants further cut galleries into the wood grain to form their nests and provide passageways for movement from section to section of the nest.  Galleries excavated from damp or damaged wood are mostly preferred by them to establish their colonies. Carpenter ants infestation can become severe when left untreated. These ants do not eat wood as termites do; instead, they remove the wood and deposit debris outside of their nests in small piles. Usually, the carpenter ants build two types of nests: parent colonies and satellite colonies. Parent colonies consist of a queen, her brood, and workers. Satellite colonies consist of workers, older larvae, and pupae. Workers create satellite colonies when the parent colony lacks sufficient space or when there is a suitable supply of food or water. There may be several satellite colonies associated with a parent colony.

The amount of damage caused by such nesting and infestations on a property varies. If a colony has been actively infesting a property for a long period of time, the structural damage can be very extensive. That’s why it’s crucial to have infestations treated as quickly as possible. One sign of carpenter ant damage is the appearance of small, circular galleries on the surface of the wood. The worker carpenter ants excavate sawdust-like debris around or below the exit holes. The area inside the galleries appears smooth and free of debris. This damage caused due to tunneling is huge.Also, the carpenter ants are usually drawn to moisture. Thus colonies of carpenter ants infiltrate homes and build nests in the wood near windows, doorframes, attics, chimneys, bathtubs, and any other area in the home with damaged or waterlogged wood. Carpenter ants often gravitate to homes with leaks that allow excess moisture to permeate the structure.

These pests do not eat wood but use it only for the purpose of building nests. Thus they are commonly attracted to human food sources, such as sweets, meats, and fats. Food items like sugar, honey, and syrup are highly attractive to carpenter ants. The insects are also drawn to grease spills and overripe fruit.

Let us look at some news articles pertaining to the damage caused by the carpenter ants.

Blog: Spring has sprung and so have the carpenter ants

March 21, 2017, Canada

Carpenter ants are plentiful in Delta, and are common pests in homes, sheds and other buildings. In spring carpenter ants are more active at night and by using a flashlight you can find the main nest outdoors. In structures, the presence of sawdust is a key clue in locating ant nests. The most common carpenter ants are the familiar large, black ants that are 4 mm or more in length and shiny black. If you find both small and large ants then there is likely more than one queen in the nest, if they are all the same size then there is only one queen. Carpenter ants chew through wet and rotting wood and can cause structural damage. They discard the wood, not using it as a food source like termites, and tunnel to create their satellites nests where eggs are stored in the hollowed frame. Damage can go unnoticed until the wood structural integrity has become compromised.

Carpenter ant damage results in increase in bridge repair costs

November 2016, USA

The cost to maintain and repair a bridge nearly doubled recently and experts say part of the problem is due to carpenter ants.

The bridge we’re talking about is the Scipio Road Bridge over Keshequa Creek in Livingston County. Leaders there say the repairs need to be done now or that cost could grow even more.

Kathy Link owns a furniture shop in Mt. Morris. Since she opened six years ago, she says they’ve been watching out for carpenter ants.

“They can eat it right up,” says Link. “They can make a mess — that’s what they do.”

And that’s exactly what carpenter ants did to a small portion of Scipio Road’s bridge. The projected cost to replace the deck skyrocketed from $442,000 to $643,000 after inspectors found severe bug damage in the first four feet on each end of the 100-foot wooden deck.

Carpenter ants on rise, causing problems in Windsor

July 7, 2014, Canada

Pest management companies in Canada say it’s likely that an unusually snowy winter has allowed a high number of carpenter ants to survive the winter.

They say the number of carpenter ants is on the rise in Windsor, Ont., and Halifax, N.S.

Steve Pelletier of Steve’s Pest Management says he has already responded to 220 calls for carpenter ants this year. He had 237 carpenter ants calls in all of 2013.

Windsor is not alone in its fight against carpenter ants. Residents in Halifax, N.S., have also noticed an increase in the number of carpenter ants.

Now, they’re out foraging for food and establishing new colonies.

“In the early spring or late fall, you’ll see large ants moving around in the house. They’re low on the feed so they start wandering and looking for food,” he said. “Most people complain when they actually see the ants.”

Stewart said 95 per cent of a colony stays in its main nest, but there could be 13 satellite nests in one location.

“You won’t see the damage until much later on,” Stewart said.

So is there an effective solution for this problem? Yes, there is. Combirepel ™, an anti-insect and anti-rodent additive, a C Tech Corporation product is an ideal solution for the prevention and control of carpenter ants infestation. It follows 6 pronged strategy which is extremely effective in preventing the damage caused by these ants as well as insects like bedbugs, beetles, grasshopper, termites etc. Combirepel™ is a non-toxic, non-hazardous and environment-friendly product, with a high efficacy to repel insects like carpenter ants from the wood. 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 is RoHS, RoHS2, REACH compliant and FIFRA exempted. Combirepel™ in solution form can be injected at a high pressure in the lumber so as to prevent the infestation. It is also available in lacquer form which can be applied on the furniture, patios, floor, doorframes, windows, attics as a coating so as to prevent further infestation.