All posts by rodrepelnewblogeditor

Once again: Squirrels cause power outage!

s0Squirrels are the proverbial devils in disguises! They look extremely harmless and almost cute with their tiny frame and furry torso. But we should not forget that these comely animals are basically rodents. The teeth of squirrels follow the typical rodent pattern, with large gnawing incisors that grow throughout life, and grinding cheek teeth set back behind a wide gap. In one year’s time, a squirrel’s incisors can grow up to six inches. Optical fiber cables, coaxial cables, prove to be too tempting to these squirrels, mainly owing to their smooth texture, and the odor of plasticizers in the polymers.

Optical fibers have revolutionized modern day communication including cable T.V and internet. These optical fiber cables can be damaged seriously by gnawing rodents. In August 2011, The Atlantic reported the spokesperson of Level 3 communication, a fiber network company with 84,000 miles of cable to having incurred losses to the level of 17% due to damage done by squirrels. These rodents chew on the fiber optic cables thus damaging them. Another cable company Time Warner Cables recently reported that they suffer heavy damage to fiber optic cables owing to squirrels as they chew through the lines. When this occurs the fiber optic cables protection is lost and they become susceptible to rain and other natural elements.”Squirrel chews” had compelled them to replace 87 miles of cable during 2011 incurring losses in hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Squirrel’s knack of chewing into cables extends to coaxial cables too. There have been reports of sudden long cable outages owing to chewing by squirrels. Carra Higgins of The Inter Mountain reported that there were sudden outages in the Rich Mountain area owing to squirrel gnawing in certain portions of the cable. The cable company spokesman was quoted as saying that squirrels climbed on telephone wires to access the cable lines. These coaxial cables were typically coated with aluminum which fell prey to the squirrels. These ubiquitous, furry buzz saws are most likely damaging aerial cable plant in worldwide settings, increasing maintenance expenses and reducing productivity of technical operations groups. Service outages caused by squirrels can also adversely affect the image of service providers, possibly reducing revenue growth.

Let us look at the below news article:


Squirrel Knocks Out Power for 1,700 Boise Residents

  By Boomer May 28, 2014 1:10 PM

Paul Gilham – ThinkStock

BOISE (KTVB) Electricity went down for about 1,700 customers in Boise’s North End Wednesday morning when a squirrel got tangled in the power lines.

The affected areas stretched from West Good Street to Stewart Avenue, and from 15th Street to 34th Street, including State and Ridenbaugh Streets.

Idaho Power crews got the electricity back up for all customers by 9:30 a.m.
This recent piece of news again draws our attention to the ever increasing problem of rodents and squirrels.

Action needs to be taken to control the rodent menace in order to protect our wires and cables. A sure shot and effective way of doing this is ensuring that these rodents are kept away from our wires and cables. A solution involving using the mechanism of repellence will be the best way to go about this as it will mean that the rodents are kept away from the cables in the long run.

Rodrepel™ a rodent and animal repellant by C Tech Corporation is ideal for this job. Rodrepel™ is a non-toxic, non-hazardous rodent repellant available in the form of masterbatch as well as liquid solution can be incorporated in the cable sheathing during polymer processing. Rodrepel™ in liquid form can be coated on the cable insulation to provide short term protection from rodents.


Rodent attack on cars!!

download-11Rodents are mammals  of the order Rodentia, characterized by a single pair of continuously growing incisors in each of the upper and lower jaws that must be kept short by gnawing.  About 40% of mammal species are rodents, and they are found in vast numbers on all continents other than Antartica . Common rodents include mice, rats, squirrels, etc. With about 2,277  species of rodents, over 40% of mammalian species belong to the order. Their success is probably due to their small size, short breeding cycle, and ability to gnaw and eat a wide variety of foods.

During the time of cold winter people just switch on their heater in order to keep them and their house warm and comfortable. But the animals and other species are left outside to fend for themselves. Such animals which are left in open often have to find creative solution to be warm and cozy. The dogs and cats have a tendency to find shelter for themselves without disturbing the people around. But rats being notorious for having luxuries at the expense of humans always turn towards the human belonging. They shelter themselves under the hood in the car and sitting there jobless they tend to chew the car wiring to sharpen their teeth.

Let us look at the below news article:

North Burnaby garage sees influx of mice-damaged cars

 Wanda Chow- Burnaby NewsLeader

   Posted Jan 23, 2014 at 1:00 PM

The mechanics at Firestone Burnaby on Hastings Street are used to dealing with oil changes, brake jobs and repairs to engines and transmissions.

But in recent weeks, they’ve also had to add “detective” to their job descriptions.

Since Jan. 1, they’ve seen at least 10 vehicles brought in where the underlying cause of their problems were the same unusual source: mice.

Nick Acimovic, co-owner of Firestone Burnaby, believes local mice populations just aren’t deterred by the mild winter weather in this part of the world compared to colder climes.

But while repair jobs caused by mice aren’t entirely out of the ordinary, “this year it’s definitely more problematic than previous years,” he said.

Lately it appears imports, especially German makes such as BMWs, Mercedes and Volkswagens, have been more vulnerable.

“There’s something in the wiring I’ve been told … that mice like to chew.”

But no car is really resistant, he said Wednesday, when his shop was repairing a similarly-afflicted Toyota RAV4.

Most newer vehicles have extensive electronics systems. Often affected vehicles will have their engine light come on as the first sign that something’s wrong. Other times the vehicles will barely run or run rough, depending on what sensors the mice have tackled.

Acimovic said oxygen sensors are a common site of the problem because they’re installed as part of the exhaust system and the wiring is easily reachable for mice.

“So what happens is they would sit on the exhaust pipe, which is warm, and they would chew on that one.” From there they carry on until they reach other parts of the car, such as the engine compartment.

Last week his mechanics had the “bizarre” case of a BMW SUV whose electronics  indicated there was something wrong with the extensive airbag system.

The mice made it into the door frames and caused lots of damage to the wiring, creating a problem that was also very time consuming and expensive to figure out.

It wasn’t until they removed all the seats that they found signs of chewed up wiring and material, he said, noting the job took 40 hours to diagnose and repair.

“I’ve never seen something like it in all my years being in automotive repair.”

As for the Toyota RAV4, they found a mouse nest underneath the shield covering the engine. Again, there was damage to the wiring and at least one sensor.

Acimovic suggests that customers purchase electronic devices, available at hardware stores, which emit a noise inaudible to humans but which will drive rodents away.

They had one installed in their Firestone shop because “once we opened up the hood in one of the cars a couple mice just ran out and we didn’t know where they went.”

As for covering the cost of such damage, there is some good news. ICBC customers are covered for vehicle damage caused by animals under their comprehensive insurance.

downloadThus there has been an increase in the number of incidences where damages due to rodents have been reported in the automobile sector. This increase is alarming as innocent chews by rodents can result into major accidents. These accidents could prove fatal in some cases.

C Tech Corporation has come up with a solution called Rodrepel™ which will put people at ease by protecting their cars from the likes of rats. Rodrepel™ is a non-toxic, non-hazardous and environment friendly aversive and repels all rodents as well as birds. It is an anti-rodent additive for masterbatches specially developed for a range of polymeric and coating applications including films, wires and cables. It also available in the lacquer and solution form which can be coated on the surface to keep the rodents at bay.




Be wary of squirrels!

s00Squirrels surely don’t love just nuts! This may come as a surprise for most of us as squirrels have been time and again associated with nuts, making them their favorite food. Mind you only nuts are not enough for this particular breed of mammal. Many of us are unaware of the not so advertised fact that these cute creatures are basically rodents. Yes, they are cute, they are not filthy as one would imagine a rodent to be, but they are still rodents! More dangerous so as they do not produce a sense of disgust or revulsion that a normal rodent would.

Squirrels belong to  family Sciuridae of small or medium-size rodents . The family includes tree squirrels , ground squirrels, chipmunks,  marmots,. Squirrels are indigenous to the Americas, Eurasia, and Africa, and have been introduced to Australia. The teeth of sciurids follow the typical rodent pattern, with large gnawing incisors  that grow throughout life.

s1Squirrels as rodents grow have a pair of ever growing incisors which have to be kept short by gnawing. In order to do so these creatures chew at anything and everything possible, in search of food as well. In the process, they cause massive destruction of property including cables, wires, textiles, plastic sheets, etc. This is so as the squirrels can nibble onto anything hard like plastic just so that they can keep their incisors in check.

Indiscriminate nibbling by these creatures can thus lead to colossal losses. Let us look at the below recent article highlighting the same:


 Squirrel trashes home leaving USD $11,500 of damage

January 17, 2014


64 year-old Englishwoman Margaret Bousfield had a surprise visitor down her chimney this winter but, unlike Santa Claus, this unexpected squirrel guest (not pictured) caused damage worth £7,000 (around USD $11,500). After falling down the chimney in Hartlepool, UK, the panicked rodent clawed, bit and soiled its way through curtains, carpets and furniture, even scratching through the plastic double-glazing window frames. The creature set off the burglar alarm and Ms Bousfield and a neighbor finally managed to get the squirrel off the premises. Luckily, the damage was covered by insurance.

s3 As stated here the aggrieved party was in luck and the damage was covered by insurance. But this is not always the case especially in damage to care wired by squirrels. They seek for a cozy and warm place in the winters and car hoods are the haven of choice. Here in their safe haven, they chew through the car wires and other plastic components in the car and result in humungous damages.

Thus squirrel nibbling can be a big problem not only in your house but anywhere and everywhere. There has to be an effective and easy way to handle this problem.

Rodrepel™ a product by C Tech Corporation works effectively in handling this problem. Rodrepel™ is a non-toxic, non hazardous rodent additive. It is basically a polymer additive which can be incorporated in polymer products like cable insulation, curtain rods, films and any other polymer components. On addition and proper dispersion of the product, the final product obtained is rodent repellant. The best and unique part of this product is that it is completely non-toxic, non-hazardous and eco-friendly. It works by the mechanism of repellence keeping the target species at bay and doesn’t kill them.

We can thus protect our applications while at the same time avoiding killing the target species. This is a potential win-win situation.





Rats damaging fiber optic cables!!!

Nowadays, thief’s and hooligans’ job has become more tedious and risky as they are vulnerable to getting caught easily; thanks to the technology which gave us CCTV. Today most of the places are guarded by CCTVs instead of a human guard as a lookout for thieves. People feel more protected as various places are now guarded with CCTVs. However rat, notorious for creating problems in human life can actually turn out to be a thief’s friend and make his life easier by chewing the cables of the CCTV and making them invalid! (Alas! There is no way of knowing who the robber was.) This is a real problem as a rat cannot be arrested and charged with ‘accessory to the crime/incident’.

One of the biggest problems caused by rats is when they chew out the electrical wiring. The damages caused by the rats can be very 
imagesexpensive and sometimes lead to fires and loss of lives! Rats have very sharp teeth that grow continuously. These teeth can even cut through soft metals. Rats also cause problems by biting the electrical wiring in cars, trucks and trailers. The damage can sometimes be very difficult to locate, resulting in large repair bills!
The below article reports one such incident in which rats damage the cable of a CCTV which endangers the safety of people;

Rats damage fibre optic cabling to Inverness CCTV

 7 March 2014

Rats gnawed on cabling to a camera used for detecting and deterring anti-social behavior

Rats caused £4,800-worth of damage to underground fibre optic cabling for a camera in Inverness’ CCTV network.

Highland Council said the rodents caused the damage while sharpening their teeth on the toughened outer casing of the cable.

download (1)Repairs have been carried out and measures will be taken to better seal off the cables from rats.

Two other cameras in the CCTV system have also been replaced because of “general wear and tear”.

Highland Council said: “It is not in the interest of public safety to identify where these cameras are as they are used in prevention and detection of crime.”

Litter louts

There are 40 cameras covering various streets in Inverness city centre.

A new one is to be installed in Castle Wynd later this month.

Police Scotland and Highland Council jointly run the system and use it to monitor for late night disorder and litter louts.

Increasingly, camera footage has been used to detect road traffic offences and for finding missing people.

The system was used in 406 missing person cases in 2012/13 – 3% more than three years ago, according to a report given to Highland councilors earlier this month.

Police also used the cameras in dealing with road safety incidents on 356 occasions, an increase of 4%, the report said.

Rat population is growing so vigorously that it is difficult to stop them from damaging applications by killing them; as when one is killed the other is always ready to take its place. A full proof solution will be to ensure cable has properties which will dissuade rodents from damaging it. C Tech Corporation offers a perfect solution: Rodrepel™. Rodrepel™ is a non-toxic, non-hazardous and environment friendly aversive and repels all rodents as well as birds. It is an anti-rodent additive for masterbatches specially developed for a range of polymeric and coating applications like wires and cables. It also available in the lacquer and solution form which can be coated on the surface to keep the rodents at bay. The product works on the mechanism of repellence and does not kill the target or non-target species. Rodrepel™ can be incorporated in wires and cable polymer during the polymer procduct

Rats attack cables!

Rats are one of those increasingly annoying creatures you just can’t seem to get rid off! They are everywhere, the location, season; temperature has absolutely no effect on them. Such is the extent of their unstoppable proliferation. 1Given the inquisitive nature of these rodents, our wires and cables which are the means of carrying information and various services to our doorstep are at maximum risk from them. Inquisitive rodents don’t think twice before digging into our precious cables. This has resulted in many a power failure. Rodents like rats, raccoons, squirrels have cost the whole world way too much money. If a cable is chewed in even on place, the repercussions are felt over the entire expanse of the cable, in all the towns through which it passes. Cables have to be replaced in their entirety even because of a single bite along its length. Every day we hear of numerous reports elaborating the extent of damage caused by the cables, costing us millions of dollars. Now let us look at the following news article



Rats Running Riot at BBMP Head Office, Chew Up Cables By Ashwini M Sripad – BANGALORE Published: 10th February 2014 08:32 AM Last Updated: 10th February 2014 08:32 AM The rodents are giving municipal officials a tough time by frequently cutting Internet cables and chewing up files. Looks like the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) needs the services of a Pied Piper to get rid of rats at its headquarters. The rodents are giving municipal officials a tough time by frequently cutting Internet cables and chewing up files.Food leftovers attract rodents in all five buildings of the municipal corporation. “Everyday, a number of meetings are held in many places within the head office. Food is ordered for most meetings,” said an official.Employees and councillors also get food delivered at their chambers. Rodents also love the smell of the gum used in files.An officer in the IT department in the

3 BBMP said rats damage computer and other cables. “Fortunately, our main IT server is located at the IPP centre, Malleswaram, where we have no rat problem. Otherwise, things would have been worse,” he said. He also said the Building Maintenance Division, to which officials had complained at least five times, had done nothing about the menace. An employee from the BBMP engineering department said chewed-up cables meant no Internet or intra-office networking. “We can’t take printouts or scan documents. If we do not submit our work on time, we are pulled up by our seniors,” the engineer said. Girish Shetty, in charge of building maintenance, said the BBMP had recently outsourced pest control to a private agency. “We are paying them `30,000 a month and awarded a one-year contract. We will see how they work,” he said. However, BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana said he was not aware of the problem. “To the best of my knowledge, there is no such problem in our office,” he said Government organizations like the ones stated in the above article suffer owing to these rodents. Action needs to be taken to control the rodent menace in order to protect our wires and cables. A sure shot and effective way of doing this is ensuring that these rodents are kept away from our wires and cables. A solution involving using the mechanism of repellence will be the best way to go about this as it will mean that the rodents are kept away from the cables in the long run. Rodrepel™ a rodent and animal repellent by C Tech Corporation is ideal for this job. Rodrepel™ is a non-toxic, non-hazardous rodent repellant available in the form of masterbatch as well as liquid solution can be incorporated in the cable sheathing during polymer processing. Rodrepel™ in liquid form can be coated on the cable insulation to provide short term protection from rodents. The coating of Rodrepel™ will have to  be reapplied after certain intervals of time.

Combating raccoons the non-toxic way!

A band of raccoons can be a formidable enemy to deal with!

images (5)Raccoons are wild animals- they are the worst house guests that anyone could ask for. They are sloppy and destructive creatures! They invade our precious homes and make themselves at home in the attic.The raccoon is a medium-sized mammal  native to North America. It is the largest of the family, having a body length of 40 to 70 cm and a body weight of 3.5 to 9kg. Its grayish coat mostly consists of dense underfur which insulates against cold weather. Two of the raccoon’s most distinctive features are its extremely dexterous front paws and its facial mask  , which are themes in the mythology of several  Native American tribes . Raccoons are noted for their intelligence , with studies showing that they are able to remember the solution to tasks for up to three years!

Raccoons have a tendency to destroy everything that they can lay their hands on. Home attics seem to be their habitat of choice. Raccoons given their destructive nature are reported to have torn ducts, insulation on pipes, chewed on wires, etc. It is believed that they do so in search for a bedding place. Raccoons are at the top of the list of wildlife that destroys vegetable gardens. They also are notorious for raiding bird feeders at night as well as garbage cans.

There have been numerous reports of raccoon damage. People in general don’t understand the risks associated with inviting these unruly creatures into their homes as pets. Raccoons are capable of spreading havoc as was demonstrated by a hair-raising incident. This happened a very long time ago, when a beautiful girl got scarred for life as she was attacked by a pet raccoon that mauled her when she was just 3 months old!! The poor soul went through excruciating pain and trauma and had to undergo numerous reconstructive surgeries even 10 years after the unfortunate incident. This was reported by the Mail online in an article dated 16th August, 2012. It also states that the “pet” raccoon had chewed off a part of her face in the incident.

download (2)Also another incident was reported by on 15th March, 2011 where a 4-day old baby was attacked by a raccoon. The baby suffered from puncture wounds and a cut on her head. The reason for the attack was believed to be nosy and inquisitive nature of the animal.

Children in particular are highly vulnerable to attack from these vicious animals. A recent incident which went to press on 8th May, 2013 illustrates the same. The journalist reports that a 6-year old girl was subjected to unprovoked surprise attack in her own backyard. Imagine not being safe in your own backyard!

These wily creatures not only cause carnal damage, but also economical damage. Being inquisitive as well as dexterous by nature, they amount to huge damage in the wire and cable industry. They will chew wires and cables more often out of curiosity. Moreover most insurance companies don’t cover damage caused due to raccoons. They don’t pay for animal damage because it is seen as a direct result of homeowner neglect.

The time has come to protect our loved ones as well as our precious belongings from these raccoons. We at C Tech Corporation recognize this problem and have worked towards finding a practical solution for the same. Rodrepel™ is the product of years of tremendous efforts coupled with innovative technology. Our product Rodrepel™ works effectively in repelling rodents and other aggressive animals like raccoons. It is one of its kind non-toxic, non-hazardous and eco-friendly rodent and animal aversive. It is available in polymer compatible masterbatches which can be incorporated in cables and cable insulation as well as wires. It is also available in the form of lacquer which can be applied on wooden doors and frames as well as on fences to keep raccoons from entering the property.This product will be instrumental in keeping raccoons out of your house as well as life!






Rats blamed for train arson!!

1Rats here, rats there, rats everywhere! This is the condition of Indian Railways as of today. Indian Railway is the lifeline of every average Indian. It is the second largest rail network in Asia transporting about 30 million people daily. Touted as one of the most commuter friendly means of travel, they are the most preferred means for every average Indian. Apart from connecting the most far reaching and hitherto inaccessible areas to each other, it provides us with a means of pocket friendly commute.

A train journey is quite the experience for kids and adults alike. But what happens when they are confronted with abominable co-passengers like rats and cockroaches? Well the “happy” train ride gets quickly transformed into a ghoulish nightmare! The perpetrators of this horror movie are the nasty rodents, cockroaches and bedbugs. They have stealthily made their way into the complex railway network and captured every nook and corner.

Rodents are rampant in coaches adjoining p2the pantry cars. Owing to the wide and continuous usage of the railway carriages, there is ample food in the form of leftovers from meals. Also the presence of bedding in the Air Conditioned coaches makes for ideal home for insects like bedbugs. Ensconced in the linen and blankets given to passengers travelling on AC two and three-tier coaches, bed bugs become active once lights in coaches go off and passengers hit the sack. According to a survey, the most commonly infested places are the mattress (98.2%).

Despite repeated complaints the Railway authorities have been able to do little regarding this problem. There have been numerous cases where passenger trains have been delayed due to passengers staging a full-fledged “rail roko” a popular term for forceful stoppage of trains by passengers owing to dissatisfactory services rendered. The past 3-4 years have seen a hike in such revolts. On an average, 773 rats and over 31,368 cockroaches per month are exterminated from coaches at Secunderabad and eight other coaching depots under SCR (South Central Railways) limits every month. Not only the SCR but other branches of Railways too bear the brunt of these wily pests. As a solution to this the Railway authorities have been handing out expensive pest control contacts to reputed agencies. These pest agencies use poisonous chemicals and gases as a means to combat the pest problem, but at the end of the day are none the wiser. The pests might leave the carriages alone temporarily, but the temptation of food is too alluring to resist. They come back soon! In the end the problem remains untreated; the commuters continue to be harrowed!

Presence of these creepy crawlers is highly bothersome. Rats and cockroaches have resulted in the loss of peace of mind of commuters till now; but considering the recent turn of events, rats might just turn out to be the cause for loss of life! This is something that we cannot ignore!

Lets us look at the below news article:


Rats behind Bangalore-Nanded Express blaze?

V Kamalakara Rao, TNN | Jan 1, 2014, 11.04 PM IST


VISAKHAPATNAM: Four days after the train blaze in Anantapur district, that claimed 26 lives, railway authorities are still sticking to their short circuit theory despite their inability to ascertain the actual reason that sparked off the blaze. Experts however point out that this short circuit could well be due to the rodent menace which has grown into unmanageable proportions.

According to experts, mice chew the protective rubber insulation off the electricity wires and studies also reveal that rodents are behind nearly 5-6% of power outages and short circuits.

Andhra University professor GVKR Sastry, who has 35 years of experience in teaching and research in the field of electrical engineering, explained the role rodents play in triggering short circuits either by chewing the cables or by coming in contact with `positive’ and `negative’ nodes or terminals.

A short circuit is an abnormal connection between two nodes of an electric circuit intended to be at different voltages. “If a rodent is stuck between the two nodes, the connection between the nodes of the circuit lead to an abnormal stage, causing circuit damage, overheating, fire or explosion,” Prof Sastry explained.

“There are possibilities of rodents triggering short circuits. It happens often. However, I can’t ascertain the reasons behind the Bangalore-Nanded Express fire without examining the incident spot,” Sastry concluded.

Agreeing with Prof Sastry, Anil Kumar, divisional railway manager, Waltair Division of East Coast Railway (ECoR), said that railway officers concerned currently suspect that the fire may have been triggered by a short circuit. “I agree that rodents could also be one of the reasons behind short circuits,” Anil Kumar told TOI.

Visakhapatnam Railway Zone Sadana Samiti convener JV Satyanarayana Murthy said, “In my experience with the Railways, I have found a number of rodents or mice crawling in the AC coaches of trains, particularly in Garibrath Express that is a fully-AC daily train plying between Visakhapatnam and Secunderabad. This theory was also proved right when a fire mishap took place in my car after rats chewed off some wires. The privatization of maintenance works of the coaches has led to the poor condition of the coaches and the rising number of rodents.”

When contacted, ECoR chief public relation officer JP Mishra said: “We are keeping a strict watch on complaints from passengers on rodents and pests. The root cause lies in the maintenance and sanitation at the railway station and proper cleaning of the coaches, especially the pantry cars. If there are any complaints they will tighten the mechanism and continue the strict vigil.”

The above incident is a shocking one. The loss of 26 lives is being attributed to measly rodents!


Rats are inquisitive by nature and love exploring new places. Also they are characterized by a pair of ever growing incisors which need to be kept short by gnawing. Rats are attracted to the smell and color of polymers and therefore electric wires and cables are a soft target for them to gnaw at. Chewing by rats damages the cables and wires and can result in short circuit as in the above case.

Efforts by the Railways need to be quadrupled to effectively deal with this problem. It has been proved time and again that the conventional pest control strategies have failed and lakhs of rupees have gone down the drain. In order to prevent the occurrence of any untoward incident in the future at the behest of rodents or pests, new and effective methods need to be designed and followed through.

C Tech Corporation can offer a solution to this problem. Our products Rodrepel™ and Combirepel™ are non-toxic, non-hazardous rodent and pest aversive. They are available in the form of masterbatches which can be directly incorporated in the polymer matrix during processing of wires and cables. This would result in the final cable or wire being rodent and pest repellant. This would be an efficient way of deterring the rodents from chewing the cables and wires and thus negate the possibility of a short circuit. Gruesome accidents like above can thus be avoided.

Rodrepel™ and Combirepel™ are also available in lacquer form and can be applied directly on the outside as well as inside of the railway coaches. These products can effectively control the proliferation of these undesired pests!


Carnage by birds!!

imagesBirds constitute a class of air borne pests that can be quite difficult to contain. The obvious reason being their huge number and the fact that they are practically inaccessible to humans. Their envious ability to fly can invoke a sense of sheer helplessness considering the amount of damage they do on the ground.

Pest birds cause tens of millions of dollars in damage every year to buildings, machinery, automobiles, roofs, ventilation systems and much more. Bird droppings and nesting materials which are allowed to accumulate pose a host of physical problems which can become very serious if they are not corrected immediately. Bird droppings are very acidic in nature. They actually eat away at many substrates, especially tar-based roofing materials. Droppings which are allowed to accumulate on roofs will eat into the material and eventually cause leaks. The life expectancy of a warehouse roof can be cut in half by just a light, but continuous, application of bird droppings. The accumulation of pigeon droppings caused a gas station canopy to collapse in Arizona in 2008.

Pigeon, starling and sparrow nests are 2often built in rain gutters, drains and corners of roofs where drains are located. Several warehouses every year experience great damage, even collapsed roofs. A collapsed roof that resulted in death or great physical damage could put a company out of business. Acidic bird droppings can do great damage to air conditioning equipment, industrial machinery, siding, insulation etc. Not only is the equipment damaged, but workers are exposed to dangerous health-risks any time they work on or around the machinery. Pigeons have been known to enter attics of houses, apartments, restaurants and other buildings through openings that have been either broken or never sealed off in the first place. In most cases the pigeons set up homes in these protected areas, build nests and discard their bodily waste.

airBird populations cause an estimated annual loss of $100 million to U.S. agriculture, according to Charles Lee, an Extension wildlife specialist at Kansas State University. Blackbirds, grackles, and crows often feed on developing ears in corn fields following pollination early in the grain filling period. They seem particularly attracted to developing kernels near the so-called milk stage or “roasting ear” stage.  Large flocks of these birds can cause a tremendous amount of damage and will often target one hybrid over another. Damage is often most prevalent along field edges and nearby wooded areas, but can extend throughout a large field.  Such bird feeding damage predisposes the ears to the development of various ear molds and rots, some of which may subsequently lead to the development of dangerous mycotoxins. Average 10% ear damage throughout a field is associated with an estimated 5,000 birds. The thought of so many birds in one field brings back bad childhood memories of watching Alfred Hitchcock’s classic 1963 horror movie “The Birds”!

The bird problem is a universal one. The people of a town in Australia report of the sulphur-crested cockatoos of Potts Point, which have caused more than $40,000 in damage to one building alone and are absolutely incorrigible. These birds the residents say have damaged many of the homes which are heritage-listed as well as art-deco buildings. The extent of bird nuisance is demonstrated by a court order in Venice, Europe that bans tourists as well as localites from feeding pigeons at the St. Mark square. This order goes well against the customs and traditions of this region, but officials say they were forced to take this radical step as the feeding resulted into an increased bird population which culminated in increased damage to heritage structures by the avian. Bird activity damage is not restricted to our surroundings alone; in some cases it has a direct effect on humans also.  There have been reports about a certain seemingly harmless but potentially vicious bird called “magpie” attacking humans. There are numerous videos of actual incidents posted online of the same. There was a recent report of a little girl who was blinded and scarred for life after being attacked by a magpie. The mother was quoted as saying that the vicious bird swooped in out of nowhere and attacked the girl and her friend as they were crossing the street. The resulting panic just instigated the magpie to attack them more aggressively. The attack inflicted permanent damage to her cornea resulting in permanent blindness in one eye.

Apart from the danger they pose to heritage structures by defacing them or pecking away at them, birds are responsible for the spread of many diseases. Birds are active vectors of potentially deadly diseases like bird flu also called avian influenza as bird are the prime hosts of this virus. Not only bird flu, birds and their droppings can carry over 60 diseases many of them airborne and can be transferred to humans by just being in the vicinity of bird droppings. Some of the diseases spread by birds are Histoplasmosis- a respiratory disease, Candidiasis- yeast or fungus infection spread by pigeons which affects the skin and mouth, Cryptococcosis which may affect the central nervous system, etc.

Lastly birds pose a grave danger to flights. There have been uncountable incidents of flights being damaged, grounded, due to bird collision in mid air. Flocks of birds have been blamed for scores of small-plane crashes and at least two major U.S. aviation disasters. Birds can often get sucked into engines on takeoff, disabling the planes and forcing pilots to make emergency landings or crash, experts say. In both 2011 and 2012 more than 2,200 bird strike reports were recorded by the CAA. The figures include both minor incidents and those in which aircraft sustained some damage.

To sum it up, these beautiful unattainable creatures of flight don’t paint a rosy picture when it comes to their relationship with humans. They cause millions in damage by various means. Moreover they are difficult to contain because of the simple fact that they are not on the same level as we are, literally speaking. The methods adopted earlier to contain them include use of nets; nylon nets especially can kill a bird. This therefore shouldn’t be our method of choice while dealing with them as some of these birds are classified as endangered species. The proper way of dealing with them would be to repel them and thus keep them away from our houses, heritage structures, crops, and planes. Rodrepel™ a product of C Tech Corporation does just the same. Rodrepel™ is a non-toxic, non-hazardous, eco-friendly rodent and bird aversive. It is available in lacquer form which can be used to paint on wood as well as metal. It works on the mechanism of repellence and drives the birds away. Thus it can be applied on the heritage structures to discourage any bird activity near it. It is also available in the form of polymer additive masterbatch which can be incorporated in agricultural films used in agriculture. This would ensure that the crops are protected from birds.




Exquisite antlers ravage fields!!

 “Agriculture not only gives riches to a nation, but the only riches she can call her own”

deerAgriculture, one of the oldest occupations practiced- worldwide has a paramount importance in our lives. When our nomadic ancestors began to settle and grow their own food, human society was forever changed. Human communities, no matter how sophisticated, could not ignore the importance of agriculture. To be far from dependable sources of food was to risk malnutrition and starvation.

Owing to the advent of industrial revolution, there was modernization in agriculture which led to increase in production. Despite the increased production, agriculture is under as great a threat as ever from its age old enemy i.e. pests. Apart from this agriculture has to suffer due to activities of wild stock and other animals like deer and raccoons. Wildlife damage to field crops is a widespread concern in the United States, especially in Midwestern states, and the assessment and control of wildlife damage to crops has become an important component of wildlife management. It was estimated that wildlife-related economic losses to agricultural producers (farmers and ranchers) in the United States exceed $4.5 billion annually.

White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) which was once considered an endangered species has now flourished to great lengths. The increase in deer population has been accompanied by a decrease in crop acreage. White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) are thought to be the most common wildlife species that routinely damage agricultural crops. White-tailed deer damage agricultural crops, often leading to significant economic losses for farmers. Early in the growing season, deer will sometimes feed on the whorls or tops of young plants in mid- to late June when the immature tassel down in the whorl is 4 to 6 inches long. Rather than actually eating the whorl leaves, the deer are apparently drawn to the succulent, moist immature tassel. The result is decapitated plants whose young whorl leaves have simply been pulled out and the tassel somehow chewed out and eaten. The mostly intact whorl leaves are left behind on the ground along with the tell-tale evidence of hoof prints and deer scat.

Deer have a soft spot for corn and soybeans in particular!!

Deer feed on corn sparingly after the milk stage until the crop matures. Stalks are more easily knocked down during this period and deer will feed readily on kernels, on the cob and those on the ground. While stalks are on the ground deer may scrape the ear along its length using its bottom incisors. At maturity, some corn plants have reddening of leaves and/or the stalk.

Corn plants with purple-colored stalks in August –September often are indicative of damage caused by deer. Deer will readily scrape kernels off the cobs of mature corn plants, generally causing little or no physical damage to the corn stalk. Removal of kernels after maturity results in red cobs. Damage caused earlier in the growing season results in dirty brown cobs. Complaints from farmers whose crops are eaten by deer have been increasing steadily.

The common symptoms resulting from deer feeding on corn at this stage of development are “topless” plants and decapitated ears. The ear symptoms are sometimes mistaken for bird damage, but differ because of the distinct appearance of “cut” husks and missing ends of cobs resulting from the deer chomping” off the ends of the ears.Deer damage to plants or ears of corn during the grain filling period often encourages disease infection of the damaged plant tissue by common smut spores. This disease eventually develops into the ugly mass of fungal tissue on damaged plant parts.

cornDeer relish young soybeans almost as much as kids love ice cream. And with deer populations exploding in many states, that’s no small problem. In fact, some Southern states farmers have thrown in the towel and quit raising soybeans on fields that were hardest hit. There has been severe deer pressure on soybeans in some parts of the state because soybeans are a preferred food by deer.

In a statewide survey conducted by Clemson University, crop producers reported that 70% of their 1991 soybean acreage was damaged to some extent by deer. Based on the reported acreage and degree of damage, it was estimated that deer damage cost soybean producers in South Carolina more than $7.8 million in 1991.

As reported by this article researchers have gone to the extent of calling soybean as the “perfect deer food”!!

Farmer fear: soybeans called ‘perfect deer food’


Posted on May 2, 2013

As the state’s farmers prepare for spring planting, an ongoing research project is taking a look at how deer affect soybean crops in agricultural states like Illinois. It is already known that deer eat millions of pounds of crops – and soybeans tend to be the most popular entree on a deer’s menu.

Soybeans mean big antlers on deer, one researcher pointed out.

“It’s no coincidence that in Illinois, Iowa or other states with huge soybean acreages they grow a lot of big deer,” Bronson Strickland, associate extension professor with the Mississippi State University Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture, said.

“It’s no secret that deer love soybeans,” Strickland added. “Soybeans are the perfect deer food – there’s nothing better than soybean plants from the standpoint of palatability, digestibility and food protein.

If there is any plant that’s designed for deer to love and to thrive on, it’s soybeans. For those who want to cultivate a deer population, there’s nothing better for food plots than soybeans.”

The soybean-deer relationship is all too familiar with Illinois farmers. As the state’s deer population exploded in the 1990s and 2000s, more and more farmers experienced extensive crop damage caused by feeding and grazing deer.

For that reason, farmers became big fans of the state’s deer hunters.

When soybean prices began to rise at the end of the last decade – pushing up over the $12 per bushel range, where they currently remain – and farmers began to realize the value of the commodity deer were eating, they became even bigger fans of hunters.

All of this followed a study commissioned by the Illinois Natural History Survey about the relationship between deer hunters and farmers.

Mark Alessi, Human Dimensions research coordinator for the INHS, teamed with other researchers to compile a study on Illinois farmers’ perceptions of deer and their relationship with deer hunters.

The study was conducted in 2011 and followed similar studies in 1982 and 1990.

Among the findings was the fact that a majority of hunters enjoy having deer on their property – until they start to notice damage to their crops caused by those deer.

“About 70 percent say, ‘yes, we love deer’ but that changes when the corn gets eaten,” Alessi noted.

Perceptions have changed since the 1982 study, mostly because the state’s deer herd has grown over the 30-year period.

In the research under way at Mississippi State, the goal is to estimate where in fields deer damage is occurring and how it changes over time.

“We want to quantify the relationship between soybean damage and the number of deer eating beans in a particular field,” Strickland said. “Secondarily, we want to determine how the number of deer relates to the size of the field, how far into the field damage occurs, and how much damage occurs at various spots.”

Strickland said researchers on the project are actually counting the number of deer browsing in each field, using infrared devices that detect the deer heat signature. Student technicians sit in the study fields from sundown until midnight, continually sweeping the fields with the infrared devices and counting the number of deer.

“The deer stand out like a sore thumb,” he said. “It’s also easy to distinguish the difference between deer and feral pigs, which also cause significant soybean damage in the south.”

The study also is examining how deer impact varies from the field border to the middle of the field. Timing of the deer “soybean buffet” is also part of the study.

The Illinois Farm Bureau keeps a close eye on wildlife issues as they affect the state’s farmers.

“The Farm Bureau supports hunting and trapping, and we have policies on wildlife management,” Nancy Erickson, natural resources director for the IFB, said in response to the INHS study’s release last year. “Our members do enjoy wildlife. But they are also trying to make a living and help feed the world. It gets to a point, when crops and property are damaged, something has to be done.”

Farmers in the INHS survey estimated deer caused about $1,500 per capita worth of damage to their property. That damage estimate was formulated before the spike in market prices for soybeans.

Given the extent of damage these apparently harmless creatures cause economically, there is a need for urgent action to be taken in this regards. Killing these creatures should not be the solution that we are looking for. C Tech Corporation has come up with a unique solution to this problem. Rodrepel™ a product of C Tech Corporation is a non-toxic, non-hazardous animal and rodent aversive. It works by the mechanism of repellence and is thus effective in driving deer and such animals away from our precious corn and soybeans. Rodrepel®™ can be applied in the form of lacquer on wooden fences surrounding the fields. It can also be incorporated in irrigation piping and hosing in the form of polymer masterbatch at the time of processing.