There is a saying that “By gnawing through a dike, even a rat may drown a nation”. This is the power of rats and their family of rodents. With rodent population growing 10X faster than humans, the riot caused by them is also escalating at an equal pace. Polymer products are particularly affected since they cannot endure the attack by rodents.

The article aims to demonstrate the rodent menace to the irrigation system especially to the agricultural valves, and the progress Irririch has made to protect the plastic hoses from rodent biting attacks.

Rodent menace:

The number may be intriguing but true; forty percent of mammal species found on earth are rodents. Scores of rodents are found on all continents other than Antarctica. Common rodents include mice, rats, squirrels, porcupines, beavers, guinea pigs and voles. Rodentia is an order of mammals also known as rodents, which is characterized by two continuously growing incisors in the upper and lower jaws which must be kept short by gnawing. Gnawing is defined as the act of biting, chewing on, or eroding with the teeth.

Rodent menace can cause severe economic losses. Rodents chew on plastic doors, sidings, benches, molded plastic parts, cables, wires, railway components practically anything. In the wild too, they chew on products made of plastics such as trash bins, containers, cables etc

Rodents are particularly fascinated to plastic pipes and tubing which are laid either on surface or underground. The color and odor of plastic pipes attract rodents, which in search of water and their fetish for gnawing action attack these pipes; that may or may not be hauling water.

Wires and Cables: Rodents gnawing through wires could result in short circuits leading to fire hazards; whereas damage to optical fiber cables could disrupt transmission of sensitive communication. Rodents often disturb underground train services and metro rail services. Sterlite Optical Technologies Ltd. has published several papers on rodent damage to wires and cables of valves; vividly troubled by this issue. They claim that rodent attacks have been a chief cause for heavy maintenance cost of duct & direct-buried cable networks and is a threat to service operators in almost all geographic locations of the world. 

Drip irrigation & Pipelines: Drip irrigation, also known micro- irrigation, is an irrigation method which saves water and fertilizer by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, through a network of valves, pipes, tubing, and emitters. However, the whole purpose of conservation of water using such systems turns futile if these tubes get vulnerable to rodent attacks.

Current methods and their drawbacks for rodent control: 

Traditional chemicals used as rodenticides include organochlorine pesticides like Lindane and heavy metal based compounds such as Copper Naphthenate and Lead Naphthenate. These are used as additives in polymer industry during extrusion. However, these chemicals are not meant for use in polymer products due to following concerns:

  • Human Health Hazard : These harmful rodenticide additives volatilize at polymer processing temperatures and release extremely fumes. Not only does this lead to an extensive loss of chemical during processing; but also poses fatal hazards to workers handling such products at the shop floor.
  • Environmental issue: The use of such pesticides is a also serious environmental concern as they leach out from the polymer to enter the atmosphere and are later deposited by rain. They get carried into surface waters as well as ground water.
  • Regulatory norms: Most countries like Finland, Indonesia, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Saint Lucia, Sweden, Australia, Austria, Cyprus, Norway and Sri Lanka have either banned or restricted the use of Lindane and other such poisonous pesticides.

Thus, control over rodents in a safer, better and eco-friendlier manner is needed all over the world.

Non toxic and more efficient Solution:

During the past years, Irririch agricultural valves also suffered these rodent attacks, the PE hoses alongside the valve body are time to time attached by the animal biting or gnawing, resulting the irrigation system failure and extra labor cost to repair these damaged hoses for getting the system back working.

However all has been changed now, Irririch has recently introduced an innovative way to protect the PE hoses from the rodent biting, no worries to the rodent biting any longer! Thousands of dollars have been saved in each irrigation project. The solution is to protect each PE hose with a metal tube, the metal protective tube get the rodents mad as they find nowhere to bite. For more detailed information on these anti-biting agricultural valves, please CLICK HERE !

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