Marching ants

first_imgThe homelandNative to Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, the ant was first described in New Orleans around 1891, most likely from a coffee shipment via the port of New Orleans. As of 2001, the ant was found in 21 different states and on every continent except Antarctica. In the U.S., it is found mostly in the Southeast and Southwest, as well as Hawaii, with that number most likely on the rise. Not just a pest in urban areas, it’s also a pest of agricultural crops by tending to and defending plant-feeding insects, such as aphids and whiteflies, which destroy plant materials when feeding.Keep’em outArgentine ants, like most other pest ants, come indoors in search of food, water or shelter. With the worker ants being less than a quarter of an inch long, a gap or crack the size of a pinhead is an open invitation for them to come inside. One of the first things to do in order to keep these pesky creatures from invading is to search for entry points. Search areas around windows and doors for cracks, crevices or gaps that could provide access into the home. Use caulking, weather-stripping or other physical control barriers to keep the ants outside. (Sealing cracks, crevices and gaps around doors and windows will not only keep the insects from entering, but will also keep hot or cold air from escaping your home, potentially leading to savings on monthly utility bills.)Another way to control them is with the use of chemicals. The use of slow-acting gel baits is optimal in controlling Argentine ants inside a home and can be purchased at local home improvement stores. Remove other foodsActive ingredients such as imidacloprid, fipronil, thiamethoxam and borax (sodium tetraborate decahydrate) are all acceptable. These ingredients work slowly enough to allow the ants to transfer the insecticide to other nest mates before dying, allowing the newly contaminated ants to transfer the poison to other ants until the problem is solved.In order for these baits to be efficient, all other food and water sources must be eliminated. The ants need to feed solely on the insecticide, which is usually sweetened with sugars, in order for control to occur. If other food or water sources remain, the ants may pass up the insecticide for the other available sources. In the event that the ants do not feed on the gel bait when other resources have been removed, either a different brand of bait or active ingredient should be used. If you can’t see visible entry points for the ants and the insecticides from local home improvement stores are not helping, a professional opinion may be needed. Contact your local pest control operator for a consultation and a thorough inspection of your property. After assessing the situation, the operator will be able to use chemicals restricted only to professionals to help mitigate your ant problem, inside or outside of the home. Regardless of the season, ants can become pests in any structure. The Argentine ant (Linepithema humile), or sugar ant, frequently invades homes in Georgia. The small brown ant, one-eighth of an inch to three-sixteenths of an inch long, will make its way inside after significant periods of rain, drought, heat or cold.last_img read more

"Marching ants"

The next wave in digital fraud prevention

first_imgCounterfeit credit card artists know the score. EMV chip cards are coming to the United States, and very soon the business of duplicating plastic – an $11 billion business – will be all but extinct. Yet, these nimble con men and women are not about to give up on the lucrative payment fraud business. Instead, they will redirect their energy, focusing it squarely on the digital universe.Fortunately, the industry has formulated a response to the growing card-not-present (CNP) fraud threat – tokenization.Whereas chip cards were created to address card counterfeiting, tokenization is built to remove card data entirely from digital devices and infrastructure. Not only does this reduce the security vulnerabilities, it also allows issuers additional control of payment devices in the digital channel. Together, EMV and tokenization tag-team to reduce or eliminate fraud in the card-present and card-not-present channels, with minimal to no impact to the cardholder.Tokenization replaces all the coveted card account data that’s being hacked and sold on the black market with secure digital tokens. These tokens have absolutely no value to thieves. That’s because only the major card networks who provision the tokens are capable of decrypting them. What’s more, tokens are unique to the devices and e-commerce merchants they are provisioned for.You can see why tokenization has support from all corners of the industry – from card brands to merchants to issuers. Now thanks to Apple’s highly visible use of the technology inside of its wallet solution Apple Pay, even consumers are excited about the benefits of tokenization. Importantly, tokenization promises cardholders enhanced security without asking them to do anything special to obtain that extra layer of safety.Say, for instance, a Visa cardholder adds his credit card to Apple’s Passbook so he can begin to use Apple Pay. Upon receipt of the request, Visa creates a unique token and sends it to the cardholder’s iPhone 6. When the cardholder uses his iPhone to transact, the phone passes the token to the terminal or e-commerce merchant. Even if a crook managed to both steal and decrypt the token, he or she would also need to have access to the very device from which it originated to make any use of it. This all but eliminates the black-market value of stolen payment tokens.In the world of payments, the U.S. has often found itself lagging behind other countries. Take the innovation of chip cards, for example. Solidly in place in Europe since 1992, EMV is only just beginning to take hold in the U.S. The same can be said about mobile payments. In Singapore, cooperation between financial institutions, mobile networks and the government is moving the country toward mobile payments faster than arguably anywhere else in the world. Then there’s alternative currency. Whereas Kenyan people have been using digital currency via M-Pesa since 2007, Americans are only just beginning to talk about options like bitcoin.With tokenization, on the other hand, the U.S. is poised to be a leader in payments innovation, dramatically changing the digital payments landscape forever. Moving swiftly in response to EMV-related fraud trends, Visa, MasterCard and Apple have set the tone for global protection of consumers. Now, credit unions have an opportunity to be a part of this leadership, achieving significant fraud savings and cardholder loyalty along the way. 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Brandon Bolger Brandon Bogler is a product manager for The Members Group (TMG), leading the payment processor’s tokenization enablement strategy. He can be reached at [email protected] Web: Detailslast_img read more

"The next wave in digital fraud prevention"