Agricultural pest control with fungi

Using fungi for safe, effective control of agricultural pests

In the 1800’s, farmers attempting to establish a silk-producing industry in Europe encountered a problem every modern farmer is all too familiar with: a pest was destroying their livelihood. Their precious silkworms were attacked and seemed to be devoured from within.

Years after the destruction of European silk farming, scientists identified the pest as a fungal infection, now known as Beauveria bassiana,  that act as a parasite of insects.

The next question was: how can fungi be used as agricultural pest control?

Fungal insecticides can be used to great effect with approximately 750 species of fungi known to be harmful to insects.

Difficult crop pests such as aphids, thrips and whitefly can be controlled effectively with fungi even when chemical pesticides failed to do so

BioControl uses 16 of the most successful species as biological fungal insect control. As part of Integrated Pest Management, it does not offer a ‘quick fix’ but can take some time to deliver excellent, sustainable results.

Difficult crop pests such as aphids, thrips and whitefly can be controlled effectively by different strains of B. bassiana, even when chemical pesticides failed to do so.

How fungi can destroy your insect pests and benefit your sustainable farming practices

  • Fungi infect the target insect with spores that make contact with the insect, rather than the insect ingesting it.
  • The fungi then infect the insect by penetrating the cuticle.
  • Once inside the insect’s body, it spreads by feeding on internal tissues until the entire body cavity is filled with fungal mass.
  • The fungus also releases an insect toxin as it grows.

This natural insecticide has the following advantages for the sustainable farmer:

  • The fungi do not affect humans or other mammals.
  • Fungal insecticides are a cost-effective part of Integrated Pest Management.
  • The formulation of fungal insecticides makes it easily adaptable to existing application technology like spray arms.
  • The broad range of action of these insecticides offer simultaneous action against multiple pests.

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