What is it about?
Some entomopathogenic fungi are already used and merchandised against pest insects. Including against fire ants. They work by infecting ants directly upon contact, killing them as they grow. Problem is, the fungal spores don't last long while being sold inside packets. They die off and stop working after several days standing on a shelf. But we have devised a method to microencapsulate these fungal spores within atoxic gel so that we get them to last longer and better infect ants (by improved viability). The method is cheap, relatively simple to apply, and can be put to practice (and production) immediately. The microencapsulated spores are shown to work against the ants, and should work likewise against a number of other pest insects.
Photo by Rubén Bagüés on Unsplash
Why is it important?
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: Microcapsuled entomopathogenic fungus against fire ants, Solenopsis invicta, Biological Control, March 2019, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.biocontrol.2019.03.018.
You can read the full text:
Preprint (in Bioarxiv)
Pretty much like the actual paper, but in a different presentation format. Totally free.
First Author's Personal Page
You can easily find other works and also ask specific questions to 1st author Hua-Long Qiu, currently a Professor in China.
Another entomopathogenic fungus which is used to kill fire ants
This other species of fungus is commonly employed in the biological control of insects, fire ants included. It should also be tested using the microencapsulation methods herein described.
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