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.

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Why is it important?



Indiscriminate use of insecticides is destroying world's agriculture. Making pest species stronger and vanquishing beneficial insects like bees and parasitoids. More sustainable and focused methods of pest control are urgently needed. Therefore we are positive about the immediate utility of our designed technology, and looking forwards to getting the feedback and further developments of biocontrol colleagues!

Dr Eduardo G P Fox

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.
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