Lepidopteran pests are a typical spring problem. These attack vegetable crops and bushy fruit trees such as berries and strawberries, creating million-dollar problems. The increases in temperatures of the last decades have extended the period of action and the reproductive capacity of moths and butterflies, and their caterpillars, threatening to wipe out up to 50% of the annual harvests, if we count the rest of pests of insects.
This is where biotechnology comes in, a branch halfway between engineering and biology that offers new tools to face complex challenges. Among these tools, the result of decades of research, are biotechnological solutions such as Belthirul, a precision biological insecticide that only affects pest lepidoptera and is completely safe for consumption by animals and humans.
The feared lepidoptera that wake up in spring
In spring almost all lepidopteran pests increase the rate at which they destroy tissues. The heat and good weather encourage them to nurture and grow. Once they have eaten enough they will form a cocoon and metamorphose into the adult which will lay eggs again, starting the cycle all over again. Some of these have short stages, just a few weeks, so depending on the species, the activity can be classified according to the months, but they all agree on the same thing: the caterpillar is the main reason the plant is injured.
Biotechnology against pests: innovative and safe solutions
All these lepidoptera share the same weak point, the caterpillar. By stopping its activity, you stop the pest and the damage it is causing, as well as further damage by not allowing it to reach its adult stage and reproduce. However, what seems simple can run into real difficulties if we take into account that it affects vegetables for direct human consumption.
To counterattack fruit and horticultural lepidoptera, specifically, the answer lies in a bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis. This microorganism has evolved to form parasporal crystals made up of toxins that are lethal to the insects that eat them. Beyond that, these toxins are completely harmless to other types of insects and any other mammal, including humans.
Belthirul, an ecological, efficient and integrated producto
Products like Belthirul, derived from the Probelte labs, offer unprecedented options in efficiency and integration. The challenge lies, specifically, in understanding how to produce the toxins and isolate them in a stable and easily applicable product. This product, in particular, due to its nature, is registered as an ecological product, easy to apply.
The isolated toxins come in a wettable powder that can be applied in almost any type of manner for general application in the agricultural setting, making it easy to use, economical, and profitable.
Belthirul has proven effective against Heliotis, Plusia and Plutella, but also against pests such as Anarsia lineatella, Cacoecia, Pieris all kinds of Prays and Spodoptera, which means that it not only offers protection for spring. A protection that is just as effective throughout the year, in the cold and in the heat, ecological and precise.