In 2006 one of the world’s most reputed mycologist and permaculture advocate Paul Stamets obtained a patent where it said that the patent could definitely shatter the pesticide industry by a great deal. This would not only be a setback for the pesticide industry as well as chemical poisons like Dow but also for companies like Monsanto that could genetically modify their crops to produce a pesticide known as Bacillus thuringiensis .Paul Stamets has recently discovered a chemical free method to trick a number of insects into gathering and stockpiling as well as eating insect killing fungi and then devouring them.
Chemical pesticides destroying our planet
1 to 5% of the world’s one million insect species are known to be pests and scientists and agricultural researches have started using various chemicals to poison them. These harmful poisons have also affected the health of human beings, plants and animals as well as the entire eco system. Stamets also noted in his patent that these chemical pesticides are a cause of great deal of problems for the entire agriculture system that are important for accumulation of revenue. These chemicals and pesticides are broad spectrum poisons that are sprayed all over the area that also kill pests as well as beneficial insects like pollinators and predators. Since pests reproduce faster than their predators, the pesticides tend to gradually deteriorate the problem. Too much use of pesticides has also led to the development of resistance in many species of pests. Thus the dosage and the frequency of pesticides applied have gradually increased with time which has led to the worsening of agricultural conditions.
Insects are tricked into grabbing their bait
There have been attempts where pests have been tried to be controlled with biological methods and it has had mixed results. This is basically because it is difficult to find a method of application that attracts and targets a specific pest. Wild pests are difficult to bait with non chemical pesticides as it is not possible to remove all kinds of food sources. Social insects are also hard to trick. The Entomopathogenic fungi have been specially formulated to provide solution to this problem. These fungi are known to feed on highly explicit species of insects while leaving related species untouched altogether.
Stamets also made a startling discovery in 2006 where insects and pests were instigated to take on their bait. He discovered that in their early life cycle before producing spores, entomopathogenic fungi are attractive to their prey. The insects that are exposed to fungi transform in their behavior and graze on these fungi. Social insects gather to take them back to their nests. The insects become infected with the fungi which grow inside them and then consume them.
This process was not discovered previously as fungi usually exist only below the ground as well as inside rotting wood. This also seems to provide an extra advantage since fungi in the early life cycle are not as dependant on moisture as they become later in life. This makes it possible to germinate the insect killing bait fungi in the environment where insects usually prey on.
Entomopathogenic fungi can easily be cultivated artificially on any kind of plant material including rotten wood as well as agricultural waste in their pre-sporulation stage. They can then be dried, and transformed into pellets that can be re hydrated just before using them. The fungi targets on specific insect species that are damaging the eco system. The organic nature of the fungi with their harmless nature to non target species makes them one of the few insecticides that are very helpful to maintain the ecological balance of nature.
Source: Natural News