Photos: Microbes versus insects

Photos: Microbes versus insects

Summary: Killing bugs with naturally occurring (but selectively bred) micro-organisms could save farmers billions of dollars a year in crop damage.

TOPICS: Tech Industry

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  • Fridges filled with bugs

    Bugs 'R' Us: AgraQuest's development lab is chockablock with fridges and containers filled with flying and crawling insects.

  • Not potato salad, moth salad

    Don't take a container if it doesn't belong to you. These refrigerated dishes, which in ordinary corporate offices would be filled with half-eaten potato salad, contain army moth worms, a pest that causes billions in crop damage a year.

  • Army moth worms

    Army moth worms up close. Traditionally, farmers have used chemical sprays to kill them, but a chemical residue remains on the plant. AgraQuest has devised organic pesticides for killing the bugs up to the time of harvest. The recently discovered fungus muscador, found in a Central American cinnamon tree, secretes gases that can kill them too. The company will ultimately try to include muscador in its products.

Topic: Tech Industry

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