Field study of effectiveness of mycoinsecticide bait for termite control

Dated: 1-January-2011

Pest control is most often done using chemical insecticides. Today, concerns raised over the environmental and health risk of chemical insecticides mean that it is important to examine other means of pest control.

Myconinsecticides are a way of controlling pests using fungal propagules (typically spores) which target the insect in question with little or no effect on the surrounding environment.  A good Mycoinsecticide could offer significant advantages over a chemical insecticide, especially in terms of reduced environmental impact as well as public acceptance. 

Date - 01 Jan 2011
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The grass-feeding harvester termite, Hodotermes mossambicus, is endemic to the semi-arid grassland ecosystems of southern and eastern Africa.  This termite is a serious pest in rangeland. 

This is particularly bad following seasons of low rainfall which result in eruptive termite population increases.

Insecticidal baits are the preferred method of control for the pest since they are more target specific than spray applications. 

In South Africa, pesticides must be registered under the Fertilizer, Farm Feeds, Agricultural Remedies and Stock Remedies Act, No. 36 of 1947.

Before an insecticide can be registered, the efficacy of the chemical must be established through appropriately designed and conducted field trials.

Mycoinsecticides are considered to be more environmentally benign than chemicals as they can be selected to target a specific pest.

What did we do?
Bufo technology’s environmental focus group completed field trials in South Africa to find out how effective a specific mycoinsecticide bait is in controlling of the southern Harvester termite, Hodotermes mossambicus.

This trial assessed the efficacy of the mycoinsecticide relative to a conventional chemical insecticide.  The trial also controlled for a series of environmental and other factors.

The results of the trial were made available to our client to be used by in the planned registration of the mycoinsecticide under the act.

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