(ORDO NEWS) — The researchers said they were able to create the “smell of fear” that predatory insects produce. It naturally not only scares away, but also destroys insect pests.
It is known that insects rely mainly on their sense of smell in search of food, so the researchers took advantage of this circumstance and used the appropriate “odors” to influence the behavior of insects.
The most destructive and numerous pest of agricultural crops is the well-known aphid. When there is too much of it, the insect transfers pathogenic microorganisms to plants. In addition, aphids are very resistant to insecticides, and the plants themselves are far from happy with this.
However, there are insects that aphids are terribly afraid of – these are ladybugs. Their smell alone makes aphids panic. The authors of the study tried to use this very circumstance in their work, when, using gas chromatography, they extracted the odor profile of ladybirds and tested it on insect pests. Obviously, the pests did not like this scent very much.
Once scientists identified the substances that aphids cannot tolerate, they set about creating a special mixture of odors that could be safely used in agriculture.
Encouraged by the excellent results of the work, the researchers now intend to test their “scented” innovation on other pests.
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