New Device Leaves Pests Strung OutBy
A new patented device that loads beneficial insect eggs onto strings
that are draped onto plants will help growers cut insecticide use,
according to Agricultural
Research Service scientists.
The loader attaches eggs of predaceous or beneficial insects such as
green lacewings. Lacewing larvae munch on harmful insects that damage
agricultural crops ranging from grapes to cotton, barley, citrus,
pecans and even Christmas trees. The egg-loaded string is part of
ongoing research to find new biological control methods. Farmers and
companies can use biological controls to reduce reliance on chemical
insecticides that can be hazardous to the environment and destroy
The new device is timely, since there is no practical way to deliver
large quantities of predaceous insects onto pest-infested plants.
Growers must now manually shake lacewing eggs from a container onto
plant foliage. But lots of eggs are wasted, some falling on the ground
and others eaten by predators.
Since the string is laid on plant tops, it wont blow away. The
string intertwines with plants, but doesnt prevent their growth.
Another benefit of the new device is that it cuts down on the time
required to apply eggs to plants. Growers can attach the device to
field equipment and cut the string to whatever length they need.
ARS scientists say the invention is ideal for small-scale plant
growers and greenhouse operators. But its also available for
large-scale development and use.
Scientific contact: John L. Blythe and Walker L. Tedders
(retired, ARS consultant), ARS
Fruit and Nut Research Unit, Byron, Ga., phone (912) 956-6447
[Blythe], (912) 987-8805 [Tedders], fax (912) 956-2929.
Licensing contact: Gail E. Poulos,
Technology Transfer, Beltsville, Md., phone (301) 504-6558, fax
(301) 504-5060, email@example.com.