BETTER USES FOR Bt INSECTICIDE?

A discovery about a naturally occurring insecticide could allow that bug-killer to be better used by farmers and growers.
Chuck Quirmbach reports:

Transcript

A discovery about a naturally occurring insecticide could
allow that bug-killer to be better used by farmers and growers. Chuck
Quirmbach reports:


The bacterium known as Bt produces a toxin that has long
been used to control some insect pests. Researchers at the University
of Wisconsin-Madison have found the ability of Bt to kill gypsy moth
caterpillars is helped by the bacteria that are found in the guts of
the insect.


Graduate student Nichole Broderick is the lead author of
the study, which is published in the Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences
. Broderick says knowledge of how Bt kills
caterpillars could lead to better use of Bt in the environment.


“It would be useful in terms of improving the effectiveness in field
applications and making perhaps methods of control more specific to
the pest that you’re going after.”


That could help target the nasty insects without harming the beneficial
ones.


For the Environment Report, I’m Chuck Quirmbach.

Related Links

Spraying to Slow Gypsy Moths’ Momentum

Gypsy moths from Wisconsin and Michigan are invading Illinois at a greater rate than in past years. New areas of northern Illinois are to be treated to stop the moth from further damaging trees… but native butterflies will also be killed by the spray. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Lester Graham reports:

Transcript

Gypsy moths from Wisconsin and Michigan are invading Illinois at a greater rate than past years. New areas of northern Illinois are to be treated to stop the moth from further damaging trees… but native butterflies will also be killed by the spray. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Lester Graham reports:

Gypsy moths will eat the leaves of nearly any type of tree. This year, as they have for the past two decades, Illinois officials will be spraying a bacteria in selected parts of Chicago’s western suburbs. Any caterpillar that eats vegetation sprayed will be killed. Jim Cavanaugh is the Gypsy Moth Operations Coordinator for the state Department of Agriculture. He says the spraying won’t have any lasting damage on anything but the gypsy moth.

“The studies have shown that for naturally occurring or indigenous, if you will, butterflies and moths, that the following year their populations will make up the difference of any depression of the population in the spray year.”

Because of the timing and targeted spraying, the bacteria have a more lethal effect on the gypsy moth than other insects.

For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, this is Lester Graham.