Reducing mating effectiveness to increase crop productivity
The use of pheromones to control pests is a well-known technology, with many commercial pheromones and several different application techniques available. BioPhero’s patented fermentation technology means we can produce pest control pheromones at a cost-in-use comparable to conventional insecticides.
Pheromones are chemical signal molecules used by insects, and in particular moths, to attract their mating partners. The female insects emit sex pheromones when they are ready for mating. The pheromones are volatile and create a pheromone plume which the male insects can detect and follow to locate the female. Mating Disruption works by spraying insect pheromones into the field, leaving the males unable to locate the ‘true’ female source. As a result, fewer insects meet a mating partner, mating levels are reduced, and the pest population in the field is controlled.
Since Mating Disruption doesn’t kill the insects, resistance is very unlikely to emerge. And because they are applied at levels similar to those naturally emitted by insects in the field, pheromones have no effect on non-target insects.
Pheromone-based Mating Disruption is widely used today in small-acreage high-value crops such as berries, apples and greenhouse crops. By reducing the production cost of pheromones, BioPhero is bringing their game-changing potential for row crops a step closer to reality.