Biological insecticide enlists friendly fungus to fight pests

02/07/2013 02:32:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

Novozymes logoNovozymes BioAg, Milwaukee, Wis., has introduced MET52, which contains a pathogenic fungus as the active ingredient.

The product is a contact insecticide, according to a news release.

The spores of Metarhizium anisophliae, a naturally occurring fungus, germinate on the insect surface, and fungal hyphae invade and kill the pest.

The fungus targets thrips, mites, whiteflies and vine weevils in greenhouse ornamentals and protected vegetables.

It is available in two formulations:

MET52 EC—a concentrate where the fungal spores are suspended in emulsifiable oil that can be applied with standard spraying equipment or as a soil drench.

MET52 G—the spores have been applied to rice granules.

The product has full Environmental Protection Agency registration as well as numerous state registrations, including Florida and California.

It is not yet listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute, or OMRI.

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