Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Nontoxic Non-Chemical Mushroom Fungi Kingdom Provides Sound Alternative to Farming with Harmful Pesticides

""A patent for a pesticide made from mushrooms was granted in 2006. This pesticide is safe, nontoxic and can control over two-hundred thousand types of insects. Fungi are known to cause insect diseases and the use of spores from fungi has been known for over 100 years. Previous patents were granted as far back as 1992 for fungal ant killers and termite control. In 2014, pesticides were a $16 million dollar business. A fungi-based pesticide is safer to use, safer for the planet, and has no lasting effect on the plants or planet.

Current situation with insects and pesticides

Over 1 million types of insects populate our planet, but only 1 percent are harmful and considered to be "pests." They are considered to be pests because they eat the foods we grow, or harm the livestock we need, or destroy our homes. The cost of the destruction caused by pests is high, as is the effects of chemical pesticides used to eradicate them. Many insects are now becoming resistant to pesticides. In addition, use of pesticides has been linked to causing many problems including human infertility, birth defects and the demise of the honeybee population. Pesticide use also harms natural insect predators, such as rabbits and other beneficial insects.

How the mushroom pesticide works

The fungi pesticide works by attracting the insect, who then eats it and dies. A fungus is grown on grain or wood, or agricultural waste products. Insects are attracted to the fungus. When the insects eat the fungus, they become infected with the fungi, which kills them. Depending on the insect population, a variety of fungi, or a combination of different fungi can be used. Some of the fungi have what is called "phagostimulatory effect" which means that they cause the insects to want to feed. Basically, they increase the insects' hunger, then lead them to eat the poisonous mushrooms.

Research on using fungi as insecticides

Research on Eastern subterranean termites was conducted over a period of 14 days using three different types of mycelium test strains on rice. Beauveria bassiana # 74038, Beauveria bassiana # 20872, and Metarhizium anisopliae # 62176.

Mortality rates varied between 100 percent and 66 percent in the termites who ate the mycelium, compared to a death rate of only 45.46 percent in the control group. The same myceliums were used in research with red imported fire ants. After 21 days, the mortally of the ants ranged between 100 percent and 82 percent, compared to only 66 percent in the control group.

Mushroom pesticide use

The combination of fungi can be packaged and reactivated when needed. It can be sold dried, freeze dried, or as pellets, making the sale and distribution of this type of pesticidesimple and convenient. All that is needed by the farmer is to open the package and leave it near where insects are gathering. They can also be used to trap insects. Pesticides made from mushrooms are a safe alternative to chemical pesticides now on the market.""


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