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Pest control: dead desert locusts on sand

Pest control: dead desert locusts on sand

E779/0074

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Credit

JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Locust pest control. Group of dead desert locusts (Schistocerca gregaria). These specimens were the subject of research on the first fungal pesticide to control desert locust swarms. This research is conducted at the International Institute of Biological Control in Berkshire, England, part of the LUBILOSA project. The project is developing sprays of Metarhizium anisopliae, a fungus that infects insects and is native to Africa. In the laboratory fungal spores are grown on rice, then mixed in oil droplets, to later be spread with crop-spraying equipment. The fungus infects the desert locust killing it in 2-3 weeks. Locust swarms devastate crops around the world.

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