Insects see crops clearly when the weeds have gone

All gardeners know that their plants have to compete against insects and weeds. We apply insecticides to protect plants from the munching hordes, and we apply herbicides, or hoe, to protect plants from weeds. But, according to Stan Finch and Rosemary Collier of Horticulture Research International, Wellesbourne, the latter is a bad move that actually helps insects to find our crop plants.

Writing in the June issue of Biologist, Finch and Collier provide evidence that specialist insects, those that feed on specific plant species, can be prevented from finding their host plants if other plants are grown alongside. The type of decoy plant is irrelevant, since green cardboard models also do the trick. It seems that insects fly onto and off of a plant several times to check its suitability for egg-laying. A plant surrounded by bare soil is therefore likely to be found by an insect more times than one surrounded by other green plants, and insects are more successful in a carefully weeded crop field than in one containing weeds. Since insecticides kill only a fixed percentage of insects, more insecticides may have to be applied to a weeded crop to maintain the current level of pest control. The solution? Cultivate your weeds!

Media Contact

Christine Knott alfa

Alle Nachrichten aus der Kategorie: Agricultural and Forestry Science

Zurück zur Startseite

Kommentare (0)

Schreib Kommentar

Neueste Beiträge

Flash graphene rocks strategy for plastic waste

Rice University lab detours potential environmental hazard into useful material. Plastic waste comes back in black as pristine graphene, thanks to ACDC. That’s what Rice University scientists call the process…

Towards next-generation molecule-based magnets

Magnets are to be found everywhere in our daily lives, whether in satellites, telephones or on fridge doors. However, they are made up of heavy inorganic materials whose component elements…

Order in the disorder …

… density fluctuations in amorphous silicon discovered Silicon does not have to be crystalline, but can also be produced as an amorphous thin film. In such amorphous films, the atomic…

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.