Mating Disruption

Love is in the Air - and still no female to be found

The partner search in the world of insects is based on the effect of sexual scents− so-called pheromones, which are secreted by females ready to mate and show male beetles the fastest way to their destination. The “confusing method” (termed mating disruption) aims to put this biological navigation system out of action. The basis for this is provided by active ingredients that are copied from nature and imitate the species-specific pheromone. If this substance is applied to the affected culture, the scent of receptive females is suddenly in the air everywhere. To conspecifics willing to mate, the environment presents itself with an unmanageable number of supposed "points of interest", but none of them leads to the actual goal. The result of the confusion: the number of matings decreases dramatically, and the pest population is reduced accordingly.

Mating disruption is already applied successfully in fruit farming and wine viticulture. However, this is performed by means of manually applied dispensers, which would be uneconomical in arable farming. The Lithos Micro-Dispenser Technology now enables it to be used likewise in large-scale agricultural cultivation , which opens up new perspectives for the future of sustainable agriculture.

The advantages of mating disruption

Highly effective and species-specific 
Crop protection products for mating disruption prove to be just as effective,or even more effective than conventional insecticides. They are species-specific and only target the harmful insect. Other living creatures and beneficial insects such as bees are spared and biodiversity is preserved.

Totally non-toxic for humans, animals and the environment
Naturally occurring pheromones are used in mating disruption. These are non-toxic and therefore safe for humans, animals and the environment.

No development of resistance
Insects do not develop resistance to pheromones, which are used for mating disruption. For farmers, this means that pheromone solutions are available in the long term for effective and safe control.

Questions about mating disruption?

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No #880432