pherolit® gives receptive pests a run-around

Effective crop protection eliminates pests without causing damage to beneficial insects. However, such "collateral damage" can never be ruled out when broadly effective insecticides are used. But what is the alternative? How can the spread of pests be halted without destroying many other species and leaving residues in food, soil and groundwater? The answer from Lithos Crop Protect is: Confuse them! The key to this is provided by pherolit® a range of nature-based active ingredients that imitate the female sex hormone of the pest species and make it considerably more difficult for males to find receptive females. In this way, the species-specific pheromones have exactly the opposite effect and contribute effectively to the containment of pest infestation.

Thanks to the Lithos micro-dispenser technology active ingredients can now also be used on a large scale in agriculture to disrupt the mating of specific insect species.

The importance of pheromones for crop protection was recognized as early as the 1930s. However, intensive research in the field of insect attractants was still several decades away. In the meantime, the use of pheromones in fruit farming and viticulture has proven to be an effective method of pest control. Pheromones have become indispensable, especially on organic farms. In arable farming, on the other hand, this method was previously inconceivable. The personnel and financial expenditure for the even distribution and collection of the product containers, the so-called dispensers, was always too great.

What is pherolit®-d?

Pherolit®-d is the first active ingredient in a series of other applications and designates the target-specific pheromone of the female corn rootworm (8-methyldecan-2-ol-propionate). Lithos Crop Protect is developing the active ingredient, which is derived from nature, and is currently carrying out the notification as a crop protection active ingredient in the EU and worldwide.

Many insects predominantly use scent language in their communication, and so too does the corn rootworm. To attract their mating partner, the female beetle produces sex pheromones and releases them as soon as it is ready for mating. If the chemical communication of the pair of beetles is simulated in the laboratory, synthetically produced messenger substances with the same effect are generated.

By the way, their low application rate also speaks for the use of synthetic sex pheromones in plant protection. Even the smallest amounts are sufficient to envelop a corn field in a cloud of sexual pheromones and thus confuse the males.

Lithos Crop Protect GmbH is working intensively on the EU and worldwide approval of pherolit®-d. In the course of these efforts, a large number of studies, including toxicological studies, have been carried out to date.

With the approved, target-specific pheromone pherolit® as the basic active ingredient, Lithos Crop Protect GmbH is developing an effective, biologically safe and practical solution to controlling Diabrotica v.v. in maize cultures in a sustained and secure manner.

Questions about pherolit®?

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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