A sticky alternative to insecticides

A sticky alternative to insecticides

Image: Insect glue applied to a plant. Credit: WOR.

How to make insect glue?

‘we With oil extracted from the hard shell of rice grains, a waste stream in rice production. That oil place We expose it to oxygen and heat, which reduces the percentage of triglycerides in the oil oxidation and We connect together. This creates a viscous and elastic network This looks like what you sometimes see inside a deep fryer. We use a blender to make oil drops. Our droplets are one millimeter in size, the same size as thrips.

“When an insect lands in such a drop of oil, we want it to come in contact with the glue and stick. So the oil must be sticky. When the insect tries to escape, the drop must remain intact. This has to do with elasticity.” It’s about the balance between viscosity and elasticity.

What are the differences between glue and classic synthetic insecticides?

We worked with vegetable oil, which is non-toxic Must beEven after exposure to oxygen and heat. Classic pesticides end up in groundwater and be able to negative effect to have On species other than plants, Like fish and people.’

‘With our glue there are also: Possible No problem with resistance. When an insect gets into the glue, it cannot simply escape. Unless it suddenly becomes twice as big, but This is evolutionarily unlikely.’

“We can use existing spray machines for our glue. To do this, we introduce the oil molecules into a water-based liquid and add two materials. The first material ensures that the oil molecules stay apart. The second material thickens the oil-water system so that the oil molecules stay in place in the water-based liquid. This is similar to how you stabilize salad dressings.

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What still need to be checked before planters can use glue?

“We need to know what the impact is on the soil and on people’s health. It’s like frying oilBut because we don’t know exactly how healthy it is, we recommend spraying glue until the plants bear fruit. The potatoes and carrots are underground, so they don’t come into contact with the glue anyway. We are also looking for a plant cleaning liquid.

“We want to combine our research with the natural enemies of thrips. We try to attract them to plants, for example, with an attractive scent. If we find a suitable smell, it may help the thrips to attach more quickly Make sure there is a natural enemy nearby once the thrips stick to the glue. A kind of double defense.

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