Microbial Control of Insect Pests
While many insects are important to agriculture and society, some are serious pests that harm crops, livestock, humans, and the environment. The damage they inflict and resources to control them cost the United States over $120 billion each year. Heavy reliance on chemical pest control has led health and safety risks, environmental contamination, unintended harm to other animals, pest resistance to the chemicals, and other problems. Safe, cost-effective alternatives are needed. Land-grant university researchers are working with USDA and industry partners to advance the use of microbes to infect and kill insect pests without harming humans, the environment, or other organisms.
Microbial control of pests could reduce the use of chemical pesticides and enhance the safety, sustainability, and productivity of U.S. agriculture and natural and urban areas.
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