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Many insect pests are attacked and killed naturally by fungal disease. These fungi can be specifically used as natural enemies in biological pest control. Such control methods do not harm beneficial organisms and help reduce insecticide use.
ART is investigating the importance of fungal disease in the natural control of pest populations. It is carrying out basic research and acquiring knowledge for the targeted use of natural enemies in controlling arable land and grassland pests. The primary focus is on the development of products based on insecticidal fungi which can be deployed against root pests and plant-eating insects.
The researchers at ART are developing and optimising strategies for the control of wireworm and oilseed rape pests, and are supporting the use of fungal products against cockchafer, June beetle and garden chafer grubs. By developing biological control strategies ART is making an important contribution to the provision of healthy and residue-free food.
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