Fungi could help control crane fly pest

New research at Swansea University has shown that fungi can help control the pests that damage agricultural crops and trees and have a positive impact on farming and the environment throughout Europe.

Recent research by Dr Minshad Ansari from Swansea University’s Biocontrol and Natural Products Group has focussed on Crane fly larvae (Tipula paludosa), which causes significant damage to both crops and trees.

The larvae, known as ‘leatherjackets’ cause damage to grass pastures and crops, including cereals, brassicas and lettuce, and also harm tree saplings in forest nurseries. The larvae are currently controlled using chemical insecticides.

However, new EU legislation1 regarding plant protection products, ask that farmers use environmentally-sensitive, integrated pest management programmes, which use non-chemical methods of pest control where possible.

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