Home Headlines Ladybugs are raised in Yucatan as a sustainable solution to save crops from pests

Ladybugs are raised in Yucatan as a sustainable solution to save crops from pests

by Yucatan Times
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Local specialists study three species that serve as agents that eliminate harmful insects and diseases in citrus crops.

Yucatecan specialists from the National Institute of Forestry, Agricultural and Livestock Research (Inifap) evaluate and breed several species of ladybugs in Mocochá, as possible agents for the control of pest insects and disease vectors in citrus crops.

The Secretariat of Agriculture and Rural Development (Sader) indicated that the species Cheilomenes sexmaculata and Exochomus insatiabilis are studied in the Laboratory of Ecology Applied to Biological Pest Control of the Mocochá Experimental Field of Inifap.

Do Ladybugs control pests?

The federal agency explained that ladybugs, also known as “Catarinas” “mariquitas”, “vaquitas de San Antonio” or “chinitas” , are beetles belonging to the family Coccinellidae and predators of immature stages (nymphs) of insects such as the Asian citrus psyllid. (Diaphorina citri) and aphids, both vectors of devastating diseases of these plants.

“These insects are popular for their pleasant and colorful appearance, and they are also very diverse, today there are at least 6 thousand species around the world, and new ones are constantly discovered; In addition, they play an important role in agriculture due to their ability to control crop pest populations and maintain balance in agricultural ecosystems,” said Sader.

He added that another advantage of ladybugs lies in their potential to reduce the use of insecticides, which reduces environmental pollution and protects the health of farmers and consumers.

“These insects are adapted to hunt and eat larvae and immature stages of various insects, such as aphids, scale insects, thrips, and mites, some of which are considered harmful. Due to their recognition as biocontrol agents, programs to release these insects in crops have been implemented in various parts of the world as a sustainable pest management strategy,” he highlighted.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development insisted that study and evaluation are necessary to take advantage of the potential of the different species of ladybugs and, therefore, breeding in the laboratory is also essential, emphasizing the importance of keeping them in a controlled environment. to allow research, a better understanding of their life cycle, their feeding behavior, their interactions with other species and the evaluation of their effectiveness as biological control agents.

TYT Newsroom

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