For some time now, the big commercial pest control folks have produced specific fungi to attack insects such as whiteflies etc on commercial crops (mostly big ag crops such as grains). The fungi are grown on moist grain, develop, propagate and then the fungi are distributed in the crop to kill off the insect pest. This isn’t new technology, it’s been around for decades.
But now, the USDA has come up with a newer, less expensive approach using liquid systems in special “bio-reactors” (love the new tech name). Bottom line, they’re now producing specific fungi for attacking insects in larger numbers at far less cost.
For Home Gardeners
You’re likely wondering why I’m putting this bit out. This is the kind of thing different industries have been working on for quite some time with compost teas. Brewing up specific fungi or bacteria to combat the various forms of insect or diseases.
BUT, it’s not home scale technology. I want to make this clear. If you have the right fungi that attacks a specific problem and you brew it (along with a bunch of others) you may see some results. But commercially, these are single strain teas – brewed for a specific problem with a specific fungi.
On the home scale, we don’t get that specific so our production isn’t as good and it’s quite variable.
This is all by way of saying when you read about how compost teas can be sprayed onto plants to fight disease, the real answer is “maybe” but don’t bet the farm on it really working.
The original USDA article can be found here.