Zoom in on microorganisms

Biological insecticides

Beauveria bassianaZoomZoom
© Claude Guertin - INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier

Biological insecticides
While using chemical insecticides, humans quickly realized that it would be necessary for them to use other means to protect the environment. The use of microbes pathogenic only to insects nowadays allows for biological control, which restricts the damage caused by devastating insects without harming other organisms.

The case of the spruce budworm
The spruce budworm (SB) is a devastating insect that is very costly to the Quebec forest industry. In epidemic situations, fir and spruce trees infected by SB often die, which rapidly makes them unusable for the industry.

Microorganisms to the rescue of the vegetable kingdom
Microorganisms are widely used in agriculture and forestry. They can be used as biological insecticides, acting on insects in different ways. The bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t.) and Baculovirus infect an insect when it ingests them. Others, such as the microscopic fungi, Beauveria bassiana, deposit themselves on the insect’s carapace and infiltrate the organism. This intrusion is fatal to the ravaging insect.