Fruit Bites June 23-25 Bt
AW: Bt is short for Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki, a natural bacteria and biopesticide, that works on some Lepidoptera, like gypsy moth, leafrollers, cabbage looper and armyworm pests.
BL: And, how do bacteria control caterpillars?
AW: They have to eat them. Bt is a mixture of protein crystals and spores. When a caterpillar eats Bt, the protein crystals attach to their guts and release the spores. The caterpillar stops feeding, the spores burst inside the insect gut and the caterpillar dies from septicemia.
BL: Gross, what if I eat Bt?
AW: Humans, fish, birds and other insect’s guts don’t have the same receptors, so the Bt proteins won’t attach. Valent has two Bt brands, DiPel and XenTari that are effective on a lot of our major caterpillar pests.
BL: As always, thanks Allison. Join us again next time for Fruit Bites, brought to you by Valent. Until then, I’m Bob Larson.