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Metarhizium anisopliae

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Real IPM (Kenya) has a unique relationship with the international research institute in Kenya (ICIPE) where the research on our Metarhizium isolates has been carried out over many years.  Real IPM has global rights to isolates of Metarhizium 69, Metarhizium 78 and Metarhizium 62, and Metarhizium 7, which have economically important insect pest targets.

Metarhizium is a common insect-killing fungus that occurs naturally in the soil.  These fungi are called entomo-pathogenic fungi (EPF).  Insects are killed by EPFs only if that isolate ‘recognizes’ the insect as a host. This is why we have more than one isolate of the same organism in mass production as bio-pesticides.

Metarhizium is a ‘contact’ biopesticide and application methods are critical to its success.  Applying it with too much water volume, will allow the biopesticide to ‘run-off’ the canopy without leaving an effective dose on the pest, which is in the canopy.

If the insect is a host, the Metarhizium spore will germinate and proceed to enter the host, where it multiplies in the haemocoel of the insect, killing it.  Death will occur within 2 to 4 days, depending on the temperature and susceptibility and size of the pest.

Real Metarhizium is compatible with fungicides and insecticides, so is very easy to use. Tank mixing Real Metarhizium with an insecticide sometimes provides a synergistic effect against pests.

Real Metarhizium has been tested against many common beneficial parasitoids and predators without harm. This makes Real Metarhizium a powerful tool for conservation of these essential biological control agents. The contact action of the Real Metarhizium is therefore complemented with the flying parasitoids and predators which can ‘mop up’ pests that were not contacted by the Real Metarhizium spray droplets.

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