Love Potion #9
Cranberries are tasty, healthy, and a Thanksgiving staple, but their very existence is threatened each year by baby moths. Farmers have traditionally used insecticides to control this hungry pest, but a new approach attempts to prevent these pests from even becoming a problem. Scientists have created a moth love potion that confuses the male moths during their mating season, making it nearly impossible for them to find a mate. By preventing the moths from mating in the first place, farmers don’t have to worry about the baby moths eating all of their cranberries later in the year.
The technique is called mating disruption. A wax filled with synthetic pheromones that mimic the female moths’ during mating season is spread throughout the cranberry beds. Like a love letter, the pheromones lure unsuspecting males, confusing and hindering them from finding a real female moth to mate with. The technique has proven very successful and eliminates the need for more environmentally harmful pesticides. Scientists are now looking into reproducing this control method for use with other invasive pests.
Are you a cranberry lover? What do you think of this magic love potion?