Beauveria bassiana is a fungus. It is available as a microorganism in soil naturally. The fungus causes muscadine disease in insects such as Grasshoppers, thrips termites, mites, aphids, hoppers, locust, grubs and many more. As a result, it acts as a biological control agent for many pests and insects.
Beauveria Bassiana, Why?
Today pesticides and insecticides are a part of our food chain. Also, the use of herbicides, insecticides, and pesticides is increasing day by day. We as a consumer of farm products have no idea how these chemicals affect our life.
Excessive use of pesticides contaminates the groud. Also when these toxic chemicals come in contact with water, they pollute our water resources. As a result, these chemicals enter our bodies.
This results in various diseases such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, asthma, depression, leukemia, and anxiety. The cost of pesticides also put an economic strain on farmers.
Keeping all the above factors in mind, bio and microbial pesticides hold the key. Not only microbial pesticides are non-toxic and cheaper. But they also provide a promising solution for crop protection.
Beauveria Bassiana-Mode of Action
As an alternative to chemical insecticide, enter the pathogenic fungi, Beauveria Bassiana. It gives us a natural means to fight pests.
Firstly, beauveria bassiana fungus spores land on the bugs. With high humidity, spores germinate. Secondly from there, they enter the pest’s cuticle. Thirdly, inside the host, the fungus multiplies rapidly.
This rapid multiplication of fungus leads to the release of toxic chemicals. Finally, this makes the host body devoid of nutrients. Eventually resulting in the death of the host.
Unlike other bacterias and viruses of insects, Beauveria bassiana infects the host only on contact. There is no need for consumption. The infection spreads just by physical contact.
After killing the host, the fungus grows back. It grows out from the squishy part of the cuticle. After that, the fungus covers the host with a layer of white mold (hence the name white muscadine disease).
Millions of new and very effective spores develop from this mold. Ultimately spreading in the environment.
Safety while Spraying Beauveria Bassiana
Beauveria bassiana is nearly a risk-free biopesticide. Even then, the person spraying it should wear-
Methods of application of Beauveria Bassiana
1. Preventive use
Beauveria is mostly applied as a preventive measure. It takes time to infect the host. Thus, 4-5 days are needed to kill the pests.
Foliar spray is best suitable for the application. The best time for application is at the starting of the rainy season. Also, you can apply it when the pests are first visible. Soaking is also an option.
2. Date of Manufacturing of Culture
The fungus has a life span of 6 months. Therefore it cannot stay alive at high temperatures. So make sure to check the manufacturing date. Also, ensure proper storage.
3. Time of application of Beauveria
Beauveria spores cannot bear excessive heat. They die in in presence of U.V rays. Therefore the best time to apply it is during late afternoon or evening. The best condition for the application is the overcast condition.
4. Make Sure the Atmospheric Condition is Favorable for Application
Beauveria bassiana thrives in a humid environment. Hence make sure that the foliar spray is done when the relative humidity is above 55%.
5. Maintaining Proper Temperature
High temperatures destroy the spores. The best temperatures range is between 19 to 30 ºC. Spores grow at a slow pace at temperature below 17 ºC. They Become inactive above 33 ºC.
6. Properly Mixing Beauveria Bassiana with Water
Beauveria bassiana spores are not easily water-soluble. Therefore mixing it with water is a difficult task. Try adopting a proper mixing technique. This will ensure even distribution of fungus on plants.