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Insects with Hairy Homes

October 28th, 2015

Insects with Hairy Homes

A new species of cycad insect has invaded countries across the world. In an attempt at a counter attack experts introduced a voracious beetle to the plants infected with the pest. However, despite this beetles impressive predatory skills, it has done little to take care of the cycad problem. When researchers looked to see why the beetle was failing to control the pest they found that the cycads are able to crawl between the tiny hairs on the plants to get to their food source. The much larger beetle is unable to follow them into these depths, making them useless as a control measure.

Ironically, the very purpose of these hairs is to protect plants from pests. In this situation they are actually keeping the beneficial insect from eradicating the plant-damaging critters. This is one clever bug, using the very system plants use to protect themselves to instead hurt them and escape harm themselves.

How would you try to eradicate these clever pests? How are we to eradicate them and save our plants if the plants own defense is being turned against them?

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