We’re proud that our products help in the struggle to feed an expanding global population. Controlling pests is one way farmers can increase the amount of their produce which makes it to market. It’s a practice with a long and honourable tradition; Homer describes the use of sulfur to protect plants against insects, and Marco Polo reports that the Chinese used arsenic for the same purpose.
Today we know that decimated fields are not necessarily the biggest problem. Many insects also transmit plant diseases, usually viral or fungal. Others attack food stores, causing damage after crops have already been harvested.
But not all insects are harmful to humans. Many, such as the ichneumon wasp or ladybird beetle, are considered to be beneficial because they feed on pests.
We have to protect the insects that help us while getting rid of the ones that don’t. This is why we at Bayer only develop insecticides that are safe when used responsibly and correctly, and which do not present a hazard to human beings or the environment. We also market biological insecticides with microorganism-based insecticidal action in many countries.
Today, biological insecticides are part of crop protection practices worldwide. They give farmers a new effective option, allowing them to vary their pest control measures and prevent the potential development of resistance. These products comply with the tenets of integrated pest management. They can be applied multiple times and even shortly before the harvest. As such, biologicals are an important tool in sustainable agriculture.