Study: pest control with sweetener effective?

US study shows effectiveness against fruit flies
Chemical crop protection is often criticized for the potential risk to human and animal health. Scientists are therefore looking for active substances that are harmless to humans on the one hand, but at the same time have a negative effect on certain pests.

A team of scientists from Drexel University in the United States has now found what they are looking for: Some types of sweeteners had a toxic effect on fruit flies in the experiment. The active substances erythritol and D-mannitol were able to significantly decimate the fruit fly populations in the experiment. With the sweetener erythritol tested, a significant number of pests died on the fourth day of the trial, with D-mannitol it took a few days longer. D-mannitol acted only on female insects. However, the scientists assessed the pest control effects as potentially useful because this could prevent further propagation. Two other sweeteners, malitol and xylitol, on the other hand, were found to be completely ineffective.

The scientists point out that the results should not prevent consumers from adding sweeteners to coffee, as the substances tested are considered safe for the human body. To what extent other insect species, including beneficial insects, react to the active ingredient is unclear.Friederike Heidenhof, aid

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