Lepidopterans Undermining Your Banana Yield?

Lepidopteran pests such as the Banana Stem Borer can injure plants and make fruit unmarketable. Damage comes when larvae feed on both foliage and fruit. A biorational – like DiPel®, Xentari® or Aztron® can control them while protecting beneficials and keeping residues low. Photo courtesy of India Council for Agricultural Research

The Answer Is DiPel®, Xentari® and Aztron®

Lepidopteran pests come in different sizes and many times they are extra-large. Some of these caterpillar species, because of their size, can destroy all of the fruit on a bunch with just one or two larvae. Damage comes when larvae, such as those of the banana fruit caterpillar (Tiracola plagiata), feed on both foliage and fruit. Late instar larvae feed deep into the fruit while smaller, juvenile larvae feed on the rind of immature fruit causing brown patches of surface damage.

DiPel®, Xentari® and Aztron®, from Valent BioSciences, are Bt biological products providing excellent control of harmful Lepidopteran insects while protecting beneficials, keeping residues low and managing insect resistance.

DiPel® is a biological insecticide from Valent BioSciences Corporation (VBC) containing the naturally occurring microorganism Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies kurstaki (Btk). For the manufacture of DiPel®, VBC selected a high yielding Btk strain (ABTS-351). Globally, DiPel® has become a cornerstone insecticide in many Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs as it offers high quality, cost-effective, broad-spectrum caterpillar control on more than 200 crops.

The active ingredient in DiPel® consists of an optimized blend of four potent Bt protein toxins, spores, and other natural synergizing components. DiPel® toxins have a distinct mode of action (MOA) unlike any other chemical insecticide, providing a perfect tool for insect pest control programs which employ tank mixing or rotation for insecticide resistance management. DiPel® has never shown cross-resistance with any chemical insecticide.

XenTari®, also from VBC, is the world’s only biological insecticide containing a natural, potent strain (ABTS-1857) of the microorganism Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies aizawai (Bta). XenTari® is unique among Bta strains, producing an atypical Cry-toxin protein profile which contributes to broad-spectrum Lepidoptera control. As a native Bt strain, XenTari® contains insecticidal toxin proteins that are typically found in other Bt subspecies (typical Bta and Btk). XenTari® features a balanced blend of four potent toxin proteins and a spore, targeting key pests at levels few biological products can match.

Aztron® has also been developed from the subspecies aizawai (Bta) and shows similar balance and potency.

There are several reasons that DiPel®, XenTari® and Aztron® should be a part of the integrated pest management (IPM) solution on your banana plantation:

Consistent Field Performance. 
DiPel®/Xentari®/Aztron® are produced through fermentation with exacting quality standards. Every production lot is tested multiple times against live insects to make sure it meets the performance standards that growers expect in the field.

Low Impact on Workers and the Environment. 
With its highly specific activity and natural origin, DiPel®, XenTari® and Aztron® do not harm important beneficial insects such as bees for pollination, insect predators, and parasites used in control of other insect pests. These products also have the shortest re-entry interval available (may vary by region) providing growers with much-needed flexibility for crop maintenance and harvest.

Resistance Management. Used in tank mix or as a rotation partner with other insecticides, DiPel®, Xentari® and Aztron® have a multifaceted MOA making them a solid foundation for many insect resistance management programs.

Harvest and Residue Management. DiPel®, XenTari® and Aztron®have the shortest preharvest interval available and can be applied right up to the time of harvest, though regional regulations may vary. This makes these products a perfect choice for periods with multiple harvests and for late-season applications, enabling a program that meets the most exacting Maximum Residue Level (MRL) demands.