For home gardeners and farmers, herbivorous insects present a major threat to their hard work and crop yields. The predator insects that feed on these insects emit odors that pests can sense, which changes the pests’ behavior and even their physiology to avoid being eaten. With insects becoming more resistant to traditional pesticides, researchers now report they have developed a way to bottle the “smell of fear” produced by predators to repel and disrupt destructive insects naturally without the need for harsh substances. The researchers presented their results on August 25, 2021 at the fall meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS). ACS Fall 2021 is a hybrid meeting being held virtually and in-person (Atlanta) August 22-26, and on-demand content will be available August 30-September 30. The meeting features more than 7,000 presentations on a wide range of science topics.
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