Bacillus thuringiensis as Bio-pesticide Agent in Agriculture

One of the ways to get rid of pests naturally is by using bio-pesticides like the BT crystals with Bacillus thuringiensis bacteria in it. BT crystals are sold commercially in agricultural shops or your local Agriculture Department Office.

Bacillus thuringiensis bacteria produces delta-endotoxins chemical compounds. It’s a toxin in the form of crystal proteins that can kill pests. Those bacteria then are mixed with liquid as adhesive then sprayed on infected plants. If the pest (for example a caterpillar) eats the sprayed leaves, then BT crystals will tie certain receptors in its’ intestines membrane that causes it to stop eating, suffer from diarrhea, vomit, and die in a few days because it experiences degradation, inactivity, then its body changes color and gets darker.

Chili Free of Pests.
Chili Free of Pests. (KPCI)

Several types of plants with high carbohydrates like corns, if sprayed by BT crystals will be free from caterpillars that are usually dangerous for fruit’s quality. BT crystals are also good for getting rid of moths on apples, cabbages, pears, potatoes, and broccolis.

These are varieties of Bacillus thuringiensis that are sold commercially:

  • Bacillus thuringiensis variety aizawai, very effective in killing moths’ larvae, especially diamondback months (Plutella xylostella) on cabbages
  • Bacillus thuringiensis variety kurstaki, good for getting rid of caterpillars
  • Bacillus thuringiensis variety israelensis, effective in killing mosquitoes and blackflies’ larvae.
  • Bacillus thuringiensis variety tenebrionis, very effective in killing Leptinotarsa decemlineata and leaf beetle larvae.

Those four varieties of Bacillus thuringiensis are widely used as bio-pesticides by farmers in Indonesia and the world to take care of pests, diseases, and pathogenic microbes. Related post: 5 Causes of Leaf, Flower, and Fruit Abscission on Chili Trees.

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