This article is not about how to prevent ants from eating your sandwich on a picnic. But it is about mankind’s greatest competitor for our global food resource: insects. We know that insects are valuable members of the food chain and without them we would not be able to survive on earth.

With the early beginnings of formalised agriculture some 11,000 yearsago, a major socioeconomic change occurred that resulted in human population growth and development. But insects are equally if not more adaptable than humans. They too began to benefit from large homogenous plantings of food crops. We have been competing with them for food ever since.

But there are alternative control methods. A number are being developed and applied in fruit crops in South Africa. These methods have no detrimental effects on the environment. They leave no harmful residues on fruit. They promote sustainable fruit production. They are effective and target pests specifically. These methods are not new, and were already documented as early as 1500 BC.

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