It is now possible to use insects instead of pesticides. It is the choice made by Régis Gallet, a farmer from Pernes-les-Fontaines in the Vaucluse.
One week from the harvest of the Gariguette strawberries, the farmer attaches bags containing live insects, also called auxiliaries, to the plants. These insects act as predators and are able to get out of the bag through a small hole to feed on the insects that destroy the flowers. This way, the farmer avoids the use of chemical products on his 70,000 strawberry plants.
“With the chemical products, we must treat when the pest appears, which can happen every 15 days,” explains Régis Gallet. “With those insects and thanks to the ecosystem I have been creating for about 15 years, all I need is to release the insects once a year.”
Since 1985, the Koppert France company in Cavillon has been specializing in the biological protection of crops and green spaces. It developed a whole range of insects that can be used to protect crops and help plant pollination. “We attack the homes with an auxiliary which is rather curative, very voracious, because as a preventive, there are no preys to attack,” explains Giselle Broquier, director of the “greenhouse market” for the Dutch group Koppert.