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Protect Plants Against Pests and Mold with LED Lighting

Caterpillars and other insect larvae can destroy the crops in your indoor grow facility within a day, in some cases.
Caterpillars and other insect larvae can destroy the crops in your indoor grow facility within a day, in some cases.

Are insects, mold, and mildew getting more benefit from your indoor crops than you are? By selecting the correct spectrum of LED lighting, you’ll rid your plants of these damaging pests without the need for pricey, and often toxic, chemicals.

Both invasive and non-invasive insects cost billions of dollars each year in crop-related damages. Plants grown in an indoor grow facility are at an exceptionally high risk of damage or destruction by insects because they are not exposed to rain, which washes insects, as well as their secretions and excretions, off vegetation. In addition, insects that invade your greenhouse or grow facility not only find food but they also discover an environment free from their natural predators. Even if you don’t mind using pesticides on your crops, many insects have developed an immunity to the toxins. Fortunately, scientists have recently discovered an effective and cost efficient means of controlling insects and mold – blue LED lights.

Blue LED Lights Eliminates Pests, Mold, and Mildews Most Likely to Cause Indoor Crop Damage

If you notice fine webs on the leaves of your plants, chances are that spider mites have invaded your grow room or greenhouse. Other common pests highly likely to make a meal of your indoor crops include gnats, fruit flies and white flies, and beetles. Multiple research experiments have discovered that these insects exposed to blue LED light with wavelengths ranging from 417 nm to 467 nm when they are eggs, pupae or in the larvae stage due to reach adulthood. This die-off occurs because the blue light causes the cells of the immature insects to produce excessive Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) that cause cellular death.  This same mechanism kills molds that attack tomatoes and other fruit bearing plants.  Fortunately, exposure to blue LED grow lights causes plants to increase production of antioxidants that neutralize ROS. Additionally, the light in this spectrum enhances photosynthesis, causes an increase in the surface area of leaves and overall plant biomass, which indicate the plant is exceptionally healthy and is likely to be immune to attacks by mold and mildew.

By relying on blue LED lighting to protect your plants from destructive insects, molds, and mildews, you protect yourself and your customers from toxic pest control agents.

Sources:

Montalvo, D. (2015). Insects feast on plants, endangering crops, and costing billions. CNBC

Kessler, D. (n.d.). The 5 Most Hated Indoor Garden Pests. Just 4 Growers

Hori, M., Shibuya, K., Sato, M., Saito, Y. (2014). Lethal effects of short-wavelength visible light on insects. Nature Scientific Reports (online)

Kim, K., Kook, H., Jan, J., Lee, W., Kamala-Kannan S., et al. (2013) The effect of blue-light-emitting diodes on antioxidant properties and resistance to Botrytis cinerea in tomato. Plant Pathology & Microbiology. 4: 203. doi:10.4172/2157-7471.1000203.

Roberts, M. R. and Paul, N. D. (2006), Seduced by the dark side: integrating molecular and ecological perspectives on the influence of light on plant defense against pests and pathogens. New Phytologist, 170: 677–699. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2006.01707.x

 

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