Now spiders can responsively add to the list of commercial insecticides. The insect’s venom is found to help repel insects, according to a new study. The venom of a spider could modify crops genetically for making them insect-resistant, says a University of Queensland researcher.
Certain components in the spider-venom can specifically target insects without affecting other animals. Professor Glenn King says,
These things are genetically-encoded peptides. There’s no reason why you couldn’t engineer plants to make them.
They’re very, very safe – they have no activity against vertebrates.
They’re natural compounds as well. They’re little tiny proteins so they don’t hold any ecological consequences in terms of breakdown in the environment.
King hopes that it is just 10 more years of research into it from now, and the technology could be in the market.
Everything from trying to control ecto-parasites on livestock, controlling ecto-parasites on companion animals like cats and dogs to controlling really nasty pests on crops like the cotton bowl worm to controlling, say, mosquitos in the public health arena.