An Israeli made artificial spider web made to protect crops from insect pests will be one of the showcased products at Israel’s Agritech 2012 exhibit. Made from a special weave of micro-fibers, this new netting called SpiderNet is woven to catch insects in the field, much in the same way that real spiders entrap their prey. Developed by the company Meteor Nets, the SpiderNet is designed to create a blanket of protection around crops. It allows air to flow through freely, but the micro-fibres ensnare even the tiniest crop pests like whiteflies or thrips. These pests can be devastating to crops.
Made to withstand storms and high winds, the nets can trap tiny pests that grow and live on crops which can cause extansive damage to flowers and vegetables. They can transfer other diseases and viruses to the plants as well, and this is one of the main concerns.
In Western countries like in Israel, the damage is economic, but in other countries pest infestation can lead to famines. The company believes their spidee nets can save lives.
Meteor Nets say their invention will let farmers use less pesticides and save money and consumer health. Anyway, they argue, pests develop resistance to pesticides and use stronger materials which would impair the health of the farmer, his employees, family members and consumers.
Sounds like a good idea, but the netting is essentially a huge greenhouse-like tent. If farms can afford to use them in small scale operations, then this is probably the right solution. In big open farms that use tilling and machinery, this wouldn’t be a viable solution.
The nets also protect from strong damaging sun rays. Visit Agritech in May to meet the company.
Image of spider web from Shutterstock