Researchers Design Textile Armor to Protect Plants from Insects

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a multi-layer textile “Plant Armor” that creates a mechanical barrier to pests. The multiple layers create a maze-like path that can prevent even small insects such as thrips from making their way through the cover to the plant. “To exclude insects that are really small using traditional textile cover designs, the size of the openings would have to be so small that it would also prevent water, air and moisture from penetrating,” said the study’s senior researcher Mike Roe. Trials showed that Plant Armor was more effective than traditional plant covers at preventing insects from accessing the plant below. The researchers believe the product could be an effective non-chemical alternative for protecting high-value crops from insects.