Loopex is an insecticidal virus for the control of cabbage looper (Trichoplusia ni) on vegetables. It kills the larvae by ingestion and has an additional long-term effect on pest population reduction. Loopex is a valuable resistance management tool that can be included in any integrated pest management program (IPM), especially for the control of insecticide resistant populations
- While Loopex effectively infects and kills young larvae of Trichoplusia ni, the virus is also lethal for older larval instars in the long term.
- AcNPV is a naturally occurring insecticidal virus and is harmless to beneficial insects, bees and other non-target organisms.
- Loopex offers more flexibility for the crop producers. The active substance is not included in the residue tolerance lists for crops grown for export.
- AcNPV offers a different mode of action, which can be an important mean to avoid and/or break resistances.
Cabbage looper (Trichoplusia ni) is an agricultural pest with world-wide economic importance affecting an exceptionally broad range of host plants. It is listed as feeding on over 160 species of plants in 36 families, but cultivated crucifers are preferred. Cabbage looper occurs in the warmer regions of all continents, except Oceania, and invade the cooler northern regions as temperatures permit.
Early instar larvae begin feeding on the underside of the leaf, producing small holes that do not break through the upper surface of the leaf, while larger caterpillars cause more conspicuous damage. Plants can be severely defoliated and stunted, producing no heads or becoming unfit for consumption. In cabbage, large instars can burrow through several layers of tightly wrapped head leaves. The presence of cabbage looper larvae or dark green pellets (frass) excreted by the feeding looper renders the vegetable unmarketable.
T. ni populations have developed resistance to various chemical pesticides and are one of the few insect species that have developed resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) sprays in agricultural settings.