This Sugar Substitute Can Also Be Used as an Insecticide

A popular artificial sweetener that you might already have in your home could be both a safe and potent insecticide and a form of insect birth control.

Several years ago, a biology professor and his school-age son conducted an experiment in which they raised fruit flies on different artificial sweeteners. They discovered that flies who consumed the sweetener Truvia lived much shorter lives than their counterparts who were raised on other sweeteners.

yoshizen.files.wordpress.com

When this experiment was modified in a lab, scientists confirmed that the sugar alcohol erythritol, which gives Truvia its sweetness, was toxic to the flies. In addition to this, the flies appeared to prefer erythritol to other sweeteners and even to real sugar.

A more recent experiment has shown that this substance is also effective at killing newly hatched fly larvae, whereas prior studies have focused on its effects on adult insects. The larvae who were fed erythritol never made it to adulthood, and researchers were able to determine that their deaths were caused by eating the sweetener. The larvae also died much faster than adult insects who consumed the erythritol.

The scientists also made a more promising finding in this latest research into erythritol’s insecticide effects. They found that adults who ate the sugar substitute produced fewer eggs than flies who did not eat it. This is important because controlling the birth rates of insects is more effective at reducing their numbers than just killing the adults of a species. So, even though adult flies can live several days after ingesting the sweetener, their impact on humans and the environment can still be lessened by reducing their reproductive capabilities. Since many other insecticides don’t slow or stop insect reproduction, adults can continue to lay eggs until they die, making these insecticides less effective.

Unfortunately, the flies appear to regain their reproductive abilities if they stop eating erythritol. However, since they are naturally attracted to the substance, it might be simple to get them to keep eating it, thus keeping their populations low.

Though the effects of erythritol have only been studied on fruit flies, scientists believe that that the sugar substitute will have the same effects on other insects. If this is true, this could make the sweetener a safe alternative to toxic chemical insecticides since Truvia and erythritol are both safe for human consumption.

Next Article
ADVERTISEMENT
  • Saving A Whole Village With Rainbow Art

    Everyone loves a rainbow, the beautiful colors and different hues always make you smile. And that is what one Taiwanese pensioner thought when he made a desperate attempt to save his village. Armed with only a paintbrush, 93-year old Huang Yung-Fu turned his town into a vibrant rainbow and in the process saved it from...

    Read More
  • Evidence Of A Destroyed Planet Found

    Billions of years ago it seems our solar system actually had another planet spinning around in it. This long destroyed planet would have existed only during the very start of our solar systems creation. In 2008, an asteroid exploded into the Sudan desert on October 7th and with it came...

    Read More
  • Huge Poop Train Stuck Outside Small Alabama Town

    In a strange situation that is just asking to be explained, sources have revealed a huge train filled with human excrement is stranded outside a small town in Alabama. Apparently, the poop train is wafting smelly fumes for miles and locals are beginning to wonder whenever this nightmare may end. ...

    Read More
  • French Strongman Who Broke Out Of Prison With His Bare Hands

    There is one French strongman that goes down in the books as having undeniable strength and determination: his name is Charles Rigoulet. Not only was he breaking numerous weightlifting records all over the world, he won a gold medal in the 1942 Summer Olympics. And if that was not enough? He was also an actor,...

    Read More
  • Medieval Norwegians Liked To Cheat At Dice

    Recently a specially designed dice was found in Norway: it did not have a number one or a number two. Looks like a fixed dice to do some cheating in gambling, but the real stunner was that this wooden dice was 600 years old! A specially designed dice for cheating...

    Read More
  • Extraordinary Photo Of A Humpback Whale Sneezing A Rainbow

    At the end of every rainbow, you will find a pot of gold… or was it a humpback whale? The following photo hit the internet last week from the California wildlife photographer who had the instinct to take his shot at the exact moment. So we now know that there is at least one rainbow...

    Read More
  • Vikings Discovered Canada By Mistake

    New research has jumped to the conclusion that the Vikings were probably sailing to Greenland when they arrived in Canada by error. The mysterious crystal called “sunstones” used to guide them at the time, and it looks like someone was not watching his sunlight correctly. Sunstones the crystals that split...

    Read More