Sunday, December 6, 2009

Koala Waste as a Pest Reduction Technique

Koalas are an Australian animal that eats only certain types of eucalyptus tree leaves. They are marsupials that spend a lot of time intoxicated by their specialised diets. Because they only eat certain types of eucalyptus, they have specialised digestive processes that use certain types of bacteria to help break down the usually toxic oils in the leaves. Because the tree that is being grazed on simply reacts as though a predator (usually an insect) is eating it, it sends extra chemicals (insecticidal) to the region being grazed on to put off the eater. This increases the chemical insect repellent quality of the food being digested. It is full of antibacterial qualities.
If you used koala waste products (urea and manure) on gardens, it could reduce the number of insect pests that attack the plant growth around there. It could also reduce the number of other wild animals wishing to reside there (such as possums), as manure is a signal that something else is already living there (territory marking). Also, it breaks down as a compost product, feeding the soil.
Another idea could be to dilute the manure/urine in water and spray crops as both a fertiliser and a pesticide. Food for thought anyway!

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