Inside each of our oranges, in the flavour of the delicate pulp found in our Doughnut Peaches and Coscia Pears, and in the colour of our Prickly Pears, we take care of our land and adopt solutions that aim to respect nature, which, here on the slopes of Etna, is particularly generous.
Operating in balance with nature is a priority for us and, for this reason, we have adopted biological control solutions to safeguard our crops.
Cryptolaemus montrouzieri ladybird at your fingertips
Integrated pest control is best known for limiting the use of chemicals, but it is not always known that this strategy includes the use of insect antagonists. In other words, it is a question of using insects that naturally eradicate the harmful ones.
Among these, the friendly ladybird Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, a close relative of the well-known good-luck ladybird, is one of the main insects used by those employing biological control methods. Together with deer flies (chrysops) and other parasites, these small animals are tireless predators of aphids and mealybugs, which often damage crops.
Ladybirds are released in the vicinity of pest colonies and each can eradicate around 300 aphids during its short life span (2-3 months). Ladybirds are not harmful at all because they act selectively and only eat the target insects, leaving all others alone.
It is therefore a biological control solution with practically zero environmental impact and toxicity.
A look at integrated agriculture
Integrated pest control, i.e. crop protection involving various solutions, including the almost total absence of chemical products such as pesticides, comes almost as a natural choice when there is a high level of respect for the land.
Etna offers a naturally fertile soil that gives fruits with unique characteristics and it is a must to preserve biodiversity. That is why we use environmentally and human-friendly techniques.
Unlike chemical pest control, which requires frequent and more invasive interventions on crops, and in the long term leads to the appearance of micro-organisms resistant to various products, integrated pest control only intervenes where necessary, choosing the most specific and natural solution possible.
This requires a great deal of time, knowledge and resources, as only those who know the soil and the crops in depth can intervene in a targeted and timely manner, reducing treatments that are not really necessary.
And you can taste it in our fruit.