What we do
Xeroshield was formed a result of the founders' experience of insect control, largely in developing countries where resources to combat pests are increasingly stretched as new problems arise.
Thus government-driven insecticide spraying programmes are often no longer a practical proposition and it becomes necessary to involve the people most affected by these pests in measures to control them.
Obviously it's not possible to train everyone or supply them all with complex equipment but in many cases, it's not necessary to do so - there may be other, simpler solutions. Often these come from talking to the people themselves. They may be poor and uneducated, but since they're faced with the depredations of insect pests every day of their lives, whether as vectors of disease or consumers of their crops, they may have interesting observations - and they know better than anybody what is and isn't practical for them to be involved in.
Conventional chemical insecticides may still provide the best solution in many cases but we should always think of them as at a best a "necessary evil". The most common ones in use are nerve poisons, dangerous to man and other non-target species if not handled correctly, and increasingly expensive as oil prices rise.
Any insecticide applied to a pest population will also select for the few individuals that are resistant to them, so that soon the offspring of these insects will come to predominate, necessitating the search for a new solution - we at Xeroshield believe that this doesn't always have to mean developing new chemicals.
So we talk to the people involved in their own language, and look for solutions with experts in many different fields, often people who've never worked in entomology before. Another advantage of this approach is that our solutions can be implemented quickly, without the need for expensive and costly testing on humans or animals.
So, in summary - we listen to the people most affected by a particular pest problem, we come up with novel approaches based on these conversations plus our own observations and knowledge of entomology, and we develop solutions with partners in very different fields. We believe this is an original approach that will be increasingly important in the years to come, in a world that faces global warming, increased demand for food and other resources, and the end of reserves of the fossil fuel precursors of conventional insecticides.