5 reasons why Cryptex should be included in your

growing program this season

False Codling Moth (FCM) is a detrimental and challenging pest to control on citrus and a variety of other agricultural crops. Cryptex offers cutting edge granulovirus technology for the suppression of FCM (Thaumatotibia leucotreta) 

We asked our Madumbi team of experts to each highlight a key factor and benefit of this quality Swiss product, produced by Andermatt Biocontrol, world leaders in virus production. 

5 reasons why Cryptex should be included in your growing program this season:


1.Backed by Science, Loved by Nature – Cryptex has been extensively researched and proven to achieve consistent efficacy against FCM on a variety of crops

Cryptex is produced by world renowned virus specialist, Swiss manufacturer, Andermatt Biocontrol. Quality of every batch is tested with bioassays on live larvae ensuring in every bottle the highest standard of quality and efficacy is met. As with all our products, extensive local research and trials were conducted prior to the registration in 2006. Over the past 13 years, Cryptex has increasingly been included in False Codling Moth spray programs by growers in all regions of the country.

Cryptex trial data detailing results and efficacy are available on table grapes, stone fruit and citrus. Ongoing research is a priority at Madumbi, with trials continuously in progress to further develop and expand our knowledge on the product, pest and affected crops.

Nadia Grobler – Business Innovation

2. An integrated strategy against FCM increases overall efficacy and manages resistance

The inclusion of biological products such as Cryptex in IPM programs is becoming ever more important. The number of effective chemical active ingredients available in the market is in decline. Among other reasons, active ingredients are being lost due to residue constraints imposed by markets as well as development of resistance by target pests. Furthermore, there are few new chemical actives making it to market. Development costs are high and barriers to entry are numerous. It is thus becoming increasingly important to look after the few effective chemical solutions growers still have available. Biological products like Cryptex can both reduce the residue load resulting from a particular spray program while at the same time assist in reducing/managing development of resistance to existing chemistry. This is largely due to the fact that they employ completely different modes of action to chemical based products. Also, biological products often employ more than 1 mode of action making it more difficult for pests to develop resistance to such products.

Dr. Brendon Neumann, KAM – South

3. Cryptex – a quality product with no impact on beneficial organisms

Maintaining and enhancing biodiversity in your orchard contributes to naturally deterring pests and diseases. 

A biological approach encourages the populations of fungi, plants, insects, birds and mammals – all of which have a vital role and function to play in the sustainable ecosystem of orchards.  A ‘living’ orchard starts with healthy soil where microbes act as decomposers, recyclers and transporters of nutrients essential for optimal growth. Beneficial insects have essential roles in crop and plant pollination, as well as natural pest control.

Farmers can optimise these ecosystem services by enhancing biodiversity in orchards with a biological approach that will not harm this fragile ecosystem. With a high level of specificity to the target pest Cryptex certainly ticks this box.

Mark Hutton, KAM – South

4. Cryptex is easy to use! Cryptex can be added to tank mixtures and has been proven to be just as effective without additional adjuvants or feeding stimulants (no molasses!).

Cryptex, like most virus-based products, is really easy to use. It is tank-mix compatible with many agrochemical products, including most fungicides, insecticides and foliar nutrition, as long as the pH of the tank is buffered between 5 and 8. This makes it easy to incorporate Cryptex into existing pest and disease management programs. There is no need for separate applications – saving application costs. In citrus, Cryptex FCM population control can be combined with citrus black spot fungicide applications, which is applied early in the season when citrus fruit is most susceptible. This is also the perfect timing for Cryptex in order to achieve population control of FCM – a perfect combination. Copper-based fungicides can reduce the efficacy of all virus based products, thus where possible avoid these tank mixes or increase the Cryptex rate by 15% to counteract any negative effects (15% reduction in efficacy being the measured impact of a copper tank mix).

Wilma Mac Pherson, KAM – North

5. Application at the right time ensures best possible population reduction

Timing of application is critical when applying virus based products.  Small larvae ingesting sufficient virus particles will die quicker and therefore limit crop damage.  Larger larvae might take longer to die, but once the active is ingested the larva will die ensuring a reduction in population numbers.   A mind shift is needed because zero residue products are usually recommended and reserved for use close to harvest.  However, the biggest impact for an application for Cryptex on the FCM population in the season is made when the first generation FCM is targeted.  This means application as early as October in some citrus producing areas is recommended, if done correctly, the impact on the population numbers of the following FCM generations (later in the same season) is significant.  The early application strategy has been successfully implemented by various growers the past few seasons.  

Sias Leipoldt, KAM – Central

In summary, growers are now fortunate to have access to an arsenal of potential products to reduce FCM pressure through the season. From pheromones and sterile moths for mating disruption to virus products, entomopathogenic fungi and traditional pesticides the choice can be overwhelming. The truth is, there is no one silver bullet when it comes to successful FCM management. An integrated approach that combines the benefits of all these products, as well as cultural practices, is important, if not essential to managing populations for years to come.  Mating disruption is the traditional early season approach to reduce egg laying and thereby reduce subsequent pest population thresholds. As described above, the virus product is also recommended early in the season. This often begs the question, why is it necessary to use both early on? The virus as a result is pushed later in the season to crisis manage populations and this is not the ideal approach. No one product or method can be considered to be 100% effective. Moths that miss the effects of mating disruption still lay eggs in the orchard, the resulting larvae, if not appropriately controlled go on to cause damage and if not managed add to the second and third generations of the season. A virus application timed as early as October with mating disruption gives you the best opportunity to limit damage and manage later season damage and population explosion. 

Following a holistic approach through the rest of the season with orchard sanitation, further Cryptex applications incorporating insecticides and bioinsecticides like Eco-Bb towards the end of the season creates a holistic approach that keeps FCM thresholds low, manages resistance and leaves little to no residues. 

Megan Tarr – Business Systems Manager