Targeted Pesticide That Will Not Harm Humans

Dr. Shirley Chao is an associate professor of biology at FSU. Over the past several years, Chao and her students discovered that chemicals in hemp have a variety of detrimental effects on roaches, carpenter ants and grain-eating beetles.

"We found that it's very effective in controlling reproduction," Chao said. "And when they feed on it, they don't develop normally. Most of them either die or have these deformations that you can see. And then if they do survive, they don't reproduce normally."

Chao hopes that further research will demonstrate that the hemp-based pesticide has no ill-effects on people or other vertebrates. That quality could make it preferable to other pesticides in use today.

The school has received a patent for the pesticide entitled CannaMix. Exterminating giant Terminex has expressed interest in the product.

FSU presented the invention at the 3rd Annual Social Entrepreneurship Conference sponsored by the University of North Carolina System. The FSU graduate team - consisting of Marin Rachev, MBA student, Jasmine Gaston, MS Biology student, and Brian Olson, an undergraduate biology major - as well as advisors/coaches - Dr. Steven Phelan and Mr. Greg McElveen of the College of Business and Economics and Dr. Shirley Chao of the Collge of Arts and Sciences - won first place.