The innovation relies on a biodegradable “insect glue” made from edible plant oil, which mimics the natural, defensive secretions of some plants.

The substance acts like a sprayable fly paper, snaring small pests but leaving larger beneficial insects such as bees unaffected.

In tests on the western flower thrip - which attacks 500 species of vegetable, fruit, and ornamental crops - 60 percent of the bugs were captured within two days of spraying.