Insecticide Methods To Consider
I have found an excellent discussion of less toxic insecticide methods on the Clemson University website that is worth a share.
It compares many different approaches to the Insect or Fungi issues we face in the South: comparing advantages & disadvantages, damage issues from use, and possible plant sensitivities like foliage burn etc.
Included in this list are:
Soaps that damage the protective coat of soft-bodied insects causing them to dehydrate;
Oil products that smother soft bodied insects on contact;
naturally occurring toxins extracted from plants; examples: neem / neem oil / limonene / capsaicin / pyrethrins
NOTE: Neem oil is a botanical insecticide and available in many more complex formulations. Interesting point about Neem: it has some fungicidal activity, but its fungicidal activity is typically limited to powdery mildew control.
volatile, highly concentrated substances extracted from plant parts; most work by disrupting an insect neurotransmitter that is not present in people, pets, or other vertebrates;
examples: cedar, cinnamon, citronella, citrus, clove,
garlic, mints, rosemary, and more;
contain micro organisms like viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa or nematodes or their by-products; usually very specific to the targeted pest;
examples: Bacillus thuringiensis and its varients; found in many commercial formulations; Spinosad; Beneficial Nematodes;
Diatomaceous Earth -- "natural grade" is a non-toxic powder composed of fossilized, one-celled organisms called diatoms; used to control slugs, roaches, ants, aphids; but it can irritate lungs and kills honeybees;
Kaolin Clay -- irritates insects
Boric Acid -- acts as a stomach poison
Silica Gel -- inert material that absorbs moisture, causes insect death by dehydration;
Sulfur -- probably the oldest known pesticide in current use; nontoxic to mammals, but an irritant; also used as a fungicide and in the control of lichens; but can seriously damage plants in hot dry weather or when combined with other oils; many commercial formulations contain sulfur;
Insect Growth Regulators: interfere with egg development and molting of various insect life stages;
We're often asked often about many of the more popular products mentioned above like:
Neem (botanical insecticide)
Bacillus thuringiensis (microbial insecticide), or beneficial nematodes (microbial insecticide), but quite honestly, we still prefer the more broad spectrum product, Organocide, for our own use.
Organocide is a 3 in 1 approach: insecticide, fungicide, miticide, so we find it's simpler to keep one thing on hand to get most of the problems -- at least in their infantile states. Read More