The deadliest flower to the insect world
Tanacetum cinerariifolium (yes, a Daisy)
Discovered in Persia around 400 B.C
Natural Pyrethrum is extracted from daises and used around the World.
And… because it’s natural, it’s a complex killer of all arthropods!
(You know… Insects… spiders, mites, millipedes, beetles… )
All you need to do is hit them!
*Image is a tincture of pyrethrum, English, 2nd half 19th century (1851-1900)
science museum group
Natural pyrethrum has no resistance problems.
The natural pyrethrum molecule is super complex with its 6 component isomers and variations within those isomers, insects have a hard time combatting and surviving all the actions.
And, the addition of piperonyl butoxide works as the synergist to further increase the effectiveness of pyrethrins (resistance breaker).
What is ‘Insect Resistance’?
When most of a pest populations is no longer controlled by a ‘regularly used insecticide’.
Survivors mate with other survivors and most of their progeny will have ‘the mechanism’ to survive as well. Eventually the insecticide ceases to have an effect on the pest population.
To combat this process, alternating insecticides from a completely different chemical group is an established good practice.
The often overlooked insecticidal option
Big commercial growers are using Pyrethrum; and they do their sums.
Growers of fruit, mangoes, avocados and Asian fruits in the north to citrus, olive, stone and pome fruit growers in the south are adding natural pyrethrum into their pest management program.
So are growers of berries and cherries, tomatoes, salad greens (and reds), crucifers, cucurbits, onions, cut flowers, in fact any crop with pests out on the surface.
It won’t work on pests that burrow into the plant tissue such as fruit flies. citrus and other gall formers, leaf miners and scale insects hidden under their waxy covering.
The withholding period Pyrethrum is just 1 day (check the label).
It is compatible with fungicides and foliar fertilizers so you can do two or three jobs at the same time. Because natural pyrethrum is so low in toxicity, many growers with employees like the idea of using the softest chemical possible to reduce the risk of claims — providing it will still do the job.
Re-entry is only waiting until the droplets have settled. No protective clothing is specified.
Growers with a constant cropping regime
Such as strawberries, blueberries and fancy lettuce can take advantage of the 1-day withholding period harvesting the morning after the evening spray.
Spray as often as needed to avoid any insect damage that reduces or eliminates acceptance by the retailer.
Cut flower growers and exporters don’t want even dead insects noticed at time of delivery and so they employ a spraying or fogging routine to eliminate “evidence”.
One of the biggest Avocado growers…
on the mid north-east of NSW is using Py-Bo. Trees are treated with orchard blowers using around 4 litres a tree… to control fruit spotting bugs and monoleptas.
Small market gardeners using knapsack sprayers and battery operated hand sprayers use it on broccoli, lettuce, tomatoes, capsicum, melons and pumpkins attacked by anything from aphids, thrips, bugs, caterpillars of various sorts and grasshoppers.
Pest populations are controlled in minutes.
A tomato grower…
at Bangalow on the NSW North Coast had so much trouble with whitefly he was almost considering turning his ‘igloo’ into a machinery shed.
He’d pulled out a couple of rows of tomatoes and the ones still struggling were about half the size (bush and fruit) of those growing outside just 20 metres away.
Pyrethrum turned the situation around.
Heliothis, monoleptas and loopers were all attacking a crop of soybeans and had destroyed flowers and pods.
Boom-sprayed at 400 litres per hectare, the insects were killed. Luckily, secondary flowering did occur and a yield of around 2 tonne/ha was taken off.
Not as good as 3-4 tonne, but very worthwhile under the circumstances.