An­other nat­u­ral op­tion from the gar­den­ing sec­tion

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Your Poultry -

Spinosad (and its suc­ces­sor spine­toram) is a bi­o­log­i­cal pes­ti­cide, based on chem­i­cal com­pounds found in the fer­men­ta­tion of a soil bac­te­ria called Sac char opolysp ora spinosa. It works by af­fect­ing the ner­vous sys­tem of the red mite at sev­eral stages of its life­cy­cle, de­scribed as ‘over-ex­cit­ing’ it to death.

A study by New­cas­tle Univer­sity sprayed spinosad and found a rate of 4g/litre was ef­fec­tive. It also found: • resid­ual tox­i­c­ity was main­tained through­out the 28-day pe­riod; • peak ef­fi­cacy came 14 days af­ter spray­ing; • there was no ef­fect on hen body­weight or egg pro­duc­tion.

The re­sults also sug­gested the big­ger the in­fes­ta­tion, the more toxic the ef­fect of spinosad. While the rea­sons for this were un­clear, the sci­en­tists in this study spec­u­lated that con­specifics (nat­u­rally-oc­cur­ring species that are very sim­i­lar to spinosad) spread the prod­uct more ef­fi­ciently when mite pop­u­la­tions were higher. How­ever, more re­search would be re­quired to know ex­actly why this was the case.

About spinosad & spine­toram

Spinosad was the orig­i­nal in­gre­di­ent test, but it has been sur­passed by spine­toram. Spine­toram is so chem­i­cally close to spinosad, it is con­sid­ered tox­i­co­log­i­cally to be the same. Both prod­ucts are used in or­ganic farm­ing op­er­a­tions in coun­tries around the world for the con­trol of cer­tain in­sect species, in­clud­ing mites, on plants. Note: spinosad/spine­toram is toxic to bees and fish.

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