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sherwindu

Spinosad effectiveness

sherwindu
7 years ago

I posted this on the Citrus forum, but I think it is more appropriate here.

Has anyone had experience with Spinosad preventing damage from the nasty fruit bugs like apple maggot, coddling moths, and plum curculio?

Friend of mine claims this year he saw a reduction from last years spoilage of 80 percent down to this years 2 percent of his apples. Kind of hard to believe.

Comments (17)

  • marknmt
    7 years ago

    Spinosad is sensitive to timing, in my experience, but if you hit it right it can be very effective in the control of codling moth, and I would use it over malathion. It has some kickback, too, which malathion does not, as far as I have seen. I've found triazicide to be more effective (and that's controversial here as others have had different results) but next year I hope to be able to depend on spinosad entirely.

    Spinosad allows for more sprays than I actually need- so if I'm doubtful about the timing I might be able to space an extra spray in as needed. I actually need to hit codling moth on three generations, rarely four, per season. Spinosad lets you spray six times, so there's a little wiggle room.

    That's from limited experience. Others will contribute, I hope.

  • Scott F Smith
    7 years ago

    It doesn't help with curculio but its a great weapon against moths. I usually do 3-4 sprays per season, in particular the early sprays are important to limit the initial population. I also use codling moth granulosis on CM plus mating disruption. I had almost zero wormy apples this year.

    Scott

  • sherwindu
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    As to the reply from Scott, it is not clear how much the Spinosad added to the protection from Apple Maggot and
    Codling moths, since you also did mating disruption measures for them. Are Apple Maggots normally a problem for you. What pesticides were you using before you started with Spinosad, and what was the percentage of
    spoiled fruit with them?

  • Scott F Smith
    7 years ago

    I started with nothing but Surround and slowly built up to horrible CM problems. I then did spinosad only for two years; I noticed a large improvement but still lots of worms. The first year I did mating disruption it did little good compared to spinosad only of the previous two years, it was only when I got several years into mating disruption plus spinosad that the populations shrunk to minimal levels.

    Its hard to make too much out of this as I was not timing the spinosad well when I started with it, only later did I figure out timings. Maybe if I timed well from the beginning there would have been no need for mating disruption. Also its not clear how much extra help the disruption is. The only real take-home is spraying spinosad is a lot better than nothing.

    Scott

  • sherwindu
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    Question I have is exactly how well is Spinosad doing now?
    What percentage of spoilage do you have?

    Talking to a friend using Spinosad, he tells me that it is critical to start Spinosad when the eggs are hatching and not the traditional method of right after petal fall. He says you are allowed only 6 sprays per season spaced every
    week or so after the initial spray, since the moths emerge at subsequent intervals. Is that the way you are spraying?

  • drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a
    7 years ago

    Spinosad is an interesting molecule having a unique tetracyclic ring. I guess out of the over 200 known forms, natural and synthetic, a combination of two are used.
    Seems to be able to last up to a year! I guess it is washed off, so repeated applications are needed. Even though significant markers for long term mutagenic effects in mammals have been seen, tumors are very rare, or even never seen. Of course that is extremely high doses, so it appears to be a very safe molecule.

    This post was edited by Drew51 on Tue, Oct 8, 13 at 13:29

  • sherwindu
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    The reason for repeated applications of Spinosad is because the Codling Moths do not all hatch at once. After their initial hatching, there can be repeated emergences for
    several weeks.

    I still am not sure about the effectiveness of Spinosad in comparison to something with a longer track record like
    Imidan.

  • Scott F Smith
    7 years ago

    Its much less effective than Imidan, there is no comparison. The whole point of using spinosad is low toxicity; my orchard is in a suburban yard so I don't want to use any toxic chemicals.

    Scott

  • sherwindu
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    Scott, Thanks for your replies.

    You have not given me a good handle on just how much less effective Spinosad is than Imidan. Have you used Imidan before? What percentage of fruit spoilage do you have with the Spinosad and/or Imidan?

    I use Imidan in a suburban environment, but with caution.
    I don't spray on days with any wind. I check for people walking nearby. I don't spray on very hot days when the mix will vaporize too much. I think with the proper measures, Imidan is safe to use in an urban setting. I'm not so sure about Spinosad which is a poison affecting the
    nerves and stomachs of insects. So far, there is no link to
    mammals, but I don't think we have looked at results long enough with this rather new pesticide. Going organic does not guarantee low toxicity. For example, Rotenone is used
    regularly to kill off unwanted fish or in some cases to help
    native fisherman get a good catch.

  • drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a
    7 years ago

    I agree chemicals are chemicals. Both synthetic and organic pesticides have complex organic molecules.
    Spinosad is fairly safe. it is also used on dogs, or should I say in dogs for fleas. The dog ingests the substance. About 12 % of the dogs vomit afterward. But will get used to it. I myself prefer to use topicals for my dog.
    I have over 30 credits in organic chemistry and the use of the word organic or synthetic tell me absolutely nothing
    Both are really organic chemicals. One occurs in nature, the other is man made, That is all it tells me, which is next to nothing. The most dangerous toxins in the world are most definitely organic. We can't come close to mother nature.

  • Scott F Smith
    7 years ago

    Sherwin, I have never used Imidan or rotenone. In my analysis both are not acceptable for my setting, but spinosad is. You can read up on it and make your own conclusion for your setting. I mentioned the percentage damage above, this year I got nearly zero worms with my program.

    Scott

  • sherwindu
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    OK Scott, the only questions remaining for me is did you try to hit the Codling Moths as they first hatched out and then intervals of 5 more for subsequent hatching, or did you just start the regimen after petal fall, or some other time? Also, are you bothered by apple maggots, as well?

    Drew, the short track record on Spinosad makes me suspicious that there may yet prove some harmful effects of this substance to humans.

  • Scott F Smith
    7 years ago

    For several years I put out traps with pheromone in it and estimated hatch based on flight observations. Now I don't have the time to do that and I just add it to the tank around the right time when I am spraying something else (mainly Surround in spring). In fact looking at my logs, this year I forgot to add it to my first post petal fall spray and I had a few spots of CM outbreak in early spring. I could just thin it all out during thinning, and I had forgotten I had the problem. Based on my monitoring, petal fall is pretty good approximate timing since the moths show up in the traps at the early side of petal fall for me.

    For the first year or two I would recommend the pheromone wing traps, its good to see the rhythm with your own eyes.

    I never get appreciable apple maggot damage. It could be related to what I have been spraying, or not.

    Scott

  • austransplant
    7 years ago

    I have used Spinosad primarily on stone fruit to kill oriental fruit moth. It seems to be as effective as anything else, but the limited number of sprays permitted is too few to provide complete control here in MD, where OFM just keep on coming all summer. It may well be effective on codling moth, which seem to operate within a narrower window. Fortunately this year saw very low levels of insect pressure, including codling moth, and I did not spray anything for them and still got a very good crop of apples and pears.

    Spinosad is useless on plum curculio. I've never had a problem with apple maggot here in MD so I can't speak about that.

  • sherwindu
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    Scott, problem with traps is that they sometimes attract more insects from around your orchard than they trap. Sound like Spinosad might work, but I would advise applying it at the proper time. You may want to check out a program that can give you things like codling moth emergence times: orchardguide.suvadasoftware.com
    For Oriental Fruit Moth, it is possible to cover their time of
    arrival, if you don't start the Spinosad too soon. I hope to hear more inputs from this forum on the effectiveness of Spinosad in the coming seasons. For now, I may just try a
    test of a few trees and compare it to the Imidan I have been relying on, for years.

  • alan haigh
    7 years ago

    It is interesting that the synthetic alternative to spinosad mentioned here is Imidan which I consider a very inconvenient chemical for home use.

    Certainly NY state shares Scott's concern about it and has made its use in park and school properties illegal for some time. It's use is also restricted to licensed sprayers. The label here states "not for residential use", which apparently is legally defined as "within 100 feet of a residence", as I recall.

    These days I've almost completely eliminated Imidan from my arsenal. I am not convinced that it is particularly dangerous but I know that there are more convenient alternatives that have worked nearly as well for me- and the smell.....the smell! Not good PR to have anything that smells so toxic coming out of your sprayer.

    Some of my customers have "farms" where a few apples may be sold so I can use Avaunt but mostly I use the pyrethroid Assana these days.

    I don't see how a pyrethroid is necessarily more dangerous than something like Spinosad if used carefully but what I don't like about it is the wide profile of things it kills. I am seeing more mite flare ups since switching just as Cornell warned. This was a problem this year and I fear it may get worse.

    For a homeowner the closest thing to Assana is Spectracide's "Triazide", Once and Done. Be aware that pyrethroids have a relatively short shelf life so you may have to ditch last years bottle somehow as they come without a freshness code.

  • Scott F Smith
    7 years ago

    Sherwindu, moth traps have a relatively weak pheromone in it and trap relatively few moths. I have never heard anyone expressing concern about that. Mating disruption has an order of magnitude more pheromone out there so it would be much more likely to be the concern for luring moths. I'm sure it does some but its all a trade off. Note you are only attracting males with both of these so you are not going to get a load of eggs coming in this way.

    Re: emergence times, after reading up on it and trapping for several years I more or less know the rhythms of the moths in my orchard. Late bloom is usually my first, and mid-June is usually my second emergence. That is why I suggest that you trap if you want to use spinosad.

    Scott