Biorationals, a New Generation of Control

In response to recent legislative and consumer demands many new pest-control products have been developed and made available to arborists and plant healthcare professionals. Biorational pesticides are included in this class of insect control materials. These products are not only effective but often require substantially lower use rates than traditional chemicals.  Barrett Tree Service East has found great success utilizing this new class of pesticides which offer the efficacy of synthetic materials with the benefits of biological controls.

The term biorational pesticide refers to pesticides of natural origin that have limited or no adverse effects on the environment or beneficial organisms. The EPA considers biorational products to have greater selectivity and considerably lower risks to humans, wildlife, and the environment.

Biorational pesticides are derived from a variety of biological sources, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa, as well as chemical analogs of naturally occurring biochemicals such as pheromones and insect growth regulators.

Biorational products are quite different than conventional, broad-spectrum materials and typically target-specific organisms with little to no impact on non-target organisms…specifically the rest of us; people, pets, and wildlife.

Spinosad is one product in the new class of insecticides.  This bacterium is a naturally occurring microorganism that can be very useful in controlling winter moth, an invasive defoliating insect that has infested over a million and a half acres of trees in New England and greater Boston over the past several years.

Preventative Spinosad treatments are quite effective but require precise timing in early spring when winter moth larvae are most vulnerable.  We have found these insect control products provide sufficient pest control with minimum impact to beneficial insects and other organisms.

Because biorational insecticides are so selective, proper insect identification of target insect pests is essential. The Certified Arborists at BTSE understand both the limitations and strengths of these new class biorational products and the best use of these products to responsibly and sensitively care for your trees, landscape, and our environment.

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