I was browsing some insecticides online and found something called Bio Advanced Fruit, Citrus and Vegetable Insect Control. They claim, that you just need to water the tree with the solution once in a season and it will control aphids and grasshoppers for whole season long. The Day To Harvest varies from 7 to 21, what is not that match as they recommend to apply it early enough. The active ingredient is Imidacloprid , 0.235%.
Did anybody use it? If so, how effective it is? And how bad it will be for your health to use it?
Aphids are a big problem for me under net covers. If this thing works, it would be a big help…
Imidicloprid is a neonicitinoid insecticide. I do not use them, ever. Other people do- on ornamental plants. I certainly wouldn’t use on something that I expect to be pollinated, it would kill the pollinators in addition to unwanted insects. From the National Pesticide Information Center database, “Imidacloprid is very toxic to honeybees and other beneficial insects.”
While its true we are living in a mass insect apocalypse its important to realize that everything we are doing is skyrocketing pest insect numbers and its really our pollinators and predatory insects that are dying.
Are bees only affected by getting pollen from treated flowers? If so, do you think flowers of the next year still will be affected by systemic pesticide applied last year after bloom?
I understand passion about bees. However, without any pesticides there is no way to produce fruit. Even if you use net covers, you still need pre-treat. So if you have to use a pesticide, will it be more safe to use the one that goes to exact target AFTER bloom, in very controlled manner(poured under the tree) than one that you spray and it gets cared on by wind to wild flowers near by?
I am talking about systemic insecticide you are use as soil soaking solution after bloom and then install tree cover from other insects. . So bees only could be affected if the solution leaks to other flowering plants or eventually into water body (if that affects bees?)
I think I have my own answers to the question. Imidicloprid is toxic to bees and other beneficial insects, but this is true about almost all insecticide. The real problem with Imidicloprid is the fact, that it could stay in the soil for1-3 years depending on conditions. That means that even if you apply it after bloom it still will be there by the next bloom and can affect the bees. This is firs reason not to use it on trees. The second one is the fact that it could take up to 3 month to get unto top leaves where most aphids are. So for the period between bloom and harvest your tree will be unprotected at least half of the time, and this is not enough of protection. So, no Imidicloprid for me.
Before I learned how toxic imidicloprid was to bees, about 20 years ago, I used it on a variety of non-fruit trees. In particular we had a 80 foot silver maple tree over our deck. We could not use the deck due to the aphid droppings from aphids in the trees. I treated that tree and several conifers with imidicloprid. It killed the aphids in less than a week. I was amazed at how fast it got to the top of the tree. It also wiped out the pine bark beetle larvae that were destroying all the pines in our neighborhood. Mine survived and prospered. The neighbors trees did not fare well. Most of them died that year. So I know the stuff works. When I read that bees collect it and take it home to the hive here it can wipe out a complete hive, I stopped using it. The danger in using it in the ground is not that it will leach, but that it will behave as intended, go up the tree, end up in the blossoms, get to the bees and kill them all. So, I stopped using it for the most part. If I have an extremely vexing situation where the bees will not get to it, such as pine bark beetle, I may still use it very sparingly.
I despise imidicloprid , I wish it was banned .!
Unknowingly ,people apply it to plants that lure in unsuspecting beneficial insects with their blooms , …
can kill all the good bugs for a long distance .
I am all about proving good habitat for the beneficial insects . Pollinators ,predators and others ,most of them are good.
Very few insects actually cause problems , just a few of the many around us are actually pests.
So … imidicloprid would be one of my biggest nightmares .
From this perspective, we are the pests. . Because those bad “pests” are in fact a part of food chain for those that “good”. What to tell, I definitely providing great habitat for them. I can see the aphids ONLY on the plants I planted. I guess I should be proud of myself and happy for the lady bugs.
No! Some insecticides do not kill bees, you can check University of California’s pesticide recommendations for various crops and they have nice tables showing the various attributes of different pesticides, including their effects on bees.
Moreover, some insecticides, unlike neonics, breakdown fairly quickly in the environment ( a matter of days, in a week or two), so they don’t have long lasting effects like neonics. Also, generally speaking, one should avoid spraying insecticides on a blooming tree/plant, and this goes a long way in protecting bees and other pollinators.
Spirotetramat is a soil applied systemic that seems to be less toxic than Imidicloprid but the jury is still out. May be very hard to find for a homegrower too…
Another option is to spray a translaminar insecticide, these can pass through plant tissue but stay local. That would minimize the risk for nearby clover etc of uptaking the insecticide. They do need good spray coverage but if you get one side of the leaf that’s enough. Acetamiprid (trade name Assail) seems to be relatively safe to use around bees (meaning take all the normal precautions, spray when they aren’t around, ideally make an exclusion zone so no other flowering plants are hit etc.). Again may be hard to acquire for the home grower, but talk to the commercial guys near you.
Unfortunately, I learned hard - contact sprays do not work for aphids. You need to hit every single one in order not to have the same size infestation in 3 days. And spraying it every three days is out of my abilities… Systemic should work, but as you mentioned not many available for home grower in the middle of the city… Oh, well. The most problem with commercial spray not even availability. I can buy it OK, though it is way too expensive and will last probably hundred years in my few trees garden. But how would I recalculate acres in square fit of my single tree space? The amount to apply would be non-existing… And slight error can make the dose double…