Of all the organic products we can use to eliminate pests in the garden Spinosad (spin-OH-sid) has perhaps the most curious back story.
A scientist who was part of a team that was searching for new naturally occurring pest controls was on vacation in the Caribbean in 1982. He was poking around an old abandoned rum distillery and decided to take a few soil samples home with him. Back at the lab they fermented the samples and three years later found that the products of the fermentation had insecticidal activity. To make matters even stranger, this new species of soil dwelling bacterium called Saccharopolyspora spinosa, a rare actinomycete, has never been found anywhere else in the world. It is one of those things you read and think, “What are the chances?”
Spinosad is safe for use on ornamentals, vegetables and fruit. It must be consumed by the insect to be effective. It can…
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