Spinosad: Biological Insecticide

Cultivating in organic farming does not mean renouncing to defend the plants against the attacks of insects and pests, but simply limiting their use to products of natural origin. Among them, one of the most widespread products is spinosad, a broad-spectrum insecticide obtained from the fermentation of a microorganism.

If for organic farms it is compulsory to use only the treatments authorized for orchards and pleasure gardens which are not subject to certification and therefore do not have to comply strictly with the regulations, it is useful to refer to these products with low environmental impact.

The phytosanitary products authorized in organic farming are listed in Annex II of Regulation 889/08 which is the application of Regulation 834/07, the European regulatory reference for organic farming. Both regulations will be valid until 2021, when the new regulation 848/2018 will enter into force. Among the products listed in Annex II is a category called “substances produced by micro-organisms”, which includes Spinosad as an insecticide.

Of course, before resorting to Spinosad or other insecticides, it is important to make every effort to prevent diseases and pests upstream, through the application of appropriate rotations and associations, irrigation and fertilization and, above all, special care for biodiversity in the growing medium. . This biodiversity involves the introduction of annual flowers, aromatic herbs and, for the orchard, good, carefully maintained meadows.

Contents [Ocultar]

  • What is spinosad

  • ?

  • Mode of action of insecticides

  • What crops is it used on?

  • Instructions for use: modes, precautions and dosage

    • Toxicity and environmental damage

What is spinosad


Spinosad is a product resulting from the fermentation process of a microorganism (Saccharopolyspora spinosa) and is obtained in the laboratory using a special culture broth.

A substrate composed of water, yeast extracts, sugars, sodium bicarbonate, vitamins, flours, minerals and vegetable oils is prepared and the whole is inoculated with the micro-organism. The fermentation of the culture broth generates several metabolites, of which about thirty exert an insecticidal activity. Among these metabolites, called prickly pears, two in particular are powerful: spynosine A and spynosine D, and it is with them that the base is created for the manufacture of insecticide products sold and used in agriculture.

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