Archive Post #1: Spinosad
It is written that back in the early '80's a scientists was on vacation in the Caribbean and, somehow,
came across an abandoned rum distillery. While there, this scientist collected a soil sample that proved to have a rare bacteria called Saccharopolyspora spinosa. Believed to be a new species, this bacteria has never been found in nature before or since.
So, what the hell does this have to do with growing?
Spinosad is the common name for the biological pest control derived from the bacteria found swimming in the ancient rum mud. Its organic, harmless to mammals and kills the hell out of any bug that ingests it.
According to Wikipedia, this is how Spinosad kills bugs dead...
Spinosad kills susceptible species by causing rapid excitation of the insect nervous system. Due to this unique mode of action, Spinosad is valued in resistance management programs. Spinosad must be ingested by the insect, therefore it has little effect on sucking insects and non-target predatory insects. Spinosad is relatively fast acting. The insect dies within 1 to 2 days after ingesting the active ingredient. There appears to be 100% mortality.
In other words, Spinosad acts as a mega-dose of methamphetamine on the insect and, in essence, speeds it to death. Cool, eh? Here's the other thing, Spinosad is very effective at killing thrips, spider mites, gnats, leafminers and many other common garden pests while NOT having much of an effect on predatory mites, pirate bugs, green lacewings and ladybugs.
Can this stuff be any more perfect?