The story starts with a scientist on vacation in the Caribbean. He visits an abandoned rum distillery and as scientists do, takes some soil samples. The naturally occurring soil dwelling bacterium called Saccharopolyspora spinosa produce compounds while in a fermentation broth. IMG_3916Fast forward the story to today and you will find an insect control that many homeowners are not yet aware of called Spinosad. An example to the left is the Bonide product packaged as “Captain Jacks Dead Bug Brew”. Various beetles can cause a lot of damage to our favorite plants in the landscape in summer. The most notorious of course would be Japanese beetles in July. If beetle and caterpillar damage has been “Jamaican” you crazy “mon” you might want to try Spinosad. The best thing about the product aside from its effectiveness is its safety for people and beneficial insects. For years people have tried BT products as a safe product but it lacks staying power. It appears Spinosad works 2 to 3 times longer and when dry has little effect on beneficial insects because the insects affected are those that eat and ingest the foliage. With extremely low toxicity levels it is registered for use on your vegetable garden. As with anything you use, always follow label directions and only use controls when needed. That said, this control once homeowners become familiar with it, has great promise for both its effectiveness and environmentally safe aspects.

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