News and Reviews

Helpful or Harmful? Learn the Difference!

Should you spray or walk away? Two educational materials available from the University of Florida help address this question. First is a 17 x 22-inch wall poster ($3) suitable for classroom, home, nursery or business use, with fifteen color photographs of commonly seen landscape and garden insects. The second item is a set of 50 3 x 4-inch laminated Insect Identification Flash Cards bound with a screw and fastener ($7). The full color card set helps in identification of common beneficial and pest insects. Text on the reverse of each card provides information on feeding preference of the insect, facts about its life cycle, or a description of the plant or plant parts where it is most likely found. Although a few of the insects depicted are typically found only in Florida, the vast majority are common in most areas of the United States.

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New Type of Insecticide Being Developed

Spinosyns are natural metabolites produced under fermentation conditions by the actinomycete Saccharopolyspora spinosa. One such product, with the proposed common name of spinosad, is being developed by Dow-Elanco as a new, safer, biologically-based type of insecticide. The product has a high level of contact and oral activity and rapid speed of action. It is especially efficacious against caterpillars and flies, but is practically non-toxic to beneficials under field conditions. It has low mammalian toxicity and low nontarget toxicity that, combined with relatively low use rates, should result in minimal safety concerns. Environmental concerns are minimal also, as the product is subject to rapid degradation under normal field conditions.

Research and field testing is continuing as the company waits for EPA approval. Registration is expected in the next couple of years.


    Oral and display presentations at the national meeting of the Entomological Society of America in Dallas, Texas, December 13-17, 1994.

Free Publications

Suppliers of Beneficial Organisms in North America by Charles D. Hunter (one free copy per request) is available from: Strawberry IPM Update is a quarterly newsletter on strawberry pest management produced at Iowa State University, free of charge to researchers, extension personnel, and growers. To subscribe, contact
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