Pyrethrins are a botanical extract of the chrysanthemum flower that has insecticidal properties. Pyrethrins are photodegradable (break down in sunlight) and have low mammalian toxicity, which makes them lower risk to people and animals compared to synthetic pesticides such as organophosphates and organochlorine pesticides. They are rapidly replacing organophosphate and organochloride pesticides, which are more toxic to humans. For a longer lasting effect pyrethrin products are combined with various synergists, the most common of which is piperonyl butoxide (PBO). However, PBO is synthetic and does not degrade in the environment like pyrethrins do; it can enter the environment and synergize other pesticides, such as synthetic pyrethroids, causing adverse effects on beneficial insects. Some products, such as HydroWorxx Mite and Insect Killer, combine pyrethrins with canola oil for improved insecticidal activity without synthetic synergists. HydroWorxx Mite and Insect Killer is OMRI listed for organic gardening.
Pyrethrins are a fast-acting contact botanical insecticides that target nervous system of insects. They cause involuntary muscle contractions, prostration with tremors, and finally paralysis and insect death.
Pyrethrins use as pesticide has been known for thousands of years. The first record goes back to Alexander the Great era. The Chinese also used chrysanthemum flower powder as an insecticide three thousand years ago. The powder was used in the middle age Persia and in the 19th century by French soldiers to keep fleas and lice away. Pyrethrins were first registered as an insecticide in the 1950’s and are used to target many different types of flying and crawling insets. Approximately 200,000 pounds are sold every year, with about 90% being used on non-agricultural sites.
Canola oil is derived from Rapeseed plant (mustard family).It was bred in Canada to have low levels of the fatty acid erucic acid. The name of this active ingredient stands for “Canadian oil, low acid”.
Canola oil was registered by the EPA as an active ingredient for pesticides in 1998. It smothers insects, eggs and larvae, providing multigenerational control of unwanted pests. When canola oil is combined with pyrethrins, it acts as a ‘sticker’ to coat the insect with pyrethrins and prevent the insect from detoxifying them. The combination of canola oil and pyrethrins provides dual action, controlling all life stages of unwanted pests. HydroWorxx Mite and Insect Killer contains these two active ingredients. This product is OMRI listed for organic gardening and plants can be sprayed up to the day of harvest.
Canola oil is one of the most commonly consumed vegetable oils, in addition to being used in cosmetics and personal health care products.
Copper octanoate is a soap (fatty acid salt) that combines octanoic acid (caprylic fatty acid) and copper. It is a contact fungicide and bactericide that controls many diseases on a large variety of plants.
Copper is a cost-effective, broad spectrum, contact anti-fungal agent. Fungi and bacteria are very intolerant to copper but plants and animals can tolerate, and even require, a certain amount of this metal. Copper is a micronutrient and is consumed by plants from soil. Copper disrupts numerous fungal enzymes systems, and prevents the germination of fungal spores. Since fungi propagate by spores, preventing the germination of spores is the most effective way of preventing the spread of fungal diseases.
Copper soaps (such as copper octanoate) allow the copper to be spread and stick to the plant leaves. This allows copper soaps to control plant diseases using much less elemental copper than other copper fungicides, resulting in less burn and reducing runoff.
Insecticidal soap works as a contact killer. The most common soaps, including HydroWorxx Insecticidal Soap, are made of the potassium salts of specially selected fatty acids. These specific soaps provide effective insect control, while being the most gentle on plants.
Insecticidal soaps are efficacious on soft-bodied insects such as aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, scale insects, and whiteflies. Once the insecticidal soap sprays have dried, they no longer have insecticidal properties, so beneficial insects (such as lady beetles, bumblebees, and hoverflies) visiting the sprayed plants will be unaffected. Insecticidal soaps will also control powdery mildew.
Insecticidal soaps disrupt the structure and permeability of the insects' cell membranes, allowing the cell contents to leak from the damaged cells, resulting in insect death. Soaps can also block the trachea and cause insects’ suffocation.
There is no residual insecticidal activity once the spray application has dried. Because of their broad range of action, the development of insect resistance is unlikely. Soaps are broken down rapidly by soil microbes and are not persistent in the environment.