hardland
Senior Member
Posts: 248
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:05 pm
Location: Sth Florida

Spinosad for Caterpillars on my cucumbers, Safe ???

Hi all, have some cucumber plants that have been attacked by caterpilars, black droppings in the AM and eaten leaves etc. A store recomended a product with Spinosad, 0.5%. Is this safe ? I was told to use BT, but could not find it locally? Any input would be great.
Hey there Mister,
Can you tell me what happened to the seeds iv'e sown,
can you give me a reason sir, as to why they've never grown,

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Spinosad is a bacterial exudate. It is completely safe for human beings, does not affect us. However, it can be harmful to honeybees, if they contact the spray when wet. To avoid this, use the spray at dusk, after the honeybees have gone home for the day. Once it is dried, it is no longer harmful to them, but still effective for the target populations.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

garden5
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3062
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:40 pm
Location: ohio

[url=https://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/pp/resourceguide/mfs/13spinosad.php]This[/url] article is a pretty good overview of the product. According to the article, it's also not toxic to earthworms or soil microbes, either. However, it does say that it is moderately toxic to aquatic live, but that should pose no problems as long as you don't apply it next to a lake or stream. Once it dries, its pretty much harmless.
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

User avatar
Ozark Lady
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1862
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:28 pm
Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet

The more that I learn... the more that I learn!
Yesterday, I was looking for Pawpaw recipes, boy did I get an eye opener:

https://www.ars.usda.gov/research/publications/publications.htm?seq_no_115=148245

Even the seeds of pawpaws are ground and used to prevent headlice in North American Indian tribes!

I know that I will be adding these to my arsenal. And it does say it is environmentally friendly to wildlife and persons.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Wow! What an amazing discovery!

When it says harmless to people and wildlife, I expect that wildlife means larger creatures, including aquatic life and forest life.

It does say " The acetogenins are unusual among many natural insecticides in that they have broad pesticidal activity, induce rapid mortality, and have a complex mode of action that helps to thwart insecticidal resistance."

Since this stuff compares in potency to malathion (!) I would worry a bit if you were spraying an extract of it around re the honeybees. Since they are endangered, I try to be really careful about the bees (and other beneficial insects). Broad pesticidal activity means it might be harmful to a number of insects.

But very interesting! Nice to know since I do have paw paw trees.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
Ozark Lady
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1862
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:28 pm
Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet

I was concerned about that too.
I mean sounds pretty potent, just because it is natural doesn't mean it is always safe.

They make up capsules of the twigs, for antitumor in humans, and they tried to overdose with them... the safety factor kicks in... if you overdose, you simply vomit.. no toxicity for humans.

But I can't find anything to see if they are also toxic to like lizards and toads, birds etc.

Now in one article it was an antifeedant. I take that to mean, that it simply made the plant unappealing to the insects.

So, perhaps fresh it will kill insects (like soap does) but when it dries it just makes them not eat the plant... definitely need more info.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

garden5
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3062
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:40 pm
Location: ohio

Ozark Lady wrote:The more that I learn... the more that I learn!
Yesterday, I was looking for Pawpaw recipes, boy did I get an eye opener:

https://www.ars.usda.gov/research/publications/publications.htm?seq_no_115=148245

Even the seeds of pawpaws are ground and used to prevent headlice in North American Indian tribes!

I know that I will be adding these to my arsenal. And it does say it is environmentally friendly to wildlife and persons.
You learn something new everyday, here. Does the fruit of the pawpaw taste good? I heard once that it did.
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

User avatar
Ozark Lady
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1862
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:28 pm
Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet

Does it taste good?

I have about 70 on my counter, and I am always digging through them to see if there is a ripe one!

I was going to make jelly, but if more than one a day doesn't ripen, there won't be any left for jelly! ha ha

My husband couldn't even finish picking them, before... crunch, or squish.. whatever... he started eating them!

The smell is so very inviting, you just cant resist!
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

garden5
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3062
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:40 pm
Location: ohio

Ozark Lady wrote:Does it taste good?

I have about 70 on my counter, and I am always digging through them to see if there is a ripe one!

I was going to make jelly, but if more than one a day doesn't ripen, there won't be any left for jelly! ha ha

My husband couldn't even finish picking them, before... crunch, or squish.. whatever... he started eating them!

The smell is so very inviting, you just cant resist!
I just checked it out on Wikipedia, it says they have a soft, banana-like texture, with a flavor of a cross between banana and mango! I see that there is an Ohio Pawpaw festival, which makes me think that I could grow them here in zone 5.

Tell me, do you eat the skins, or just the meat? How long does it take the tree to bear? You said that you have about 70 ripe ones, so they must yield well.

Lastly.....do they really have a banana flavor?
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

User avatar
Ozark Lady
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1862
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:28 pm
Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet

I make banana bread out of them, and no one ever knows if it is pawpaw or banana!

But eating them fresh, they sort of taste like a banana flavored mango.
They smell more like banana and taste more mango.

But different trees do taste a bit different. These 70 are all off of one tree.
There is a larger tree, with less sunlight and it has 1 pawpaw on it.

The ones down in the valley I haven't checked out. Last time we ate those, they tasted more banana and less mango.

Actually pawpaw are not known to be very productive, the flowers are not honeybee pollinated.

Check out the connection between Pawpaw and insecticides, and as antitumor! Not to mention nutrition.
[img]https://i728.photobucket.com/albums/ww281/Ozark_Lady/100_2618_phixr.jpg[/img]
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

garden5
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3062
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:40 pm
Location: ohio

Originally, I was thinking of getting some super dwarf cultivars of banana trees, however, they take several years to mature, and yield only once in their lifetime, so the pawpaw is looking like a superior alternative.

Yeah, I know bananas are cheap, but it's the thought of having them readily available and knowing they're organic.

You say that the trees are not known for being productive, but that tree in your pic looks to be loaded with pawpaws :wink:.

Your point about the large tree having only one pawpaw makes me wonder if the productivity declines as they mature, or if they are just really sunlight-dependent, since you said that the plant doesn't get a ton of sun.
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

We got pretty far off the topic of spinosad :), but re the pawpaws: they are understory trees. The young trees will die if planted in full sun. Once they are taller and well established they can handle full sun better and will be more productive with more sun. So kind of tricky, you want them to be somewhere where they are protected when young but can eventually grow up into the sunshine....
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
Ozark Lady
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1862
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:28 pm
Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet

BT is Bacillus Thurgensis?

I buy it under the brand name of Thuricide.

It is highly effective against worms of all kinds.

Pawpaw fruit are not pollinated by bees. I am told that the flowers stink and attract carion flies etc. So pollination is kind of hit and miss.

If you hand pollinate them, you would get better fruit set!
I have read that hanging rotten meat in the tree to attract flies will also help.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

garden5
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3062
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:40 pm
Location: ohio

I agree with RG. I'll have to make this my last pawpaw post......until I start my own thread :lol:.

Re the meat: I wouldn't be surprised to find a raccoon up there the next morning. Really if the flowers attract carrion flies......I'd hate to see what the rotten meat would do :p.
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”