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Pyrethrum - The often overlooked insecticidal option

Natural pyrethrum is so ‘old fashioned’ few people think about it any more. Yet it is so versatile…and registered for use on every crop!
Any label approved by the APVMA will do what it claims if you follow the label requirements. Natural pyrethrum concentrates claims are For use on fruit and vegetable crops, cut flowers and ornamental plants for the control of aphids, ants, cabbage moth and other caterpillars, earwigs, leafhoppers, thrips and whiteflies.  That wording essentially means there is not a crop you can’t use it on and the variety of insects covers most situations. That’s versatile!
There are no resistance problems with natural pyrethrum and it kills any insect you contact within a few minutes. Yes, it also kills all beneficials contacted but because there is no residue beyond a few hours of UV light, new beneficials can safely come back once there are some pests on which to feed.
Big commercial growers are using it; and they do their sums. At about 20 times the concentration of home gardener products, the dilution rate is 1 ml to a litre of water, in other words, 1 litre makes 1000 litres of spray.  Growers of  fruit, mangoes, avocadoes and Asian fruits in the north to citrus, olive, stone and pome fruit growers in the south are adding natural pyrethrum into their pesticide management program. So are  growers of berries and cherries, tomatoes, salad greens (and reds), crucifers, cucurbits, cut flowers in fact any crop with pests out on the surface. It won’t work on pests that burrow into the plant tissue such as fruit flies. citrus and other gall formers, leaf miners and scale insects hidden under their waxy covering. The withholding period is just 1 day.
The spray solution will wet cabbages so you won’t need to add a wetting agent. It is compatible with fungicides and foliar fertilizers so you can do two or three jobs at the same time.
Because natural pyrethrum is so low in mammalian toxicity, many production facilities with employees like the idea of using the softest chemical possible to reduce the risk of claims — providing it will still do the job. Re-entry is a matter of waiting until the droplets have settled. No protective clothing is specified.
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