Greenhouse growers face a number of challenges with controlling harmful pests. Insect resistance to existing pesticides. Worker safety. Efficacy and consistency of available biological options.
A solution to those problems is being offered by Vestaron Corporation and its new Spear® line of bioinsecticides for control of thrips and other troublesome pests like whiteflies and spider mites.
In 2017, Vestaron announced a partnership with OHP, Inc. – a leading marketer of crop protection solutions for the production ornamentals department. Under the agreement OHP markets Spear-O, a greenhouse bioinsecticide that controls thrips, whiteflies, and spider mites – pests that are regularly cited as toughest to control for greenhouse ornamental growers.
Spear-O is a bioinsecticide that provides effective control of pests without harming honeybees, fish, birds, humans and other mammals. With a dual mode of action, resistance to the bioinsecticide is unlikely to develop.
Spear-T is Vestaron’s bioinsecticide control solution for vegetables in greenhouses. Field trials for Spear-T demonstrate that results are equivalent or superior to conventional control chemicals.
Spear-T uses a highly selective peptide derived from spider venom that is designed to be non-toxic to humans, and other mammals, birds, fish, honeybees and other beneficial insects.
Two novel modes-of-action make Spear-T an excellent rotational partner in insect resistant management programs.
It can be difficult for growers to find products that are both non-toxic and aggressive against harmful pests. Often, these products are not as powerful as those with toxic components, or they are inefficient to use or apply.
Vestaron’s proprietary technology delivers dual modes-of-action that are equal in effectiveness when compared with synthetic insecticides, but non-toxic to mammals, birds, bees and beneficial insects including green lacewings, ladybird beetles and whitefly parasitic wasps.
Spear products target key pests including thrips, which stop eating after two hours of contact and die within 48 hours of exposure.
Easy to apply with commonly used application equipment, research shows that Spear is effective up to seven days after application.
Worker safety is certainly is a major factor when greenhouse growers consider pest control and timing of production and shipping movements.
Spear products only require a four-hour reentry interval and zero- day pre-harvest interval.
Vestaron technology leaves no toxic residues.
Spear-T is non-corrosive, and has only a Caution label allowing for low personal protective equipment requirements.
For years, the honeybee population has decreased rapidly and both scientists and consumers are expressing concern.
Vestaron’s Spear line received EPA approval to remove the bee toxicity warning statement from their previously approved label, confirming that Spear has no increased mortality or detrimental effects to honeybees.
Due to molecular-based advancements, venom-based products have come of age. The majority of chemical insecticides today are limited, meaning insects are continuously evolving resistance to insecticides faster than the industry can innovate new products.
From these efforts, Vestaron has developed a way to expand the availability of biopesticides for humans and the environment. The aggressive and natural components of spider venom make it the perfect ingredient to effectively target pests, while avoiding toxic chemicals.
Tens of thousands of insecticidal peptides exist in nature. Many are not toxic to mammals. Spiders alone produce an estimated 5 million to 20 million distinct peptide toxins, some of which target metabolic pathways of pests that current insecticides do not. This targeted approach is why Spear products are designed to be nontoxic to mammals, honeybees and beneficial insects, birds or fish — species that do not have the receptor where the insecticide enters the cell.
This proprietary technology isolates these peptides and solves the resistance problem by aggressively pinpointing and attacking new metabolic pathways.
Vestaron’s technology is paving the way for further innovation and safety in food production as well. The same active ingredient in Spear will soon be available for agricultural pest control solutions.
The company is committed to building a future for sustainable farming with naturally based and effective practices.
In 2015, Vestaron was honored with the inaugural Bernard Blum Award for Biocontrol Solutions. In 2017, Vestaron earned the title of “SmartZone Small Business of the Year” from the state of Michigan.
Visit our website: Vestaron.com
Or see us at Cultivate ’17 Booth 1510