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Gardener spraying insecticide on vegetable plants

*This is an excerpt from The Alabama Vegetable Gardener, ANR-0479.


Partial List Of Organic Insecticides For The Vegetable Garden

Active IngredientSome Trade NamesInsects ControlledHints for Use
Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t.)Variety kurstaki:Dipel, Thuricide, M-Peril, Biobit, Bactospeine, Caterpillar AttackMany caterpillar species including armyworms, loopers, cabbagewormsInsects must eat material, so good spray coverage is essential. More effective against small than large larvae. Do not apply during cool weather.
Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t.)Variety tenebrionis or san diego: M-One, M-Trak, Novodor, Foil, TridentControls only Colorado potato beetle larvaeSee above.

Insecticidal soaps

Safer Insecticidal Soap, M-Pede, Safer Insect KillerSoft-bodied insects such as aphids, whiteflies, mealybugs, mitesFrequent sprays may be necessary. Direct spray to insects on leaf undersides. High concentrations may burn plants (test a few before spraying the entire garden).


Butacide and Pyrenone Crop Spray are mixed with a synergist (PBO) to increase activity.A wide range of insects including caterpillars, beetles, and true bugsActs on contact causing “quick knockdown.” Formulations with piperonyl butoxide and rotenone improve control. Do not mix with insecticidal soaps.
SpinosadBonide Spinosad Spray Monterey Garden Insect SprayCaterpillars, thrips, leaf miners, Colorado potato beetle, and othersGood spray coverage essential. Must be eaten by insect. Avoid spraying when bees are active. Highly toxic to bees.


For more information, see other excerpts from The Alabama Vegetable Gardener, ANR-0479.


Kerry Smith, Extension Home Horticulture Associate; Ayanava Majumdar, Extension Entomologist; Charles Mitchell, Extension Agronomist, Professor, Agronomy and Soils; John Everest, Visiting Professor, Agronomy and Soils; Edward Sikora, Extension Plant Pathologist, Professor, Entomology and Plant Pathology; Joseph Kemble, Extension Specialist, Professor, Horticulture; all with Auburn University; and Rufina Ward, Research Entomologist, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, Alabama A&M University.

Reviewed October 2021, The Alabama Vegetable Gardener, ANR-0479

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