The Potent Pesticidal Power of Ethyl Spinosad

Mar 21


David Yvon

David Yvon

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Ethyl spinosad, a derivative of spinosad, has emerged as a highly effective insecticide with a broad spectrum of activity, particularly excelling in the protection of fruit trees. This advanced pesticide showcases remarkable efficacy against a variety of pests, including the diamondback moth, beet armyworm, codling moth, pear fruit moth, leaf roller, pod borer, thrips, leaf miners, and other problematic insects. With its unique mode of action targeting the nervous system of insects, ethyl spinosad stands out for its low toxicity to humans, mammals, and beneficial organisms, while posing minimal environmental risks.

A New Era in Insect Control

Ethyl spinosad has revolutionized the approach to pest management,The Potent Pesticidal Power of Ethyl Spinosad Articles especially in high-value crops such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grapes. Its introduction has provided growers with a new tool to combat resistant pests like the codling moth, which previously showed immunity to spinosad. Unlike its predecessor, ethyl spinosad is particularly effective against pests that plague fruit and nut crops, offering a much-needed alternative to organophosphate and neonicotinoid insecticides.

The Science Behind Ethyl Spinosad

  • Mode of Action: Ethyl spinosad acts on the nervous system of insects, causing paralysis and death.
  • Resistance Management: It does not exhibit cross-resistance with conventional insecticides.
  • Safety Profile: Exhibits low toxicity to non-target species including ladybugs, lacewings, birds, fish, earthworms, and aquatic plants.
  • Environmental Impact: Does not pollute groundwater or surface water and leaves no residue in soils and natural waters.

Market Impact and Environmental Benefits

Ethyl spinosad is not just a supplement to spinosad; it's a game-changer with expected annual sales surpassing $100 million. Its low application rates and short environmental residence time make it an environmentally friendly option. Studies have shown that ethyl spinosad is benign to most beneficial insects associated with major target crops and is effective at lower doses compared to existing insecticides.

Ethyl Spinosad's Global Reach

  • First Registration: In August 2007, ethyl spinosad was first registered in New Zealand for pome fruit under the trade name DelegateWG (25% ethyl spinosad).
  • U.S. Approval: In October 2007, the United States approved the registration of Delegate WG and Radiant SC (120g/L ethyl spinosad).
  • Brand Presence: Besides Delegate and Radiant, brands like Exalt and Ensure have also entered the market.
  • Crop Applications: Delegate is registered for use on pome fruit, stone fruit, citrus, nuts, berries, and grapes, while Radiant is primarily used for vegetables and field crops.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, spinosad products were first registered for use on cotton in the United States in 1997 under the trade name Tracer. By 2007, spinosad had been registered for use on over 200 crop varieties in 76 countries, with annual sales of approximately $200 million. Ethyl spinosad, derived from the fermentation broth of soil actinomycetes, builds upon this legacy, offering a new dimension in pest control.


Ethyl spinosad represents a significant advancement in agricultural pest management, providing a safer and more effective solution for protecting a wide range of crops. Its unique properties and environmental benefits make it a popular choice among growers, particularly those in the fruit industry seeking alternatives to traditional insecticides. As the market for ethyl spinosad grows, its impact on sustainable agriculture continues to unfold.

For more detailed information on the development and use of spinosad and its derivatives, the National Pesticide Information Center offers a wealth of resources.