SucraShield a new insecticide for soft bodied insects

fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TXJuly 16, 2009

The primary insect problem in my greenhouse is spider mite. Secondary problems are aphids and grape leaf hopper. SucraShield is supposed to work on these and many other soft bodied insects. I'm going to try it first on some aphids on watermelon. It costs $120/gal which makes 125+ gallons of spray. It will be a lot more expensive than my current program but I'll be 100% organic...assuming it works.

It is very safe. Once the spray dries it breaks down to harmless by products. So no residual control but no handling, safety, or health concerns. It's a combination of sucrose and a fatty acid.

I'm really excited and hope to be fully organic henceforth in my greenhouse.

The Fruitnut

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alan haigh

I hope it works but I sure am tired of the "organic" word. The silliness of the virtue of using only "natural" compounds has been grating on me for some time. It was OK in 1969 when I started to seriously garden- of course back then the herb I was mostly focused on wasn't that attractive to very many insects or diseases anyway. Funny how LSD was the original inspiration of us hippies who started the organic garden movement. Can't get much more synthetic than that.

I would much prefer the word "non-toxic". I can't wait for the media to move on from its mindless celebration of the faddish organic food movement. Serious organic gardeners are more concerned about poisons- organic or synthetic, then about whether the substance is man-made. The organic label is a brand name, however, and will stick with us for a while but if you are willing to take man-made molecules when you're sick and to fuel your car and to insulate your home,etc. please don't talk to non-believers about the virtue of removing all manmade substances from your little garden.

Ignorance amongst the general public is what causes the government to pass unreasonable restrictions on compounds I need to efficiently grow fruit in the northeast- outdoors- at least at this point. Sutainability should be the goal of all growers of food, not some petty and arbitrary construct that is at its core anti-science.

No offence, Fruitnut, I would be experimenting with Nutrishield in your position, but I really think that serious growers need to get on the soap-box on this issue.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 5:39AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Hman, while I agree with you the problem is today is today and there is only one strong line drawn at this point, certified organic vs not. If you want a soap-box worth standing on, focus on making another standard. The EPA already has some category of very low risk synthetics, I don't remember the name, so there is already some progress there. Like the way vegetarians have the plus fish/ovo-lacto/vegan scale there is no reason not to have other certified points.


    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 8:17AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Hey, if I can spray something that's totally safe to handle, spray, and eat that's a plus to me. I've never been organic. Have used whatever worked and was cheap. This material sounds like it might be better than insecticidial soap. Was just passing that along.

The Fruitnut

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 9:01AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

The EPA categorizes environmentally friendly pesticides as "Reduced Risk".


I was at an orchard earlier this week and the guy was also growing some raspberries in a hoop house. He was using predatory mites as a means to try to control pest mites. The mites he purchased came in about a quart sized container with kitty litter as a medium. He simply sprinkled the kitty litter on his plants. It was too early to determine the outcome, so I don't know if it works. Generally I'm skeptical of organic options. Organic products come out with a lot of hoopla, but when put to the test, most of the time, they're found wanting. However, I know the farmer using these mites, and he's pretty sharp, and definitely not organic. So the predatory mites might be something worth checking into, if you haven't already.

On a different subject, I know it's not the point of the thread Fruitnut started, but I Agree w/ Hman assessment of the hysteria over synthetic pesticides. They are poisons, but so are so many other common substances. Our AMA Family Medical Guide lists some of the following items as household poisons:

Toilet cleaner
Dishwashing liquid
Laundry detergent
Scouring pads
Oven cleaner
Furniture polish
Grease remover
Drain cleaner
Paint thinner

Anyone who operates a chain saw, weed eater, or even lawn mower, exposes themselves to toxins and carcinogens through inhalation of the exhaust. With any poison, pesticides included, its the level of exposure that determines risk. As a point of reference, the extremely low acceptable residue levels allowed on fruit, are so low, anyone drinking a glass of wine is much much closer to ingesting a lethal amount of alcohol, than someone receiving a over-dose of pesticide residue from eating a bushel of conventionally grown fruit.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 11:27AM
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I've been using a product called Azactrol and have found it very effective against spider mites. It is made from the active ingredient found it Neem. Kills and acts as an anti-feedant. Neem oil has never worked well for me, but Azactrol does the trick. I'll be on the lookout for SucraShield.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 11:38AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Thanks for the tip about Azactrol. I'll look it up.

There are many new miticides that are very effective and approved for fruits. The trouble is that most are very hard to find for the home grower.

These new miticides are much safer than some of the older materials. They are also classified by mode of action. Growers are strongly advised to use the proper rotations to avoid resistance buildup. I'm really encouraged by the changes in pest control I'm seeing for commercial growers. It's just that the home grower is being left behind to some degree.

The Fruitnut

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 11:57AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

fruitnut, let us know how the SucraShield does for you. I see that it is available in smaller sizes, which might be more acceptable to the average home gardener.

It is worth noting that this product can be used by growers who sell their products as 'certified organic'.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 4:16PM
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alan haigh

Fruitnut, I apolagize for stepping on your thread- SucraShield sounds great- but because it's not toxic not because it's organic. But when poison is necessary, it can be a very welcome solution for which I have great gratitude for the researchers who discover them- organic or not.

The word organic just makes me a little crazy at this point. I was working in some big apple trees today that for the first time since I began managing them had scab and cedar apple rust damaging both foliage and fruit. The woman had turned away the spray truck that would have applied the solution because her son was just diagnosed as having ADD and she thought maybe it's the pesticides on her fruit trees that created the condition.

This kind of thing happens to me all the time- especially when someone comes down with some kind of cancer. They're not even the ones spraying the compounds and by the time they eat the fruit it's been months since the last spray. Usually the trees are a good hike from their homes but it is the pesticides they look at- not their diets or their cleaning supplies or the plastics that hold their foods etc etc.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 5:20PM
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myk1(5 IL)

You should've told her you spray carcinogens, the ones that can give kids brain damage can cause mite outbreaks so you don't use those.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 9:00PM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

I was looking into Sucrashield, and Google served up this old thread here at Gardenweb. Did you try it, fruitnut? Anyone else?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 11:09AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Yes I tried it. At the recommended application rate the aphids lathered up, took a bath, and said thanks a million. I ended up throwing the rest away. Probably should have tried a higher concentration but was afraid of fruit damage. The issue might have been the pH or bicarbonates in my water.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 1:29PM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

Glad that I asked. Thanks...

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 2:03PM
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Posted by fruitnut
Yes I tried it. At the recommended application rate the aphids lathered up, took a bath, and said thanks a million.

Sorry to hear that Fruitnut. Thanks for doing the testing though. I would probably have tried the stuff out if I'd seen it in the store.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 8:03PM
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Organic is a fine and well understood designation. There is no need to change what it means or water it down. We do need a better definition of the "conventional" approach. Right now conventional is just a nebulous catch all for using any thing that is legal and you don't have to fill out tons of pesky paperwork like organic growers.

Looking for organic controls is a good starting place, but even most organic compounds are indiscriminate killers -- that is they kill good and bad bugs equally.

I was overrun with spider mites last year before I even knew what hit me. It wasn't until I noticed a large number of stippled leaves on my eggplants and tomatoes. My harvests were way down on some plants because of this outbreak, and I've since become a bit of a student of spider mite control.

SM control begins with eliminating breeding grounds, which are bare, dry, dusty areas. Bare dirt is the enemy -- mulch or plant ground cover if needed. Get a long handled sprayer and blast the undersides of leaves (water spray works well for aphids too). SM hate the water spray. My last resort, because it's an indiscriminate killer, would be a product containing rosemary oil such as EcoSMART Garden Insect Killer. A 24oz bottle sells for $6 at Home Depot.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 9:41PM
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EDIT: Didn't realize this is a 4 year old thread.

This post was edited by Waiting on Wed, Mar 6, 13 at 1:04

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 12:50AM
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