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I've been watching the new pesticides coming out. Very interesting. This particular one; PFR - 97 for aphids, mites, white fly? Have any of you used this stuff? I want to use it primarily for spider mite, nice it also works for aphids and whitefly, spider mites are tough to control once you've had problems with them.

This is a new method. It is a fungicide that kills and controls aphids, mites, whitefly and I think a few other problems. It is a Bio Pesticide (not to be confused with safe).

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    Hi stormy! It's great to see a question from you for a change! – Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL Mar 18 '18 at 23:52
  • This is fascinating stuff. Just want to get the rest of us sharing their perspective on these new 'chemicals'...there are at least, let me count, 7 or 8 different TYPES of insect, mite, fungal, herbicidal controls...or pesticides. Very interesting. I am very hesitant to use anything created by our oh so brilliant chemical companies, but nice to be able to see what those companies are thinking will make money. – stormy Mar 19 '18 at 1:17
  • Seems to validate those who have been using compost teas and actively aerated compost teas, as well as natural farming. And might be cheaper. – Graham Chiu Mar 19 '18 at 4:35
  • Why graham? This is about pesticide not fertilizer. Supposedly this would be labeled 'natural' a fungus that controls soft bodied insects like aphids, mites, whitefly. i want to hear from others what they'd found from research and or experience. – stormy Mar 19 '18 at 23:39
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    Graham, there is no such thing as natural farming. none. All farming, gardens and potted plants are artificial. Inherent in the definition. Any thing we touch will be artificial. There is no way us humans can do better than established natural rules for ecological systems by ',nature'. We need to be paying attention. natural farming is only done by knowing correct information versus incorrect information. I know I am the most moral and 'organic' gardener ever. Compost teas sound nice but where are the studies? If you use compost teas you have to know what you have added to correctly fert – stormy Mar 20 '18 at 0:07
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Stormy, to partially answer your question, PFR is a fungus that acts as an insecticide/miticide and is not a fungicide. This fungus kills target insects/mites by growing inside them. It then produces fruiting bodies from within the dead insects/mites to spread farther into the environment. In that respect, it bears a modus operandi similar to that of certain parasitic wasps (larvae eat from within, pupate within the insect, and then emerge to spread out into the environment).

There are no chemicals involved with this product. Here is the manufacturer's page: http://www.certisusa.com/pest_management_products/bioinsecticide/pfr-97_microbial_insecticide.htm.

One of the tabs on the above link claims that the fungus has no effect on beneficials, although beekeepers are instructed to close the hive prior to application. There are no details on effects, however - just that it's Non-toxic. "Non-toxic" in this case means mortality of under 25%, so take it with a grain of salt.

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  • Is it like cordycep militaris spores? – black thumb Feb 28 '19 at 23:38
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    It's a different genus (scientific name: Paecilomyces fumosoroseus), but with a similar growth cycle to cordycep, yes. – Jurp Mar 1 '19 at 11:54
  • Very nice answer, Jurp. I just gotta butt in and say, "mortality under 25%" is a big humongous deal! You are saying that Bt produces a toxin that makes target insects (generally) feel so full they stop eating. This is correct. The part about 'growing' in the insect to produce MORE Bt must be wrong? We are talking about Bt versus the bacteria that produces this 'toxic product to certain species). Bt toxin is what we spray when we spray Bt. Not the bacteria, right? or no? – stormy Mar 2 '19 at 1:40
  • Stormy, thanks for pointing out my lazy/incorrect wording about Bt. Since I strive for accuracy, I'm glad you pointed this out - I've edited it out of the answer. A better comparison would have been to have used Cordiceps, as black thumb pointed out, but i'd forgotten about that interesting fungus. That the company considers the fungus to be "non-toxic" at <25% mortality of non-targeted insects is, to me, a yellow/red flag, especially coupled with its directive to close beehives before applying. I would probably use it in a closed greenhouse, with proper PPE, but not in the outdoors. – Jurp Mar 2 '19 at 16:09

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