Will Spinosad Kill Aphids?

Will Spinosad Kill Aphids

Whether you’re growing flowers or fruits in your garden space, it is highly likely that aphids may feed on their tender parts. Aphids are pear-shaped, tiny insects that have soft bodies. Yes, you can go ahead and use spinosad to kill aphids. Read ahead as we discuss the spinosad aphids pair in detail.

Aphids come in a range of colors, including green, orange, and black. If these insects are not managed well at the beginning, they can transmit plant viruses and cause some serious damage to your garden.

Spinosad is a natural substance that can prove toxic to these aphids but may also be damaging to other beneficial insects like bees.

Read ahead to find out how you can use spinosad to kill aphids and simultaneously protect the garden’s ecosystem.

What is Spinosad?

Before you consider whether you can use spinosad to kill aphids, you may first want to know what spinosad is. Spinosad is a natural substance that is used to control many pests that infest plants.

You can use the substance to kill thrips, spider mites, ants, fruit flies, and aphids, among others. This natural substance is also used in organic agriculture while growing both crops and ornamental plants.

You may have to wait a day or two for spinosad to affect the aphids on your plants. Insects that eat or touch spinosad find that their muscles begin to flex uncontrollably. It is largely because spinosad attacks their nervous system. Hence, they are first paralyzed and later die.

Do note that spinosad is a natural substance that is made using soil bacterium. It is made using the fermentation juices of a specific soil bacterium called the Saccharopolyspora spinose.

Being a mixture of spinosyn A and spinosyn D, it is a substance that is registered under the US Environmental Protection Agency or EPA. The substance is also found in several organic commercial pesticides, as it is a rather effective method to kill pests.

What are Aphids?

To understand the spinosad aphids pair better, it is also important to understand more about aphids and how they can harm your plants. Read ahead to find out.

For the most part, you will find aphids residing on plants’ tender parts from where they can suck juices. These include leaves and the softer stems. At times, they may also be found in the woody areas on apple trees and lettuce roots.

One of their most common hiding spaces is just beneath the curved leaves on a plant. Unless you pay attention, they may go undetected in these spaces. When their population increases, you will be able to spot them quite easily.

They grow in thick clusters and leave a sticky honeydew that can be quite unpleasant to the eye. On mature plants, they can stun the growth of the leaves or turn them yellow. If you have sensitive seedlings in your garden, it is best to pay attention to them.

If aphids find a home on these, they will weaken them. Further, their honeydew excretion attracts mold and ants that can be further harmful to the plants. This prevents the process of photosynthesis from occurring well.

They may also inject toxins into your plants and promote and transmit plant viruses.

You will find many species of aphids on your plants during late spring when the temperatures are warm but not hot. Watch out for aphids during this time and consider the spinosad aphids combination to keep your plants safe and healthy.

Will Spinosad Kill Aphids?

Yes, you can use spinosad to kill and manage the aphids that are present in your garden. This substance can kill spiders, mites, and any other insect that finds its way into your garden spaces where spinosad is present.

Whether it is a small home garden or a larger one, you can go ahead and use spinosad as a one-stop solution for all your pest woes. However, you should be careful about how you use the substance. You don’t want it to be carried away by the wind to areas where bees are growing and may have made a home. 

How to Apply Spinosad?

As soon as you notice any aphid infestation in your garden or on a particular plant, it is time to take action. You will find spinosad in various forms, including sprays, dust, and concentrates.

While working with spinosad, it is best to protect yourself first. Use protective gear like gloves and a face mask before you begin applying. Excessive exposure to spinosad can be harmful even to humans.

Keep it away from your eyes as you may face irritation and inflammation. If you inhale it, there is a chance that you will experience shortness of breath and nausea. With the right protective gear used with most pesticides, you should be able to complete the whole process seamlessly.

Here is how you can apply spinosad effectively to kill aphids.

  1. Pick a day that is not too windy to apply the spinosad on your plants. This will keep the air from carrying it away.
  2. Aphids tend to reside in the nooks, crannies, and undersides of leaves. As soon as you notice them, spray spinosad on these areas.
  3. If leaves of the plant are thick, spray on both sides of the leaf surface. The leaves will absorb the spinosad, which will stay put for about 10 days.

Once you apply the substance, it takes 1 to 2 days for the aphids to die from spinosad. Hence, it is best to wait for results. The substance also tends to break down within 2 days in bright sunlight.

Hence, make only small batches of the spray at a time. Further, it is best not to apply spinosad on any crops you are planning to harvest within the next week. In this case, spinosad will be exposed to the sun and break down. It may also enter your food in harmful ways.

Make sure to clean well once you are done using the spinosad on the plants.

Spinosad and Bees

The spinosad aphid combination may have worked exceedingly well to get just the pest control you needed. You may now have decided to make it a regular part of your gardening routine as late spring approaches.

Are you worried about harming the ecosystem of the bees while protecting your plants? Yes, there is a way in which you can use spinosad while not letting it get carried away and prove harmful to bees.

You will first have to apply spinosad to your plant during the evening. At this point, bees are not active, and it gives the spinosad enough time to dry on the leaves. As the substance dries on the leaves, the chances of it affecting bees greatly come down. 

Once you spray the plant with spinosad, it is a good idea to use a row or sheet cover to drape over the plant that has been treated. You can leave the cover on for about 24 hours. With this, the drying process will be complete, and it will prevent the wind from carrying it to the bees.

Spinosad and Spider Mites

Now you know that the spinosad aphids combination can get rid of these pests from your garden. By consistently using the substance, you will keep all your plants healthy and free from any viruses transmitted by aphids.

One of the best parts about using spinosad is that its pesticide qualities are limited to aphids and a range of other insects. This list includes spider mites. Here is what you should know about the spinosad spider mites combination.

What are Spider Mites?

Spider mites may be found around many plants in your garden. These include the common two-spot spider mite. When they infest your plants, they lay translucent eggs on the plant body, mostly the undersides.

How to Use Spinosad on Spider Mites?

To begin with, you will have to manually remove any eggs and spider mites off the surface of your plants. This will increase the efficacy of the spinosad that you later apply.

Once you remove any visible signs of infestation, you can go ahead and apply spinosad spray or any other form to the plant areas. Apply on both sides of thick leaves and on any white specs you see. You may have to wait 2 to 3 days for the spider mites to die.

Spinosad is an organic product and won’t harm the plants, children, or pets as you use it. You can go ahead and spray it heavily on your plants. Your plants will not be harmed. There is another way in which you can use spinosad for spider mites.

Other than applying it on the leaves and stems for immediate action, you can also target the spider mites using the plants’ watering system. Here, you can add spinosad to the water that you give your plants.

When the substance reaches the root, it can systematically kill the spider mites. By using the two methods together, you will be able to keep spider mites out of your garden much more effectively.

Hence, you can give the best chance to the spinosad spider mite combination to rid your garden of pests. If you are an outdoor or organic grower of vegetables, spinosad can be one of the best options for spider mites.

Spinosad vs BT

Gardeners who look forward to making their gardens a pest-free zone are always looking for the best pesticides and insecticides. If you are one of them, you may be wondering whether you should use spinosad, bt, or a combination of the two.

Here are the answers to the spinosad vs bt debate.

What is BT?

You now know what spinosad is and what it can do. Before we compare the two, it is best to understand what bt can do for your garden.

Bt or Bacillus thuringiensis, as it is called, is a species of bacteria that lives in soil. Bt serves as an insecticide due to the toxic proteins that it makes. While this substance harms some insects, others may not be. 

Humans cannot activate the proteins that are given by bt. Hence, they do not prove harmful to us. However, it can be toxic to the larvae of insects.

Bt and Aphids

Because bt targets specific insect groups, it is important to know which one works best on aphids. However, you will be surprised to know that bt is not effective on aphids. They will not kill aphids even if they suck the bt sprayed leaves immediately.

Bt and Spider Mites

Spider mites are also a pet that sucks on the leaves and stems of plants. Hence, like aphids, bt is not known to work on these insects.

Should I Opt for Spinosad or BT for My garden?

You now know what bt and spinosad can each do for your garden. The spinosad vs bt debate depends largely on which pests you want to control in your garden and how you plan to eliminate them.

Spinosad tends to work on a large group of pests and tends to kill them effectively. If you have a flowering garden, the main pests that you are worried about may be thrips and caterpillars. Spinosad works effectively on both.

It is also safe for adult butterflies and won’t harm them. By taking the necessary precautions, you will be able to prevent them from harming honey bees as well. Bt, on the other hand, is an excellent option for caterpillars.

If you are worried only about caterpillars, bt is a mild option that will do no harm to humans even if ingested. However, bt will not last long on your plants. It requires a constant and consistent application.  

Bt can perform well for about 1 or 2 days at a stretch before requiring reapplication. On the other hand, spinosad will stay put on the plants for even 4 weeks if the environment favors it. Hence, it is much more effective for pest control in the long run.

The Gardener’s Solution to Spinosad vs Bt

A combination of the two can be the perfect solution to your gardening routine. On plants that you are going to consume directly, you can go ahead and apply bt. These include cabbage, kale, and broccoli.

At the same time, there are other plants that will yield fruits, but you may not go ahead and consume the leaves themselves. These include citrus trees, apple trees, and the like. For this, you can use spinosad.

Another option is to water the roots of the plants with spinosad solutions but use bt on the surfaces of plants that attract caterpillars. Regular maintenance and checking can prevent extreme populations of aphids, spider mites, and caterpillars. This can reduce your reliance on pesticides and insecticides significantly.

Are There Any Alternatives to Spinosad?

Spinosad is a rather versatile substance that can be used on several insects and pests in your garden. Hence, it is difficult to find a single product that can pack all of the spinosad’s benefits. It can target aphids, spider mites, and caterpillars, among many other flies and insects.

A combination of several pesticides can create an effect similar to this substance. For instance, neem and bt are seen to produce similar effects as spinosad when combined. However, their staying power is much lower than that of spinosad alone.

Alternative Controls for Aphids

There are a couple of low-impact ways to alternatively control aphids as well. You can use plain water to do the job. This is especially useful in the first stages of the infestation. Use a jet of water to force out any aphids from the plants that they have infested.

You can also go ahead and dispose of any plants that have been highly infested. This will prevent the insects from venturing out and spreading to other plants. If the infestation is not too bad and close to summer, the good idea is to wait simply.

Aphids won’t be able to handle these temperatures, and their activity will be reduced significantly.


Spinosad is a natural and organic substance that can kill a range of pests that infest your garden. By using this multi-purpose substance, you will be able to keep your garden in great shape. If you are using it to target aphids or spider mites, it is best to use the substance consistently.

With this, the spinosad aphids combination can work wonders for your garden. It is important to be careful when you apply spinosad on the plants. Wear protective gear and clean your hands properly once you are done applying it to your plants. 

We have highlighted some simple and effective precautions using which you can protect the bees in the ecosystem while you use spinosad. With this in place, you’re well on your way to being a happy gardener with a thriving garden.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some popularly asked questions about spinosad answered for you.

1. Is Spinosad Safe for Humans?

If you come in direct contact with spinosad, it can cause redness and irritation. However, its concentration in pesticides is too low for it to prove toxic to humans.

2. How Often Can I Use Spinosad?

You can apply spinosad on the plants up to a day before you harvest. However, it is best to apply it 7 days before harvest. Spray it on the plants every 7 to 10 days as it will not remain effective after this interval.

3. Is Spinosad the Same as BT?

While bt largely works on caterpillars, Spinosad works on a range of insects. However, both tend to break down in harsh sunlight. Hence, it is best to apply them late in the evening. Further, Spinosad lasts much longer than Bt does.

4. Is Spinosad Banned?

Spinosad use is approved in food production under the Pest Control Products Act. However, they cannot be used with cannabis plants and have no authorization for the same. This is largely because there are accompanying health risks when spinosad is ingested.

5. How Quickly Does Spinosad Work?

After you just apply spinosad, it can kill insects like fleas in as little as 30 minutes. However, its efficacy reduces with time. For many insects, it may take 1 to 2 days to affect and eliminate them fully.

6. Does Spinosad Wash Off in the Rain?

Spinosad is a spinosyn-type substance that is absorbed by the leaves on a plant. Hence, while the residue on the surface of the leaves may wash off in the rain, the absorbed spinosad stays put. Hence, it will stay effective even after being exposed to rain.

7. How Do You Use a Spinosad?

For plants, you can topically apply or spray spinosad on its surface. You can also go ahead and water the roots of the plant with the solution to prevent any pests from reaching the plants. When applied to hair, you can use spinosad to get rid of lies on the head.

8. Does Spinosad Kill Bed Bugs?

Yes, Spinosad can be used to kill bed bugs. It can be applied topically so that you can eliminate bed bugs from your home. It can also kill fleas and reside in the coats of dogs and cats.

9. Does Spinosad Kill Mosquitoes?

Yes, spinosad does kill mosquitoes. In the past, it has been recommended by the World Health Organization’s Pesticide Evaluation Scheme (WHOPES) as a larvicide for mosquitoes.

10. Can I Spray Spinosad on Buds?

If you see Aphids or thrips on your plant, you can go ahead and spray spinosad on the buds. You can repeat the process every week to keep these insects at bay. For 2 to 3 plants and their buds, you can use a quart spray bottle.

11. Is Spinosad Toxic to Bees

Yes, spinosad is very toxic to bees. You will have to take care to cover the treated plant for about 3 to 2 hours until the substance dries. This will prevent it from harming bees.

12. Is Spinosad a Biopesticide?

Yes, spinosad is a biopesticide. It was registered in 1977 in the USA. It is used widely for food crops and for controlling pests that may infest stored tobacco.

13. Is Spinosad a Contact Insecticide?

Yes, spinosad is both a contact insecticide and one that kills when an insect ingests it. It works as the stomach gets affected with poison. However, it exhibits low toxicity levels in mammals, including humans.

14. What Does Neem Oil Kill?

You can apply it with neem oil to kill soft-bodied insects like aphids, whiteflies, thrips, and mites. It is a versatile substance that can kill these insects on contact.

15. Are Pyrethrins Dangerous to Humans?

If pyrethrins come in contact with your skin, they can prove irritating. Besides this, they are known to be low in toxicity to mammals and people.

16. Is Avid Dangerous?

Yes, avid can be dangerous to work with and come in contact with. It is harmful to animals and fish. It has also been observed to adversely affect the health of those patients who consume medical marijuana.

17. Is Bifenthrin Toxic to Humans?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the US suggests that bifenthrin might be a carcinogenic substance for humans. While this study was conducted on mice, other studies claim that rats do not get cancer when they consume the substance. Under these circumstances, alternatives might be the best option.

18. Does Sulphur Kill Aphids?

Yes, Sulphur can kill aphids. It is used as Lime Sulphur or even a spray made of garlic that kills aphids, fungi, and bacteria.

19. Is Spinosad Safe for Cats?

Yes, spinosad is safe for cats. The spinosad oral tablets are a safe option for treating and preventing fleas in cats.

20. Is Malathion Banned?

Malathion is still approved in low doses by authorities in the USA. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) has suggested that it may be carcinogenic and may cause children’s developmental disorders.

21. Is Spinosad Legal in Canada?

Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMCA) is re-evaluating spinosad at present. The substance will have to undergo testing for toxicology, occupational exposure, and dietary exposure before it is approved.

22. How Do I Permanently Get Rid of Bed Bugs?

As soon as you notice bed bugs, go ahead and wash all your linens and deep clean all your mattresses. Fill any cracks in the wall. Following this, steam clean all your fabrics regularly until you see no signs of them.

23. Does Rain Wash Away Fungicide?

An inch of rain can remove about 50% of the fungicide that you have sprayed. Two inches of rain can get rid of most of it. However, once they are dried and absorbed into the plant, they are difficult to wash away. After heavy rainfall, it is a good idea to reapply fungicide.

24. What is the Best Thing to Kill Bed Bugs?

There are several products on the market that will let you kill bed bugs. You can also use DIY solutions like rubbing alcohol and vinegar to kill bed bugs. You can apply either on the side of the objects that you want to rid of bed bugs.

25. What is the Strongest Bed Bug Killer?

There are many effective bed bug killers on the market. Of these, the strongest include Harris Toughest Bed Bug Killer, PermoGuard Bed Bug Lice Killer, Crossfire, CimeXa, and Delta Dust, among other brands. The EcoRaider Bed Bug Killer Spray is a natural and non-toxic option.