Version 2Date January 2020Reference 34

Recent outbreaks of aphids in WA Canola has seen an increase in enquiry for alternatives to traditional insecticides which can be harsh on beneficials and rapidly develop resistance.

BIOPEST® has been proven with independently generated replicated field work over the last two years to provide cost effective control of both cabbage & turnip and green peach aphid, without harming beneficial populations.

Here are some tips to maximise the efficacy of BIOPEST® on aphids in canola;

  • BIOPEST® kills existing aphids by physical smothering, so good coverage is essential. Keep water volumes as high as possible (80-100L/Ha), with a medium spray quality and BIOPEST® rate at a minimum of 2L/Ha.
  • Coating leaf surfaces with BIOPEST® will also prevent populations building by acting as a deterrent to juvenile production, so apply early to developing populations to provide greater control.
  • On the flowering parts of larger plants, efficacy on aphids is excellent due to their physical exposure. However, as BIOPEST® has no translaminar or systemic activity, aphids on the underside of leaves on smaller plants can be more difficult to control (see Figure 1), particularly as new unprotected leaves emerge.
  • To protect new growth on smaller pre-flowering plants, aphid populations should be monitored and consideration given to follow up applications within 10 days.
  • BIOPEST® is extremely soft on beneficials (see Table 1, page 2), particularly mobile insects such as lacewings and predatory wasps. Monitoring and maintenance of these beneficial populations is an important part of any management strategy.
  • If beneficial insects aren’t a concern and infestation is severe, consider tank mixing with a standard insecticide to provide additional activity and reduce reliance on one mode of action.
  • BIOPEST® doesn’t require warm conditions for activation and is generally rainfast within a four hour period or when the leaf surface is dry. Unlike other insecticides BIOPEST® will not cause dead aphids to drop from the plant, providing a useful food source for beneficials.
  • For single pass disease and insect control, BIOPEST® can be tank mixed with sclerotinia fungicides or liquid UAN to act as a deposition agent and provide an aphid anti-feed effect prior to populations building. More information on the role of BIOPEST® in managing sclerotinia will be published shortly.

Image 1: Research conducted by SACOA in cotton indicates BIOPEST® is only effective when applied to the leaf surface where aphids are present. (Source: SACOA)


    • Cotton Research Compendium ‘Leaders in spray oil and adjuvant technology for the cotton industry’ 2003-2010
    • d/field-crops/fibres/cotton/cotton-pest- management-guide