Release Date 20 May 2016


Release Date
20 May 2016

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Key Points

  • BIOPEST® produces high levels of rapid mortality, with most mortality occurring within 15 minutes of spraying.
  • BIOPEST® works by causing the aphids to suffocate, modifying pest behavior and interfering with the virus transmission process.
  • Use BIOPEST® as a preventative at 2% as a tank mix partner in post emergent applications.
  • Use BIOPEST® at 2% as a curative either standalone or in a tank mix.

Over the last few seasons, SACOA has been conducting research into aphid control with BIOPEST® in canola. While the yield loss from aphids transmitting Beet Western Yellow Virus (BWYV) still causes conjecture, it is generally understood that the earlier aphids come in, the greater the yield loss may be at the end of the season.

BIOPEST® is a highly refined biorational pesticide designed for use as a carrier, fungicide, insecticide and to manage aphid-transmitted viruses such as BWYV.

Mode of Action

As a biorational pesticide, BIOPEST® has two key functions in the management of aphid-borne viruses:

  1. Insecticide
  2. Plant Virus Management


BIOPEST® effectively manages aphids in two ways:

  • Behaviour modification, primarily by modifying insect feeding and egg laying behaviours
  • By suffocation (anoxia)

Rapid Aphid Mortality

BIOPEST® enters the spiracles of the aphid and works quickly to kill the pest. The following video shows this rapid effect.

aphid control - before spraying aphid after spraying aphid showing effect of spraying
aphid prior to application of BIOPEST® aphid after application of BIOPEST® Aphid 2 min after BIOPEST® with dye
showing penetration of cuticle

Plant Virus Management

Stylet-borne plant viruses can be transmitted by the probes of winged aphids in less than 20 seconds after landing on the upper leaf surface of host plants.

BIOPEST® interferes with the virus transmission process preventing the pest from inoculating healthy plants and transmitting the virus from diseased ones.

How Behaviour Modification Occurs

Plant feeding insects use hollow hairs (‘sensillae’) to detect special chemicals in plants, which identify the plant as a host or non-host. Contact with these plant chemicals can trigger critical insect behaviours such as feeding and egg laying. BIOPEST® acts to plug the hollow pore on the end of these hairs thus removing the insect’s ability to communicate with any potential host plants. As beneficial insect host-sensing mechanisms differ from pests, they are minimally affected by BIOPEST® application (however, if enough oil contacts a beneficial insect, mortality may occur).

Aphid Control Research Results

SACOA’s research in the past two seasons has demonstrated BIOPEST®’s control of Cabbage/Turnip Aphid and Green Peach Aphid. In 2014 in Moora, while the total population of Green Peach Aphid was not as high as previous years, BIOPEST®offered equivalent control to current standards (see Chart 1 below).

Green Peach Aphid Control in Canola

Green peach aphid control in canola with BIOPEST spray oil

Chart 1: Green Peach Aphid control with BIOPEST and other products, confidence interval 95%
Source: Peracto SAC00114 – Moora, Oct 2014

In 2013 when Cabbage/Turnip Aphids were dominant, aphid control with BIOPEST® was equivalent to current standards (see Chart 2 below).

Cabbage, Turnip Aphid Control in Canola

cabbage aphid control in canola with BIOPEST spray oil

Chart 2: Cabbage and Turnip Aphid control with BIOPEST® and other products, confidence interval 95%
Source: SACOA internal trial, York, Aug 2013.

Using BIOPEST as a Preventative

Include BIOPEST® at 2% as a tank mix partner with a post emergent herbicide or fungicide.

The benefit of the tank mix is two fold – there is improvement in coverage as BIOPEST® will act as an adjuvant and as it provides activity in its own right (on aphids and disease), there is reduced resistance selection pressure on the conventional active and beneficial populations are maintained. The other benefit of the combined aphid and disease control is the single pass and the timing.

Using BIOPEST® as a Curative

  • One standalone spray of 2% BIOPEST® on a developing population.
  • Tank mixes of 1% BIOPEST® with conventional insecticide will provide synergy and protect the active from resistance development.
  • Ensuring Optimal Results
  • Use a water rate of approximately 80 – 100L/Ha.
  • Adjust tractor speed to achieve thorough spray coverage to the point of runoff.
  • Always use constant agitation in the spray tank.
  • Always refer to product label(s) for specific details on correct use and compatibility.
  • The re-entry interval (REI) for BIOPEST® is 4 hours.
  • BIOPEST® has no residue tolerance.

Future Research Focus

SACOA are conducting extensive research into the role of BIOPEST® in broadacre crops. This work will continue to evaluate effects of BIOPEST® as a standalone treatment for insect and disease control and as a synergistic tank mix partner to improve the efficacy and extend the mode of action of a range of existing insecticides and fungicides. This includes investigating Sclerotinia and aphids in replicated canola trials.


Disclaimer and Copyright

This document should act as a guide only and no purchase or usage decisions should be made based on the information provided without obtaining independent, expert advice. SACOA and contributors do not necessarily recommend or endorse any products or manufacturers referred to. SACOA Pty Ltd will not be liable for any loss, damage, cost or expense incurred or arising by reason of any person using or relying on the information contained in this document. More information is available from SACOA via or 08 9386 7666, or by contacting your local reseller.
© 2020 SACOA Pty Ltd All Rights Reserved. SACOA and the GREEN S icon, ENHANCE, CROPSHIELD, PLANTOCROP, BIOPEST, XSEED, ANTIEVAP, STIFLE, SE14 and LURE H2O are registered trademarks of SACOA Pty Ltd.