Version 2Date January 2020Reference 70

Key Points

  • Widespread insecticide applications to control early season insect pests has resulted in the flaring of late season pests like whitefly, mirids, mealy bug and mites.
  • Use BIOPEST® stand alone to minimise oviposition and prevent a population build up of whitefly, aphids and mirids.
  • Use BIOPEST® in mixtures with commonly used insecticides like Admiral, Transform, Pegasus & Mainman to improve efficacy and reduce the potential for resistance development
  •   BIOPEST® is safe on beneficials, will not cause flaring of pests and should be used as the basis for an IPM strategy

Whitefly, mealy bug and mirids

Like aphids, whitefly produce honeydew which is difficult to
remove during ginning. Mirids cause early season damage to terminals and buds and mid to late season damage to squares and small bolls (see Figure 1).

Repeated applications of certain insecticides, such as fipronil & pyriproxyfen standalone without BIOPEST® – can exacerbate the development of resistance (Chart 1), as there is greater impact on beneficials and selection pressure on the active.

According to St George consultant John Barber “during the 2016/17 season there has been limited whitefly flaring in crops where in-season sprays have included BIOPEST® at 2.0L in mixes with softer insecticide such as Transform”

BIOPEST® is registered for control of sucking pests like whitefly, mealy bugs, aphids and mirids in a range of crops, including cotton. BIOPEST® reduces immature life stages of a number of sucking pests once the life stages some into contact with the BIOPEST® sprayed on the leaf surface. Targeting infested leaf surfaces will reduce the number of immature pests reaching adult stage.  Registered rates of BIOPEST® in cotton are 2-5L/Ha – 3L/Ha is a common use rate when used in tank mix with other insecticides.

Compatible with insecticides BIOPEST® has been proven in field trial work in the 2014 and 2015 seasons to provide effective control of a range of sucking pests including mirids and whitefly, both alone and in mixtures with insecticides (see Charts 2 and 3). In our February 2015 whitefly work, BIOPEST® alone was found to be as effective in controlling of whitefly as commonly used insecticides.

Safe on beneficials

Late season pests, such as mirids and whitefly, are generally not an issue in conventional cotton due to the use of a broader range of larvicides. There are a number of predators that prey on sucking pests – ideally a sustainable whitefly management strategy should aim to preserve these. BIOPEST® has been proven to be extremely soft on beneficials.

Further research

SACOA continue to invest in the Australian cotton industry with ongoing research into pest management. Our focus for the 2017/18 season is on mealy bug control and compatibilities with late season insecticides.


Kalyx Report – KA14-1127: Biopest RR mixtures for whitefly suppression in cotton
Kalyx Report – W12-474: Use of Biopest in Glyphosate mixtures. March 2013
Kalyx Report – KA13-827: Biopest for green mirids in cotton. May 2014


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.
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