Spinosad for Gooseberry sawfly larvae?

Asked May 12, 2013, 11:12 AM EDT

I use an insecticide containing pyrethrum to control sawfly larvae on our gooseberry. It works, but I worry so much about the few bees in our area. (I currently cover the bush with an insect barrier after spraying for 3 days.) I've recently read that spinosad will also kill sawfly larvae and wonder whether it would be a better choice? Is it less harmful to the bees? Any advice how to treat pests but save the bees?

Deschutes County Oregon integrated pest management insect issues ipm

3 Responses

I think what you are doing already to protect the bees is fine (great in fact!). The spinosad is probably comparable to pyrethrum in terms of bee toxicity. The most important thing for bee safety is to not treat flowers in bloom, or remove the blooms first.

Thank you for your reply. I found this article about pollinator toxicity with spinosad: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15366583