BIOPEST Delivers New Modes of Action for Aphid Control

Several year’s of development efforts by SACOA have paid off, with a significant breakthrough in the way BIOPEST manages pests. Research conducted by Adrian Najar of the University of Queensland found that:

BIOPEST is the only spray oil scientifically demonstrated to kill insects as quick as 2min (for aphids) and 6min (for caterpillars). This fast killing action is now known to be due to the ability of BIOPEST to quickly penetrate the cuticle of the insect and then accumulate in the nerve system which ultimately leads to insect death. This particular mode of action has also been proven to be accelerated by BIOPEST’s unique emulsifier package.

The following video shows BIOPEST in action on an aphid.

Through the use of fluorescent dyes the researchers have observed these results and outlined three modes of action all working in conjunction with traditional modes of action.

Aphid before BIOPEST

Aphid after BIOPEST

Aphid 2 min after BIOPEST with dye showing penetration of cuticle

BIOPEST’s unique formulation (and nC24 rating) allows it to affect the motor neurons that control the activity of the muscles operating the spiracles, legs, antennae, mouthparts and last abdominal segment of the insects.

Mode One: Nervous System Effect

Because the nerves of one ganglion are connected to the nerves of the next and of the previous ganglion there is a signal induced by the oil which moves along the ventral cord of the insect. This may explain the wave-like contractions observed on dying caterpillars.

Nerve activity before BIOPEST

Nerve activity after BIOPEST

Mode Two and Three: Desiccation Effect and Storage Tissue Effect

Death of the insect appears to occur when the accumulation of the oil in the nerves of the insect reaches a lethal or toxic level. Thus, time to kill depends on the volume and concentration of oil applied to the insect.

Desiccation: The desiccation of the insect bodies observed after death indicates BIOPEST is affecting the permeability of the insect cuticle. Even if the oils were not accumulating in the nerves of the insects, desiccation will ultimately lead to the death of the insects.

Storage Tissue: Fat bodies are storage tissues that supply energy for metabolic activities within the insect body. So, the accumulation of the oils into the fat bodies of the insects will also lead to insect death.

Mode of Action

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

  1. Plant Virus Management
  2. Insecticide

Plant Virus Controller

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.


BIOPEST® effectively manages aphids in two ways

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