caterpillar insecticide

Paul Cherubini paulcher at
Sat Nov 6 19:48:09 EST 1999

Homer and Betty wrote:
> The Alabama Department of Environmental Management has recommended a permit
> to duPont for the manufacture of an insecticide targeting caterpillars.

Experimental use permits are granted by the EPA and individuals states to enable 
manufacturers like Duport to conduct field trials on new insecticide products on a very 
limited number of acres.  This is part of the 10-15 year process it takes to acquire all the 
data necessary to get a new compound fully registered (by both the EPA and individual 
states) for commercial use.

> would appreciate some direction to web sites and resources regarding moths
> and butterflies as pollenators as well as information as to what
> caterpillars, if any have significant agricultural impact.  Thanks in
> advance.

Lepidopteran (chiefly moth) caterpillars cause more damage to food crops than any other 
order of insects. The moths are out laying eggs at night when no one hardly notices them. 

Part of the process of registering a new insecticide involves determining the adverse 
impacts of the new chemical on non-target organisms and beneficial insects including 
pollinators such as honeybees.  The web site provides detailed fact sheets 
on registered pesticides that provides information on the toxicity of the products to a wide 
variety of non-target organisms including beneficial predators, parasites and pollinators.

For the last 30 years there has been a consistent trend in the chemical industry to 
introduce new insecticides or new formulations that reduce overall adverse potential 
environmental impacts while maintaining or improving control of the target insects. 

Paul Cherubini, Placerville, Calif.

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