FAQ’S – Frequently Asked Questions
How does balEnce work?
balEnce is a solution of the spores (conidia) of Beauveria bassiana (Bb) a naturally occurring, environmentally friendly fungus that is present in soils throughout the world.
Beauveria bassiana occurs in numerous strains which target and are fatal to certain insects.
The spore is picked up by the target insect, also called the “host” insect, reproduces inside it, and kills the insect.
Generally, and depending on the target, host insect and the ambient temperature, the Bb infected insect ceases reproduction and succumbs in three to five days.
The Beauveria bassiana spores present in the environment are only sufficient to infect and kill a very small percentage of its target insect.
By adding balEnce to the environment where the host insect is an issue, one is increasing the amount of this natural insect predator to a level that is sufficient to control them.
Because balEnce is an insect-specific pathogen, it has no impact on humans, animals or other insects.
How is balEnce better than chemical pesticides?
balEnce is an insect-specific pathogen and has no impact on animals or other non-target insects.
Chemical pesticides have short residuals. Thus, continued use of the chemical every few days is necessary to kill the emerging adult BEFORE they lay eggs and repeat the cycle. balEnce stays on surfaces and continues to kill the target insect for more than 21 days.
Insects may become resistant to the chemicals, and frequent rotation of different chemical pesticides is necessary to continue to kill the insects. Target insects do not develop resistance to balEnce, so no rotation is required.
As the target insects die, beneficial insects, which are unaffected by balEnce, take over their natural role of killing the target insect population at the larval and pupal stages.
balEnce is very economical to use. Once control is gained, balEnce treatment is required only as needed; the beneficial insects will do the rest.
The manure, facilities, and environment are chemical-free; in fact, many customers have been able to sell their manure at a premium because it is pesticide-free.
How long does it take balEnce to work?
The amount of time required to achieve good insect control with balEnce depends on a number of factors including the target insect, the level of insect infestation and the ambient temperature.
Generally, the Beauveria bassiana infected insect ceases reproduction and succumbs in three to five days.
However, as the number of target insects observed represents a small percentage of those in your environment because of insect eggs, larvae and pupae which will continue to develop into adults over a period of weeks, or in cool temperatures, months, it may require several weeks to achieve good control.
How much balEnce do I need?
The amount of balEnce required to achieve good control depends on a number of factors including the target insect, the product used, the size of your facility/environment and the level of insect infestation.
Please contact a Terregena representative.
How should I store balEnce?
Is balEnce government approved?
balEnce Organic Fly Spray is approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency; the US Department of Agriculture National Organic Program; the PMRA, Health Canada, and several state-based environmental agencies.
In addition, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes strains of Beauveria bassiana as safe and effective biopesticides.
The organization has approved their use on ornamental plants, turfgrass, and food and other crops grown outdoors or in greenhouses.
There are no health risks to humans who apply the biopesticide to crops or eat foods sprayed with the product, and it is not toxic to mammals, birds, plants or non-target insects.
For additional information, see: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/biopesticides/ingredients/factsheets/factsheet_128924.htm
Is balEnce organic?
balEnce Organic Fly Spray is approved by the US Department of Agriculture National Organic Program for Organic Production.
Is balEnce safe for beneficial insects?
Because the active ingredient in balEnce, Beauveria bassiana, is a host-specific pathogen – meaning that, it targets and attacks certain insects, it is harmless to other insects, such as parasitic wasps, hister beetles, earwigs and other beneficial insects.
In fact, many balEnce customers also use beneficial insects, such as parasitic wasps, also called fly predators, as part of their Integrated Pest Management program.
Terregena includes parasitic wasps as part of its product offering.
Is balEnce safe for honeybees?
This is an important worldwide issue as honeybees are essential to about one-third of all the grown food humans eat.
In the United States, bees pollinate 90 different agricultural crop species, including nuts, berries, fruits, and vegetables worth about $15 billion a year.
As the active ingredient in balEnce, Beauveria bassiana (Bb) is a host-specific pathogen. That is, it targets and attacks certain insects it is harmless to other insects such as honey bees.
In fact, Bb has been used in honey bee hives to treat the bees for Varroa mites (an external parasitic mite that attacks honey bees).
It has also been applied directly to the bees to enable them to deliver the Bb to crops so that the fungus can control crop pests with no harm to the bees.
Is balEnce safe for humans and animals?
Because the active ingredient in balEnce, Beauveria bassiana, is a host-specific pathogen and targets and attacks only certain insects, it is harmless to humans and animals.
What is the longevity of Beauveria bassiana?
Generally, the Beauveria bassiana (Bb) in balEnce products survive from 21 to 45 days after application.
However, as the target insects pick up the Bb spores, they may be diluted by rain if sprayed outdoors and may be spread or dissipated into the litter, manure, ground, etc., by the animals we are protecting. it is necessary to reapply balEnce at intervals and in amounts recommended for your circumstances to gain and maintain insect control.
What is the shelf life of balEnce?
balEnce BioPesticide Fly Spray and Liquid and Dry Beetle have an expiration of two years from the date of manufacture as indicated on the packaging.
When should I begin using balEnce?
Begin using balEnce at the first signs of the target insect infestation. In many cases, this is when you first observe these insects in the larvae stage.
The sooner balEnce application begins, the sooner control will be obtained and the less product and labor will be expended.
Why are child warning labels on balEnce products?
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandates that the labels of agency-approved pesticides display certain precautionary statements such as the Child Hazard Warning statement, Keep Out of Reach of Children (KOROC), the Environmental Hazards statement, and the Personal Protective Equipment (PRE) requirement regardless of ingredients.
balEnce Organic Fly Spray contains the spores (conidia) of Beauveria bassiana a naturally occurring, environmentally friendly fungus that is present in soils throughout the world and other, food-grade, ingredients and qualifies for the least restrictive mandatory US EPA labeling ” CAUTION” versus the more restrictive DANGER and WARNING.
For additional information on US EPA pesticide labeling requirements, see: http://www.epa.gov/oppfead1/labeling/lrm/chap-08.htm
For additional information on Beauveria bassiana and its use in the biological control of insects see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beauveria_bassiana#Use_in_biological_control_of_insects