Active ingredients registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that are synthesized or extracted from natural sources (animals, plants, bacteria, and certain minerals). Examples include canola oil, baking soda, oil of lemon eucalyptus, PMD (chemically synthesized version of oil of lemon eucalyptus), oil of citronella, catnip oil, neem oil, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), and many others. List
There are three categories of biopesticides:
- Biochemical pesticides: naturally occurring substances that control pests
- Microbial pesticides: microorganisms that control pests
- Plant-incorporated protectants or PIPs: pesticidal substances produced by plants containing added genetic material
More details of each category are available at: What Are Biopesticides?
According to the U.S. EPA, “In 1994, the Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division was established in the Office of Pesticide Programs to facilitate the registration of biopesticides. This Division promotes the use of safer pesticides, including biopesticides, as components of IPM programs. The Division also coordinates the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP). At the end of 2001, there were approximately 195 registered biopesticide active ingredients and 780 products.”
According to the U.S. EPA, the advantages of using biopesticides are:
- Biopesticides are usually inherently less toxic than conventional pesticides.
- Biopesticides generally affect only the target pest and closely related organisms, in contrast to broad spectrum, conventional pesticides that may affect organisms as different as birds, insects, and mammals.
- Biopesticides often are effective in very small quantities and often decompose quickly, thereby resulting in lower exposures and largely avoiding the pollution problems caused by conventional pesticides.
- When used as a component of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs, biopesticides can greatly decrease the use of conventional pesticides, while crop yields remain high.
Visit the U.S. Enviornmental Protection Agency for more information on biopesticides: http://www.epa.gov/oppbppd1/biopesticides/index.htm