What is BTK Insecticide?

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What is BTK Insecticide?

What is BTK Insecticide?

Bacillus thuringiensis is found in the soil. It is a bacterium that causes illness in insect larvae such as caterpillars of pest insects like spruce budworm, cabbage looper and gypsy moth. Over 20 varieties of Bacillus thuringiensis exist and the kurstaki variety (Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki) is used for caterpillar control. Each variety has many strains and BTK’s HD-1 strain is used for controlling caterpillars.


Below is a BTK insecticide that we are offering:

Sale Off
Safers BTK Insecticide 100 ml
$12.99

BT products for pest control have been listed for use in Canada and U.S. for more than 30 years. BTK does not have any toxic effects on other mammals, fish, honeybees, plants, birds, and other beneficial insects as well as humans. After over 30 years of research and use, Canada, and other countries where these products are currently registered and approved consider them safe to use.

How BTK Works

BTK only kills the larvae of susceptible insects. The bacterium cannot be used to kill adults, pupa, or eggs. BTK insecticide must be consumed by the caterpillar to work. Once it is inside the digestive system of the larva, it multiplies and produces toxic substances. The larva’s digestive system is paralyzed, and it will stop feeding and die within 1 to 5 days. The caterpillar is most susceptible to the bacterium when it is in the early developmental stage.

Can You Use BTK Insecticide to Control Aquatic Pests?

No. It is not registered for pest control in aquatic systems, so you should not use it to control aquatic pests. 

Is It Effective Against Gypsy Moth?

Yes. You can use BTK to control gypsy moth larva. The caterpillar that dies or becomes ill after ingesting the insecticide does not pose a threat to other animals or birds that consume them. Other microbes and the sunlight destroy BTK within 3 to 5 days, so it does not accumulate or multiply in the environment.

caterpillar-killer

Moreover, it is not dangerous to pets or human health. BTK is usually sprayed over a large area from helicopters and plans in gypsy moth control programs. Homeowners can also apply the insecticide to individual trees and plants from the ground.

How to Use Safer’s BTK Biological Insecticide

Safer’s BTK Biological Insecticide should be ingested by the caterpillar to work. To use the product, fill a handheld sprayer with some water and add the correct amount of Safer’s BTK Caterpillar Killer. Continue filling your sprayer with water until you get the right amount of spray solution. Use it within 12 hours. Shake the sprayer periodically to make sure that the product is correctly mixed. You can also apply the solution using a standard backpack.


Do not leave spray mixture in the tank for over 18 hours and do not contaminate irrigation and drinking water supplies as well as aquatic habitats by disposing of wastes or cleaning the equipment in these areas. You can use Safer’s BTK Caterpillar Killer to treat the following:

  • Fruits and vegetables 

    It can be used on Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, lettuce, mustard greens, tomatoes, and spinach to control imported cabbage worm, tomato hornworm and cabbage looper. You can also use it on greenhouse plantings of peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes to control cabbage looper as well as on pears, apples, and raspberries to control leafrollers.

  • Shade trees Ornamentals

    It can be used on ornamentals and shade trees to control spring as well as fall cankerworm, gypsy moth, tent caterpillar, and satin moth.

  • Evergreens

    The insecticide can be used on evergreens to control jack pine budworm, eastern hemlock looper and spruce budworm.

Ecological Attributes

Safer’s BTK Caterpillar Killer controls caterpillars such as cabbageworm, leafrollers, tent caterpillars, tomato hornworm, gypsy moth and other listed insects. You can also use it on fruits, vegetables, trees, and ornamentals.

  • Active Ingredient of Safer’s BTK Caterpillar Killer: Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki, ABTS-51 strain

After ingesting the leaf’s treated portion, caterpillars stop feeding within hours and eventually die within a few days.

Is It Safe to Spray on Leaf Surfaces?

Yes. Simply mix 30 ml of Safer's BTK Biological Insecticide and 10 L of water then transfer the mixture into a handheld sprayer. This is enough to cover about 100 m². Spray mixture to all leaf surfaces to give the plant good coverage without any runoff. You can repeat this process if needed 7 to 10 days later. To maximize its benefits, spray the affected plants at the first sign of infestation.

Sale Off
Safers BTK Insecticide 100 ml
$12.99

How to Store Safer's BTK Biological Insecticide

It is important to know how to safely store the biological insecticide to ensure its potency and microbial purity. Store the biological insecticide in the original container and use it within 2 years of the manufacture date. You need to store it between 0 and 20°C.

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