Sometimes something comes along that messes with your head. Surfactants are doing that to us. Surfactants are a new way to treat pests and diseases without any active ingredients. I horticultural terms ‘active ingredients’ are the elements of a fungicide, insecticide or herbicide (weedkiller) that actively prevents or cures a the problem by chemically acting upon the problem. Many times these are absorbed into the plant and travel around the plants ‘blood’ system.
Surfactants (surface acting substances) are found in many products such as shampoo. They allow products to flow by separating substances. With pest and diseases as we understand it they work in a physical way to separate pest from the plants and disease spores from foliage.
Surfactant sprays will need to be applied regularly but as they don’t contain active ingredients there is no build up of pesticides that would occur with traditional controls.