Pesticide testing

The way in which we test pesticide depends largely on the question that is put to us. The most common requests are for tests relating to the side-effects of pesticide on beneficial species or for efficacy testing on pests. BRC is totally independent and provides honest assessments, which can be confidential in many cases if required. We conduct standardised laboratory tests for both efficacy and side-effects, which can be either Acute (mortality assessed at 24 or 48 hours after exposure) or Sub-lethal (where factors measured could be survival to adult, egg-production, longevity or secondary poisoning (eating treated prey). Some of the sub-lethal tests can take months to complete if the adults are long-lived. Then we can also look at semi-field or full field trials. We use different methods and design each trial to accurately answer the question put to us. For example, we can conduct trials on field weathered plants with leaves or potted plants returned to the laboratory for testing or can conduct large or small field trials in commercial agriculture. We maintain colonies of a few key pest and beneficial species. The species that we keep are typically those not available from commercial beneficial producers in Australia. We also field collect other species and maintain colonies of them as required.