The Hustle

Can spider venom be used as an insecticide?

Vestaron, an Australian biotech company, has recently been approved by the EPA to roll out a new environmentally healthy option for pesticides made from the venom of Australian funnel-spiders. The company, founded by molecular biologist Glenn King, began researching this...


November 2, 2017

Vestaron, an Australian biotech company, has recently been approved by the EPA to roll out a new environmentally healthy option for pesticides made from the venom of Australian funnel-spiders.

The company, founded by molecular biologist Glenn King, began researching this option back in 2005 and hopes to begin selling actual product in early 2018.

How does it work?

The funnel spider’s venom can be broken down into multiple proteins, with each one being harmful to different types of species.

Vestaron has figured out a way to extract the specific peptides in the venom that kill pests, from the others that can be harmful to humans and animals — thus creating an answer to the problems chemical-based insecticides have issued the agriculture industry for years.

The two compounds, “Spear-T” and “Spear-O,” will be available for sale in the US starting in January, and they kill four common pests: whiteflies, thrips, aphids, and spider mites. Aka bugs. They kill bugs.

Why the change?

Recently, the EPA barred the approval of a new outdoor insecticide after researchers discovered it may be threatening the health of honey bees and other pollinators, posing a big problem to our food chain.

Vestaron’s new natural pesticide has proven to be safe to honeybees as well as humans and other animals. In other words, if Vestaron can make this spider venom work, we might be able to finally cross something off of our global doom and gloom list.

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