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Frequently Asked Questions about Heligen®
What is Heligen®?
A biological insecticide that controls Helicoverpa zea (cotton bollworm, corn earworm, soybean podworm, etc.) and Heliothis virescens (tobacco budworm).

What is the Active Ingredient in Heligen®?
A Natural occurring virus called Helicoverpa NPV nucleopolyhedrovirus.

How Does Heligen® Work?
Heligen® is a suspension of virus particles called Occlusion Bodies (OB’s). When larvae ingest OB’s by eating Heligen® sprayed crops, they become infected with the virus. Using the insect’s own metabolism, the virus replicates itself and invades almost every cell of the insect – causing them to rupture. This releases a virus-laden liquid, which spreads throughout the crop, providing ongoing control of susceptible caterpillars.

What Pests Does Heligen® Control?
Corn earworm and tobacco budworm. In other crops they can be referred to as cotton bollworm, soybean podworm, sorghum headworm, and tomato fruitworm.

Does Heligen® Work on Larvae Populations that have Developed Resistance to Synthetic Insecticides?
Yes. It is a valuable rotational mixing partner in controlling larvae resistant to synthetic insecticides. There are no known cases of resistance developing to NPV-based insecticides anywhere in the world.

Is Heligen® Harmful to Beneficials?
No, Heligen® is a species-specific biological insecticide used to control Corn Earworm and Tobacco Budworm and has no impact on beneficial species. Actually, beneficial species help transmit the virus throughout the ecosystem more quickly, which can result in better coverage and control.

What are the Approved Crops for Heligen?
Crops include: Sweet Corn, Soybean, Sorghum, Grain Cereal (Corn (maize), popcorn, rice…), Peanuts, Vegetables, Legumes, Alfafa, Cotton, Tobacco, Hemp, Root and Tuber Vegetables, Brassica leafy Vegetables, Leafy Vegetables, Fruiting Vegetables, Legume Vegetables, Cucurbit Vegetables, Berries, Pome Fruit, Ornamental Flowers and Plants, Avocado, Asparagus.

What is Heligen®’s PHI or REI?
Heligen® does not have a pre-harvest interval (PHI). The re-entry interval (REI) is 4 hours.
How Much Does Heligen® Cost?
Depending on the rate, about $4 to $6 per acre.

What Should I Expect after Application?
Generally, Heligen® will provide upwards of 90% control dependent upon environmental and weather conditions. Larvae may continue feeding for 1-3 days after becoming infected with NPV and will typically die within 3-9 days. Smaller larvae die faster, and warmer temperatures will increase the speed of kill. Expect slower results when temperatures are cooler (less than 65°F). NPV-infected larvae will not show obvious symptoms of disease until 1-2 days before death.

Is Heligen® Compatible with Other Insecticides?
When mixed with water, Heligen® is highly compatible with the majority of insecticides and fertilizers. Ensure that the mixture has a pH of 8 or less before adding Heligen as alkalinity will damage the virus.

How Should Heligen® be Stored?
Ideally, Heligen® should be stored at temperatures below 34°F, however, it can be stored at room temperature (77°F or less) for up to 6 months and should never be kept in an environment above 86°F. Do NOT leave in direct sunlight for longer than 2 hours or in spray tank for extended periods of time. Unused product can be stored in the original container for future use.

Does Heligen® Have Any Residual Activity?
The virus in Heligen® is degraded by ultraviolet light. As a result, the sprayed virus may only be viable for a few days in the crop. However, once the initial population dies, huge quantities of virus will be released. This replicated virus will last for many weeks and will control recurring populations. Applying the virus while larvae are most active (feeding) increases the likelihood of ingesting and ultimately higher levels of control.

How Do I Know If I Have Corn Earworm or Budworm in My Crop?Look for four prolegs, black spines, orange head capsule, and variable colors. Four pair of prolegs distinguish them from green cloverworms (3 pairs) and loopers (2 pairs). Fall armyworms have an inverted “Y” on their head capsule. They also have 4 black dots on their last abdominal segment