Biopesticides are a sub-group within plant protection products for which the active substance is derived from a natural product. Biopesticides comply with the definition of a plant protection product as stated in article 2 of Regulation (EC) 1107/2009.

Biopesticides can be classified in 4 main categories.

Products based on plant extracts

This is a broad category of plant protection products of various natures. This category varies between products based on non-processed plant extracts to products which have undergone various treatments. Some examples: azadirachtin, pyrethrine, vegetable oils, etc.

Products which contain a micro-organism

This category contains micro-organisms, bacteria, viruses and fungi. Some examples: Paecilomyces fumosoroseusBacillus thuringensis, etc.


Pheromones are chemical substances which are excreted by plants and animals, and which alter the behaviour of other individuals within the same species.

Pheromones are subject to authorisation for the following control methods:

  • mating disruption: excessive spreading of a sexual pheromone in the environment so that the male animal cannot find the female
  • mass trapping: trapping technique intended to attract insects of a population to a source of pheromones for the purpose of trapping them there

No authorisation is required for pheromones for the following control methods:

  • attract & kill: trapping technique whereby a pheromone and an insecticide are combined. The used pheromone is referred to as the co-formulant
  • monitoring: a range of different techniques intended to ascertain the density of a population of insects in a specific plot

Other biopesticides

Some products, which are not based on biological control agents, entail a small risk for the environment or human health. These products can be associated with biopesticides.