Frequently Asked Questions
The Contact BioSolutions FireHawk Bioherbicide kill weeds in a similar way to a heavy frost or extreme heat wave. The Nonanoic Acid - our active ingredient, quickly breaks down the cells of the plant by degrading the protective film of sprayed plant areas to cause complete dehydration.
The formulation is a highly effective desiccant, not a systemic poison, so plants are unable to build resistance.
The Contact BioSolutions FireHawk Bioherbicide is a powerful bioherbicide. The combination is designed for agriculture, landscape, government municipalities, the education sector, revegetation programs, national parks as well as small and large homes.
The active ingredient in Contact BioSolutions FireHawk Bioherbicide is nonanoic acid. The FireHawk Bioherbicide spray mixture penetrates the plant by breaking down the waxy layer that protects the weed’s leaf. Contact BioSolutions' proprietary delivery technology strongly aids this process. The nonanoic acid enters the plant’s cells and destroys its membranes. This causes the weed’s moisture to escape. As this process continues, the FireHawk Bioherbicide dehydrates the weed to termination. With no residues remaining in the soil, weeds are unable to build resistance.
Made from ingredients that occur in nature means there are no toxins or poisons that can pass into the food chain or the human body.
The Contact BioSolutions FireHawk Bioherbicide can be purchased online and through a number of resellers and national distributors throughout the USA.
If you would like to purchase the FireHawk Bioherbicide but need help locating a reseller close-by, please let us know and we will work with you to get the product to your door.
The Contact BioSolutions FireHawk Bioherbicide is a high performance, broad spectrum, contact bio-herbicide made from ingredients found in nature. Our proprietary delivery system significantly enhances the effectiveness of nonanoic acid, the active ingredient. The Contact BioSolutions FireHawk Bioherbicide kills weeds by desiccation.
When you spray weeds with the Contact BioSolutions FireHawk Bioherbicide, the spray mixture will provide results typically in a couple of hours. Depending on the type of weed, climate, or temperature at the time of application as well as the dilution will affect the time required for desiccation. It can take up to one week.
Contact BioSolutions FireHawk Bioherbicide is a contact herbicide, it is recommended to spray the weeds to provide complete coverage to the point of runoff. The green parts of the weeds should be covered with the spray mixture. The FireHawk Bioherbicide will kill and control annual broad-leaf weeds: Black medic, Chickweed, Black Nightshade, Cinquefoil (rough), Common groundsel, Hairy nightshade, Lambsquarters, Mustard spp., Oxalis spp., Pigweed spp., Ragweed spp., Shepherdspurse, Smartweed (Ladysthumb), Velvetleaf.
Perennial Broad Leaves: Amaranth, spp., Cinquefoil (silvery), Dandelion, Ground ivy, Plantain spp., Toadflax, Tufted vetch, Wild carrot, Moss
Annual Grasses: Crabgrass, Foxtail spp., Italian Ryegrass, Poa annua, Wooly Cup Grass
Perennial Grasses: Requiring Sequential Applications for Control: Bluegrass, Quackgrass, Witchgrass, Brome Grass, Cogon Grass.
Some woody or perennial type grasses/weeds and those with deeper roots will require sequential applications. For example, Bermuda grass with its large root system and runners will require a couple of resprays to achieve control. It is recommended to respray after 2-3 weeks when the plant is in the process of recovering and putting all its energy into this process.
As a broad spectrum, non-selective bio-herbicide the Contact BioSolutions FireHawk Bioherbicide spray mixture affects all plants it comes in contact with. The target weeds/vegetation should only be sprayed, however, it does not impact larger plants, trees and bushes when spray drifts onto them. For example, a limited spray drift on grape vines will barely be noticeable – most likely just resulting in only a couple of brown spots on the leaves.
Take care when spraying near seedlings or flower beds of actively growing plants so that the desiccation nature of the FireHawk Bioherbicide does not harm the desired plants.
Control of tougher weeds is possible by increasing the concentration of the FireHawk Bioherbicide spray mixture and increasing application rates. Please refer to the label for instructions.
Woody species like Wild Blackberry, French or Scotch Broom may require sequential applications and a fall application (when the plant is taking in nutrients for the winter) has proven to be quite effective.
Once weeds are controlled, utilize the mix for the juvenile weeds for maintenance levels.
Tropical soda apple, very invasive weed species in the southeast part of the US, can successfully be controlled using the Contact BioSolutions FireHawk Bioherbicide. The University of Missouri conducted a study supporting the tropical soda apple management using the Contact BioSolutions FireHawk Bioherbicide spray mixture.
Nothing within the SDS says that it is safe for farm animals and bees etc. if they digest the product?Expand
On the products page you can download the relevant SDS sheet.
Under Toxicity Data it states that if they consumed greater than 5,000 mg/kg, it would kill 50% of rats. Translated - a rat would have to consume 5 gallons of the spray mixture per kg, or part thereof, of its own weight to kill it. Therefore, a farm animal would have to consume hundreds of gallons of spray mixture to reach and exceed this toxicity limit. In a normal spot spraying operation, one sprays approximately 1 oz. per square foot of treated area which is way below the toxicity limit of the product. Contact BioSolutions does recommend that people, pets, and farm animals stay out of the area being sprayed, at least until the product has been absorbed into the plants and dried off.
The Contact BioSolutions FireHawk Bioherbicide spray mixture is not detrimental to bees if bees come in contact with the product in the case of spray drift or wetted plants after spraying. Acetic acid, the active ingredient, is used in higher concentrations by beekeepers to fumigate beehives to treat Nosema infections or to disinfect beekeeping equipment.
Despite its overall low eco-toxicity and low absolute volume, you should not spray the Contact BioSolutions FireHawk Bioherbicide spray mixture over water. Spot spraying weeds in the vicinity of a creek is fine as the spray mixture will enter the weeds and will be used up during the desiccation process. Spray mixture sprayed over the ground is typically absorbed into the soil and neutralized. As the residual product is biodegradable and derived from nature, it will biodegrade within a short period of time, resulting in a spray site with no harmful residues remaining.
BioSolutions FireHawk Bioherbicide has not been certified for use in organic production.
While we hold patents on organically certifiable herbicides, the initial focus of our business is offering the market a non-toxic, non-residue, high-performance and cost-effective bio-herbicide. Contact BioSolutions FireHawk Bioherbicide has been formulated by deriving products from nature and is non-toxic when it is being applied in a weed spray application.
Best way we have found to control woody species is to spray young shoots & sprouts with the strong mix of the Contact BioSolutions FireHawk Bioherbicide per label directions.
You must saturate all leaves with the spray material for it to be effective. Spraying small plants also makes the process more economical for you. If the growth of woody species or other unwanted vegetation is massive in size it is recommended that the mature plants be shredded and then sprayed when new growth is emerging.
Contact BioSolutions FireHawk Bioherbicide is a nonselective bioherbicide. It has proven successful on numerous species of unwanted vegetation including many glyphosate-resistant species. But there are a few plants for which it may not work.
Contact BioSolutions has developed a non-toxic bioherbicide range. The combination of products has been derived from nature using appropriate amounts of ingredients for key market segments: homes and gardens, public lands, municipalities, schools, parks, playgrounds and medians, horticulture, wineries, specialty food crops and pastures.
In addition to the USA, our products have been approved for use in Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Regulatory submissions for Europe will be happening in the near future.
Your weedkiller is based on nonanoic acid. Why don’t people just go out and spray vinegar based home made mixtures instead?Expand
For many years, environmentally conscious gardeners have used vinegar as a basic herbicide. There are many recipes published on the internet that are based on a combination of vinegar, salt and dish washing liquid. If you prepare such a product and spray weeds with it, the initial result look promising, but if the weather is not ideal, weeds regrow quickly and hardier weeds may not affected at all.
Our product development started with a delivery system technology that enables full penetration of the organic acid. Contact BioSolutions’ history is in health science and dietary supplement development. We are specialists in making active ingredients bio-available through cutting-edge technology and delivery systems.
We have applied our delivery technology to nonanoic acid and created bioherbicides that are non-toxic, fast-acting, and high-performing.
Much of the concern over the health and environmental effects of glyphosate-based weedkillers focuses not on the effects of glyphosate alone but on the effects of the adjuvants, both alone and in combination with glyphosate.
How do you know that your ingredients are safe, both individually and in combination with the active ingredient?
Contact BioSolutions products are based on nonanoic acid, a well-known acid derived from nature, on the USA EPA Inert Products List.
Europe’s TSG Consulting and Chemwatch have conducted independent reviews of the Contact BioSolutions raw materials and product compositions and issued their toxicity and eco-toxicity reports and Safety Data Sheets. These reviews confirm that our products are non-toxic and non-hazardous to the environment at the dilution levels used.
The US EPA also conducted a thorough review of Contact BioSolutions FireHawk Bioherbicide product and composition. They confirmed our product as a bioherbicide and we are currently progressing further with the regulatory approval processes.
Has your product had to go through the usual animal toxicity testing that the usual pesticide active ingredients have to go through?
Contact BioSolutions FireHawk Bioherbicide active constituent is nonanoic acid. The main health hazards of the product arise from the acidity of the product. The product is of low acute toxicity.
Nonanoic acid is well understood as an active constituent and there is an abundance of data documenting its toxicity and eco-toxicity. Please refer to the 2015 report by European Food Safety Authority
Based on the large amount of information available, Contact BioSolutions has not been required to conduct animal studies.
All of our other ingredients are on the USA EPA Inert Product List and are naturally occurring materials. They are well understood and categorized as non-toxic or as materials of low toxicity.
Spraying nonanoic acid on plants is likely not only to kill weeds but also to harm various sorts of wildlife, such as beneficial soil organisms, toads, and insects. So, in what way are Contact BioSolutions products safer than glyphosate based weedkiller?Expand
The main benefit of using the Contact BioSolutions FireHawk Bioherbicide is the low environmental impact of this product. The active ingredient, acetic acid, is generally regarded as safe, readily biodegradable and leaves no toxic residue. This product provides a safer alternative to toxic synthetic pesticide-based herbicides.
A leading research institute in USA has completed a 2 year comparative study of the impact of Contact BioSolutions FireHawk Bioherbicide and Roundup (Glyphosate) on soil microbiology.
The research confirmed that Contact BioSolutions FireHawk Bioherbicide does not adversely affect soil microbiology. The effects of Weed Terminator20 did not differ from non-herbicide treatments (“weedy” and “weed-free”) on biological parameters.
Compared with Roundup (glyphosate), significant decreases in soybean root colonization by potential pathogenic Fusarium spp. were noted for FireHawk Bioherbicide treatment; and the numbers of beneficial root bacteria (fluorescent pseudomonads) also increased. Enhancement of this group of bacteria generally suggests an increased suppression of fungal antagonists in the rhizosphere and potentially reduced root infection. Numbers of Mn-oxidizing bacteria on roots were generally reduced with FireHawk Bioherbicide. More importantly, FireHawk Bioherbicide was associated with favorable proportions (high ratio) of Mn-reducing to Mn-oxidizing bacteria, which was maintained on soybean roots compared with RR soybean+Roundup. FireHawk Bioherbicide did not change or improve total soil microbial biomass and specific microbial components thereby maintaining soil microbial diversity and functionality, compared with suppressive effects of glyphosate on some microbial components and on microbial biomass. The summary results of the full study can be viewed here.
While spraying weeds at the base of trees, can the odor affect plant health and if there is drift onto the trunk/bark of the young tree, will that affect plant health?Expand
Contact BioSolutions FireHawk Bioherbicide is formulated as contact bioherbicide mixture with nonanoic acid as active ingredient. Nonanoic acid is derived from nature. The very mild smell is detectable when freshly sprayed, but will dissipate over a short period of time.
Contact BioSolutions FireHawk Bioherbicide at a dilution rate of 1:1:20 will kill weeds and grasses that have been directly sprayed. The trunk and bark of young trees will not be affected as they are much hardier. If tree leaves are sprayed on, there might be a small amount of phytotoxicity (browning) noticeable, but the tree health will not be affected by the Weed Terminator spray mixture. Nonanoic acid will biodegrade in a relatively short period of time and will not leave any residue in the area.
The potency of the Contact BioSolutions FireHawk Bioherbicide combination product depends on its dilution level. The Contact BioSolutions FireHawk Bioherbicide in fully concentrated form would burn the surface roots of young plants, however, at a 1:1:20 dilution level, it will not harm the surface roots of young plants when sprayed on weeds in the surrounding area.
The Contact BioSolutions FireHawk Bioherbicide combination contains nonanoic acid and therefore has a low pH. Contact BioSolutions advises not to spray the product directly on waterways. However, if it is being used for weed control adjacent to bodies of water, the active ingredient, acetic acid, will biodegrade in a relatively short period of time. There would not be a large amount of the product in the system or soil that might have any impact on aquatic life.
Please read the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) before spraying. The Contact BioSolutions FireHawk Bioherbicide spray mixture is a non-hazardous product. It contains acetic acid as its active ingredient, at 50% of the level of a normal pickling vinegar. However, as it has a low pH, it can cause eye and skin irritations if directly sprayed, or through spray drift. Please wear recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) and wash your hands after use. Details are included in the SDS.
Our products are non-toxic and biodegradable in a relatively short period of time and leave no residue. The product will be absorbed very quickly into the sprayed plants.
Children and pets can enter the area safely when the spray has dried off or after a day's time or sooner if it rains.
The Contact BioSolutions FireHawk Bioherbicide spray mixture is rain proof 1 hour after application, but we advise not to spray if rain is expected within 2 hours. The product works by penetrating the weed through its green tissue, which need to be covered by the spray mixture. If rain washes the mixture off too soon after application you may not see the full potential of our product and need to reapply. However, depending on the time of day, weather conditions (how warm it is) prior to rain, rain amount, and weeds targeted, you may still see optimal results even if rain occurs soon after application.