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Things to know before using insecticides

Do your homework and make wise choices.  All insecticides should be used only when necessary and plant based compounds are safer for people, pets and the environment than chemical ones. 

Systemic insecticide administered to the soil. 

For use if necessary on mealy bugs, scale, thrips, fungus gnats, cyclamen mites, leaf miners and white flies.

These are often water soluble chemicals, can be administered to the soil and will remain there awhile.  The roots absorb the insecticide and the pest will feed on it along with the sap.  When insecticides are applied to the soil, care must be taken to assure that there is excellent drainage so the solution runs through and the pot never sits in water.  After treatment put your plant in an area with lots of air movement so it will dry out the soil as quickly as possible.  Never place a plant you are treating in direct sun.  When your treatment effectiveness (read the label to see how long it will last) has run its course and when the plant is ready for its usual watering, flush the plant with clear water by putting it in the sink or taking it outside and running a lots water through.  This will help freshen the soil.

Read instructions carefully and be certain the product – is appropriate for the plant and the insect you have, for the amount to use, dilutions, and specific plant and safety warnings.  Dispose of containers properly.

Imidacloprid is most used chemical and its use is restricted in some areas- does not affect spider mites as they are not insects.

Insecticides containing the chemical bifenthrin, cyfluthrin, permethrin, or lambdacyhalothrin may be effective.  Read all labels first to be certain your plant (and you) can handle the toxicity as they remain in the soil for at least a week and perhaps many months.

 

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