Tabitha
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Panicking over Bug B Gon

:| Thinking he was being helpful, my boyfriend put Ortho Bug B Gon insect killer down in my vegetable gardens. Yes, I was complaining about bugs but if totally defeated the purpose of an "organic" garden. What really worries me is that I have a bunch of herb and root veggies...carrots, onions, beers, garlic...these are not listed on the back of the bag!

Does this mean they are ruined and now unedible?? It will be a few months until I harvest them but I do not want to poison my family.

Does anyone know if my garden is ruined??

Please help!!

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Panicking over Bug B Gon

Not good, but don't panic.

Here's a thread where I pulled together a bunch of information about common garden poisons: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=57653

BugBGon active ingredients are two different insecticides in the same class: pyrethroids. In the thread above, I wrote about permethrin as a typical pyrethroid. Here's an excerpt:
Class and Uses: Permethin is a synthetic pyrethroid. Pyrethrins are derived from crysanthemums, but the synthetic ones are much more concentrated and toxic. It is a broad spectrum insecticide that has been sprayed widely in mosquito abatement programs and used for lice, ticks, and scabies and on a variety of crops. It is a neurotoxin, which acts on the nervous system of insects and causes muscles to spasm, culminating in paralysis and death

Animal toxicity: Permethrin is highly toxic to both freshwater and estuarine aquatic organisms. Most agricultural, public health, and down-the-drain scenarios modeled resulted in exceedances in the acute risk quotient (RQ) for freshwater and estuarine fish, invertebrates, and sediment organisms. It is also extremely toxic to honeybees, as well as other beneficial insects. . Severe losses may be expected if bees are present at treatment time, or within a day thereafter . Permethrin is also toxic to wildlife . It should not be applied, or allowed to drift, to crops or weeds in which active foraging takes place.

It is less toxic to mammals than insects and aquatic organisms, but cats are especially sensitive to it and it is dangerously toxic to them.

Human toxicity: Permethrin is of low toxicity to humans. Dermal (skin) exposure to permethrin may cause irritation, itching, or paresthesia (a tingly, prickly sensation) at the site of contact. These symptoms rarely last more than 24 hours. Contact with the eyes may result in pain, redness, or a burning sensation. Ingestion of permethrin may cause sore throat, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. This is common sense stuff - don't eat it, drink it, rub it on your eyes or skin. If you use common sense and are not chronically exposed, it is unlikely to be harmful for you or your family.


Pyrethroids bond tightly to the soil. This is a plus and a minus. It means they are less likely to be washed out and end up in our aquifers and in rivers where aquatic organisms are that are very sensitive to it. But it means it stays in your soil a lot longer than some.

The average half-life of permethrin in aerobic soils is 39.5 days, with a range from 11.6 to 113 days. Permethrin binds tightly to soil and is broken down primarily by microorganisms, but also by photolysis.
(From Permethrin Technical Fact Sheet - National Pesticide Information Center
npic.orst.edu/factsheets/archive/Permtech.html)

Half life is the time it takes for half of the quantity to be broken down. If the half life is 40 days then at 40 days half of it is broken down into component parts. After another 40 days, half of the remaining has broken down, so in 3 months, 3/4 of it is gone.

That is a big range from 11 to 113 days. You can help it be on the shorter end, by noticing that it is broken down by microorganisms and photolysis (action of sunshine). So don't mulch, leave your soil exposed to sun. And do make up some activated compost tea (if you aren't familiar with it there's a whole big long thread about it here viewtopic.php?f=35&t=17097

That will add a whole bunch more beneficial microorganisms to your soil and speed up the break down process.

Something else to notice. I underlined broad spectrum insecticide above. That means it kills pretty much any insect it comes in contact with: honeybees, ladybugs, butterflies, lacewings, and all the other things that might help keep the nasty bugs down in your garden. Often people notice this when they suddenly have an infestation of aphids or whatever. That can give rise to a poison addiction, where you feel like you have to spray more to deal with the new infestations. Don't do it! The new infestations occur because the poison put your entire garden ecosystem out of balance. Work on bringing your garden back in balance.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

Tabitha
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Re: Panicking over Bug B Gon

Do you think I need to trash the vegetables that they did not have listed on the bag then? I contacted them and they said that I did and could not plant again for ONE year!! I'm soooo bummed. :(

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Panicking over Bug B Gon

If the company told you that, I would definitely heed them. They are more likely to tell you "oh it's fine, don't worry." Sorry! :(

We've heard a number of stories about "helpful" boyfriends around here!! :)
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

Tabitha
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Re: Panicking over Bug B Gon

:'( oooookay. I was hoping they were just required to say that because they hadn't specifically tested on other edible plants but they could still be okay after time. **sigh**

Good intentions gone very wrong I guess.

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