Beccasurfs
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Devastated by Bug B-Gon

I'm 2 years new to organic vegetable gardening and I really stepped up my game this Spring as I have now been composting for over a year and I took classes on crop placement, soil amendment and fighting pests organically. My garden looks amazing and is producing a wonderful strong variety of fruits and veggies. It's been my pride and joy.

I went on a women's retreat this weekend and asked my husband to watch my garden in regard to water and heat (as I have some lettuce trying to bolt). I came home today to find that he had covered my 20x20 garden (including the mature plants) in "bug food" to "kill the bugs." It's an Ortho product called "Bug B-Gon" that is for lawns. It's made with 0.115% Bifenthrin. It has a warning label on it, but also suggests that it can be used on some vegetables. Basically, it's POISON. I'm so devastated as I've invested so much time and energy into the garden and have been enjoying and eating from it daily. I'm just sick about trashing the whole garden...of course I don't want to literally be sick by eating the food. Further, I'm guessing my soil is also ruined. So sad. I'm sure it's a long-shot, but any and all suggestions welcomed as to how to minimize the damage from this episode. :cry: ~Becca

valley
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Re: Devastated by Bug B-Gon

Well, I wouldn't want to be in his shoes. One morning early, spray the garden down, what's the humidity there like, would you be you be worried about the sunburn if you wet everything? No plants were damaged from the spray?

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imafan26
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Re: Devastated by Bug B-Gon

https://www.kellysolutions.com/erenewals ... _55_AM.pdf

According to the label it can be used on most vegetables. and have waiting periods from 1-21 days.
If you wait long enough it should be fine. It is not systemic.
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applestar
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Re: Devastated by Bug B-Gon

The label imafan posted looks like liquid, but the OP mentioned "bug food"?
While it's somewhat reassuring to see the label say you can eat even raspberries after 3 days (notoriously difficult to wash anything off), I'm more than alarmed about the acute toxicity to fish and aquatic life, reptiles, and (honey)bees.

...definitely not organic I fear. :(

(But why is it 3 days for raspberries but 7 days for broccoli? 14 days for pears and 21 days for pecans???)
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Devastated by Bug B-Gon

Yeah, don't freak out. I am very anti poisons, but that is because I am very concerned about the environmental effects of them. In those terms bifenthrin is not a good thing: very highly toxic to fish, insects including beneficial ones, and plankton that are the basis of many food chains, highly toxic to honeybees, moderately toxic to a number of bird species.

It isn't very good for pets like cats and dogs that are exposed to it, where exposure means direct, either breathing it in, getting it on their skin, or eating something that was recently sprayed with it. But not very good for them means: "Clinical signs reported after pets were exposed to pyrethroids include single-episode vomiting or diarrhea, reduced activity, witching of the ear, paw flicking and hypersalivation. These signs are typically self-limiting and considered minor" https://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/biftech.pdf

Bifenthrin is one of the synthetic pyrethroids, meaning it is based on a chemical derived from nature (from chrysanthemums) but many times more concentrated than would ever appear in nature. They are used because they are of low toxicity to humans. It is similar to permethrin which I wrote about in my thread on poisons: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 11&t=57653

It is not very persistent in the environment. Most residues are gone after 15 days. So to be cautious, I would keep pets and small children off that lawn for a couple weeks and not harvest anything during that time. After that it should be fine, but if you want any beneficial insects like ladybugs in your garden, you will have to import them after the poison has dissipated.

So what hubby did is not a good thing, and I really don't like that he did it without your permission, especially given that the issue of poisons seems important to you, so he probably knows that. But he hasn't poisoned you and he hasn't permanently ruined your garden.
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Beccasurfs
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Re: Devastated by Bug B-Gon

Thank you so much for all of your helpful, heartfelt and speedy replies! I must say I feel much better after reading them. The type he used was not a spray, but a powder or "seed" type that was sprinkled everywhere. Early this morning I took a leave blower to the garden to blow off the loose piles and then doused everything in a heavy dose of water. Luckily it was overcast and drizzly afterwards so the humidity and reduced direct sun will help. I will read up further in regard to how long I should wait to eat anything, but plan on 2-3 weeks. THAT feels doable, as opposed to having the whole garden shot--as I initially feared. Hopefully my hubby will remember this and stay out of the garden unless under strictest supervision! ;) I'll be sure to have a friend keep watch over it next time, anyway. Thank you again everyone--I you were so helpful and totally saved my day (and his)!

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Cola82
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Re: Devastated by Bug B-Gon

This makes me glad my boyfriend isn't super motivated to be involved in my garden.

Last year I went on a trip while I had seedlings and when I came back they were very lush because he'd watered them too much but I felt okay about it. This year, though, he decided they looked dry apropos of nothing and filled the 4" deep trays my seedlings were in to the brim. I wasn't even away, he just came into my office one morning and did it. I didn't discover it for hours and it was hard to explain to him that "no, young seedlings don't need that much water, and please don't help anymore" because I didn't want him to feel bad.

But yeah, good intentions and all that.

imafan26
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Re: Devastated by Bug B-Gon

Just about everything will be harmful to fish. Bees are also pretty sensitive. Even the organic ones really should not be used while they are foraging.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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