Newly Registered
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Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2015 4:13 pm

Please help me identify this pesticide.

I recently purchased a new house. There is a mystery pesticide sprinkled all over the garden area from the previous owner. My two year old son really wants to explore the back yard but I want to make sure he isn't harmed by whatever this is. We live next to a canal so I was thinking it may be something for mosquito abatement. There is a product called Mosquito Bits that looks like it may be what is out there. My questions are:

1. Can anyone help to identify what it might be based on the picture?
2. Do I need to keep my son away from common pesticides that are in the garden?
3. Is it safe to grow vegetables and eat them in the soil where this stuff is?

Thanks for your help!



Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2661
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:52 am
Location: SE-OH USA Zone 6-A

I'm a little lost. Why should this be pesticide?

To my old eye bones it looks like kat-litter or Oils-cry. (which is about the same thing)

If it will help you sleep better brush it into a dust-pan and discard in the trash.

Posts: 13993
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: Hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

I agree, I don't see pesticide either. It doesn't hurt to play it safe with children. If it bothers you remove and dispose of it. My city does not want soil in the trash. Your other option would be to dig a hole and bury it at least 18 inches deep.

User avatar
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

It really IS hard to tell from the picture.

I can tell you that Mosquito bits is basically ground up corncobs same as is often used for animal bedding and also turned into cat litter. It's used as carrier for the Bt which is the "active ingredient". Mosquito Bits has been approved by OMRI.

But I can't see anyone scattering that much Mosquito Bits in the concentration I see in the photo, unless they were used to treat a large puddle and they floated to one side then the water drained/evaporated.

Have you tried smelling them? Chemical pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer are typically very strong smelling.

There's no way to tell for sure or give assurances about the soil around your property unless you gather some soil samples and have them tested. There are members here that can help you decipher the results after you get them back.

Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2015 4:13 pm

Thank you all for your replies. It does look like kitty litter but it was the color that made me doubt it. Most of the stuff around here isn't that color.

I'm going to try a mixture of your suggestions. I'll smell it, scoop it up and throw it away, and get a soil sample test to make sure. I'll let you know what I find.

Thanks again.

Greener Thumb
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Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 1:10 pm
Location: Zone 8A Western Washington State

I think having it tested would be a good idea, for your peace of mind.
I had something sent to the lab once and it didn't cost much.

Full Member
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Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 6:35 pm
Location: SE Michigan, Zone 5b/6a

Sorta looks like aquarium gravel to me. If the previous homeowner moved in a hurry I could see them simply dumping the contents of the tank rather than bringing it with them.


Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3065
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:01 am
Location: New Orleans

Easy enough to see if it is some sort of kitty litter. All of that stuff I've fooled with over the years of being owned by a cat tends to get to be the consistency of drywall mud(joint compound) when wet.

Hard to tell how big these pieces are, but are you sure it's not some sort of fertilizer, especially if it's scattered all over the yard.

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