Diazinon, malathion or DDT

josko021March 29, 2010

I'm currently overseas where I can (legally) buy DDT, malathion and diazinon. An email to US customs confirms insecticides can be brought back in checked luggage for personal use. Could anybody comment on how these three would compare in effectiveness? I know Crockett, (of Victory Garden fame) really likes Diazinon, but haven't heard much about the other two.

So if you were to use nonorganic pest control in a home vegetable garden, which of the three would be most effective? Thanks in advance.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Diazinon has been restricted due to its effect on birds. DDT was banned for the same reason. Malathion can be purchased here in the states, and has relatively low toxicity.
If I were to use a nonorganic pest control in a home vegetable garden, I'd use Sevin, carefully and according to instructions.
Which of the three would be most effective? Depends on what you want to kill. Since you aren't gardening overseas, and don't know what will be invading your garden when you start one here, why not wait and see what you need to use and deal with specific pests.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 7:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I can't imagine I would HAVE to use any of them and I'm not an organic gardener. But if I had to choose one of the 3 - Malathion.


    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 9:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would use DDT - still do, but early in the season but only for the worst aphid infestations. I hate Malathion - that stuff stinks. Made the mistake of spraying a plant in my office with it last year - bad idea!


    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 10:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
brownthumb65(8B Florida)

You're joking right? Is this is test question? There are so many alternatives to using harmful chemical insecticides. The world is polluted enough we really don't need to add more chemicals to our soil, water and then back into our bodies.

I'm sad you feel that way, but everyone is different and you're entitled to do what you want :-(

PS along with all the "bad" bugs you kill with these poisons you are also killing "beneficial" bugs.:-(

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 10:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Is this some kind of joke? Trollers with little to do?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 10:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

For better or worse, it's not a joke. I've read Crockett's book, and he liked Diazinon enough to make me want to try to find it while overseas. While at the store, I found DDT and Malathion for sale as alternative broad-based insecticides.
Reading Crockett, Diazinon seemed to be a cure-all for his Victory garden - he was certainly enthusiastically promoting its' use. The folks at the store thought DDT would be even more effective. If this question is inappropriate, please accept my apologies, and feel free to remove the thread.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 11:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

You might want to keep in mind that James Crockett's books are VERY dated (most are now considered to be collector's items only) and that he later changed many of his recommendations on both how to garden as well as pesticide use. This, not to mention, all the advances in gardening since his death in 1979. ;)

In other words, he was enlightened enough to stay currently informed and to change with the times.


    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 11:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There's a good reason DDT was banned. It's a PERSISTENT pesticide, meaning that it does not break down in the environment as newer ones do. So if you use DDT it's going to persist in the soil and probably make it to nearby aquatic habitats, and it will persist up the food chain as bigger animals eat smaller animals. It's a terrible thing and I would encourage you not to use it. I don't know as much about the other two, but there is no reason why you would need any of them. There are plenty of less destructive chemicals available.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 5:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jimster(z7a MA)

"...keep in mind that James Crockett's books are VERY dated..."

Keep in mind that Rachel Carson's book "Silent Spring" which led to banning DDT, is even MORE dated than Crockett's. Much of it has since been shown to be unfounded.


    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 7:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

DDT is persistently toxic even if a single application is only "mildly toxic"...it's very slow to go away and persists in body tissues/fat when exposed.

Malathion is mostly safe, but should never be used inside.

Diazinon is a f'n ecological nightmare. It screws with the reproductive systems of many creatures and persists in soil/water. It's mostly safe to humans, though I wouldn't use it if someone is pregnant in your household (including pets with access to the garden).

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 8:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Keep in mind that Rachel Carson's book "Silent Spring" which led to banning DDT, is even MORE dated than Crockett's.

Very true Jim but then her book just got them thinking about it. The ban itself wasn't due to the book but the subsequent scientific research and that research isn't outdated.


    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 9:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm still probably carrying around DDT in my body, from the era before it was banned. That's how persistent it is. And its effects on nearly extincting the higher order of predatory birds isn't 'unfounded'.

The customs agents might say it's OK to bring this stuff home in a checked bag, as far as that legality but I suspect the airlines with whom you book your flight shall have something to say about it and don't be too surprised if it's confiscated before you fly, if you're truthful or they check your bags. They all have policies about transporting hazardous material, and if any were to let you I imagine you'd have to have it cleared before the fact.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 9:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A lot of chemical hate (not counting the "ew! chemicals!" crowd) comes from not being able to use stuff that just plain works anymore.

Unfortunately a lot of these chemicals that we can't use anymore do things like screw up important ecosystems and/or persist in our soil/water.

A chemical can be considered mostly safe to humans and be a low/no carcinogen, but it's use has other effects that disrupts a normal/healthy ecosystem. Diazinon is a chemical that fits this description, though it has other neurological enzyme disruption activity going on with humans.

After fighting for almost 2 decades to not have it removed we've all but losing/lost our best nematode exterminator, methyl bromide. It works. It has no peer. It's also extremely toxic and more importantly it is an ozone depleter. It's relatively safe after the application and run-off is rarely/never an issue, but the EPA is all over this one and it's not because people are getting 3-eyed puppies from the family dog. It's a blow to lose a chemical like this, but it was inevitable.

Best management practices in the garden and a little IPM (especially scouting and monitoring) can lessen your chemical bill and amount of applications very severely. Unless you're managing a huge garden or you're disabled most of us can get outbreaks to both minimal and predictable levels.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 9:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Belgianpup(Wa/Zone 7b)

DDT use has been banned in the U.S. for over 35 years, and you want to bring some in to kill aphids???

Instead of talking to some 19-yr-old twit at Customs, why not contact the FDA and see what kind of fine you're setting yourself up for?

These things have been banned for a reason, you know!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 10:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Methyl bromide should have been banned completely during the 1991 Montreal Protocol. I'd rather have nematodes and fewer strawberries than no ozone layer.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 2:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Critical use extensions keep getting used, plus there's farmers out there who find it important to what they do.

It's a whole lot easier to tarp up and M.bromide 1000s of 6' wooden stakes you used on your tomato/pepper crop than it is to hand-sanitize them for fungal/nematode pests.

At least it's use isn't at the levels it once was even if countries keep handing out these extensions to certain farmers. It's not the wild west with M.Bromide it once was world-wide.

It's just a shame there's no substitute for nematode control, especially anything near this level of effectiveness. It will be more increasingly more important that ever for large commercial growers to watch what plant material enters their fields and when/if crop rotations are necessary.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 3:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

FWIW, I brought back 2 liters of concentrated Diazinon. I declared it at customs at Boston's Logan, showed my receipt, and expected to at least be asked to open my suitcase, but the customs officer acted like he couldn't have cared less, and just waved me through.
After reading Crockett's book, I'd intended to use it as a preventative against root maggot, but on reading this thread and reflecting that I'd never actually seen a root maggot, I figured I'd wait.
Just thought this might be helpful to others considering bringing in Diazinon through US customs. It might also be worthwhile to note that DDT is also available in Eastern Europe for mosquito control purposes, with no purchase restrictions as far as I could see.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 7:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Josko: to me, an important question to consider when selecting a pesticide is, "what becomes of what I have left when I am no longer using it"? The pesticides all have shelf lives. Will you be using up that 2 liters before it no longer is effective, if not, how will you properly dispose of it? Are you very confident you will use the material before it "expires" and can you properly dispose of it if needed for any reason? If not, don't buy it. Where I live there isn't any place to take pesticides for proper disposal, many disposal sites are very restrictive when it comes to where the materials come from.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 12:16PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
What's Growing On Inside This Winter
Been getting all my vegetables started for my spring/summer...
weed or seedling
In the area of this seedling my daughter put radish...
More efficient planting
Found this in the Oklahoma Gardening forum... tube...
I really messed up, who can help? Tomato expert needed...
I planted beefsteak and July 4th tomatoes and didn't...
pepper problems
Hey everyone! My pepper blossoms are falling off! I...
Ankjlkhu Bkjjghfy
Sponsored Products
Modern Home DDT236 Deluxe Dual Functioning Trash Can Set
Bonide Malathion 50E Concentrate - 109433
$23.99 | Hayneedle
Bonide Malathion Insect Control Concentrate - 917320
$23.99 | Hayneedle
Bonide Liquid Fruit Tree Spray - BND204
$41.99 | Hayneedle
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™