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Can I use Sevin?

Posted by crabjoe z7 MD (My Page) on
Thu, May 31, 07 at 13:51

I was out in the garden hoeing and noticed that something had eaten the leaves off my greenbean plants.

Is Sevin ok to use on it and other veggies?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Can I use Sevin?

  • Posted by billv z6 WVA (My Page) on
    Thu, May 31, 07 at 14:00

Sevin is a reasonably good insecticide but if the leaves are eaten entirely off, the problem might be a rabbit,or some similar varmit, which Sevin will not help.

RE: Can I use Sevin?

Sevin is okay to use on veggies. I think though if you read the label (if label is not readable go to their website), you cannot harvest anything for 1 or 2 wks after you apply it.

I hope you dont have an animal....

RE: Can I use Sevin?

Is Sevin ok to use on it and other veggies?

Please always read the label. Not all formulations of pesticides are the same and they differ in terms of whether they are OK on edibles or not. They also differ in terms of how long one is to remain *out* of the garden after application, how long a waiting period before they can be eaten etc.

Have you considered trying something much less toxic to lifeforms other than what you want dead? Sevin kills any insect that contacts it and persists for a week or more.

There are insecticides like pyrthrins that also kill any insect, but generally persist only hours to days and there are pesticides like neem that last a week or two, but only kill insects that feed on the sprayed plants.

Given that you aren't even sure it is an insect problem Sevin is kind of overkill, in my opinion.

RE: Can I use Sevin?

Carbaryl (brand name Sevin) is rather benign insecticide widely used on vegetables. Most formulation s a one day wait to harvest, although Adios specifies 0 wait time. It is very effective on beetles (Japanese, Mexican, flea, and cucumber beetles) which feed on bean plants. Mites , aphids etc eat it for dessert. I would doubt from your description that the problem is beetles, perhaps rabbits as has been suggested or slugs. Try to identify the culprit and then target it specifically.

RE: Can I use Sevin?

Sevin is hardly benign, with all due respect. It is one of THE most toxic pesticides for bees and other hymenopterans. It is also one of the most deadly chemicals to use around earthworms. To say nothing about the effects on mammals. It's a cholinesterase inhibitor!

Here is a link that might be useful: Click here

RE: Can I use Sevin?

In addition to what Rhizo stated, the label on the Sevin I have (I don't spray plants with it, I am using it mixed with a bait as a cuke beetle lure/trap) has a 2 week wait before eating many plants such as lettuce and other leafy edibles.

The wait is 1 day for asparagus, 2 for sweet corn ears, 3 for cucurbits and fruiting plants, 7 days for most root crops and small fruiting plants (berries), 14 days for leafy veggies etc.

Additionally the label indicates not to apply more than a certain number of times per crop (varies on the crop) over the entire growing period, something easily missed by those not reading the label instructions very carefully.

I am not anti sevin (though I am not pro sevin either), I just don't consider it benign and there are certainly many less toxic products that work every bit as well in most cases.

I really think if more people took the time to read the labels on the pesticides they use, they would use less of them and be much more careful about handling them when they are used.

RE: Can I use Sevin?

If you use liquid Sevin and spray in the evening when bees are back in their nests there is little risk to bees. If you use Sevin powder and spread it during the daytime when bees are active, you are possibly going to poison some bees and they may carry dust back to the nest where it will poison more bees.

Sevin powder rates a "1" on the the health rating scale:

0 = Minimal; 1 = Slight; 2 = Moderate; 3 = Serious; 4 = Severe;

Here is a link that might be useful: Ortho Sevin Garden Dust

RE: Can I use Sevin?

The reason I asked about Sevin is because I have it already for my fruit trees. As for what's eating my bean leaves.. I have no idea, but the damage is from the complete leaf being gone to holes in the leaves as if bugs had gotten to them. What's odd is that nothing else in the garden is being eaten, only the bean leaves.

Since I've got Sevin, I'm going to use it for now since I don't have anything to pick.. The garden was only planted about 3 weeks ago. But just incase it's the rabbits, I guess I better put my fence up too.

Thanks all.

RE: Can I use Sevin?

I was out in the garden hoeing and noticed that something had eaten the leaves off my greenbean plants.

Is Sevin ok to use on it and other veggies?

You should try not to "guess". See if you can figure out what the pest is before treating or use less harmful means. It is not recommended to use a broad spectrum insecticide unless it is a last resort because it will kill the good guys (beneficial insects) that eat the bad guys (pests). It can also upset the ecosystem of your garden.

Take the time to learn that there is not a "cure all" for every pest at every stage of it's life cycle. Some won't work if it's going to rain. Some don't work well if it's too hot, etc.

Pest management is complex, if you wish to use chemical products, do so responsibly which goes further than reading the label. If you want to learn, a good place to start is here:

Integrated Pest Management
This lecture is presented in two parts. Each part is 90-minutes in length. Recorded in Sacramento County in California's Sacramento Valley, this lecture is byMary Louise Flint, Ph.D., Director, IPM Education and Publications, UC Statewide IPM Project and Extension Entomologist & Cooperative Extension Specialist.

B.S. Plant Science, University of California, Davis
Ph.D. Entomology, University of California, Berkeley

100% Cooperative Extension

Research Interests:
Integrated pest management of landscape, agricultural and garden pests; biological control of arthropod pests; alternatives to pesticides; adoption of alternative practices by practitioners; innovative delivery of pest management information.

Topics discussed in the Integrated Pest Management Lecture:

* IPM references and resources
* Preventing pest problems
* Natural common enemies
* Making less toxic pesticide choices
* Controlling aphids, scales, caterpillars, coddling moths, tree borers, snails and slugs, and lawn insects.

You can watch the programs now online:

Just make sure you have Real Player installed or download it free.

Real Player Logo
Integrated Pest Management Part 1 90 minutes

Real Player Logo
Integrated Pest Management Part 2 90 minutes

You'll want to bookmark the following link to Professor Flint's Lab Research on:
Controlling Pests in Gardens and Landscapes: Vegetables and Melons

I promise you'll learn one or two things to put in your gardening bag of pest management arsenals.


RE: Can I use Sevin?

I always thought Sevin to be a benign type of pesticide, but recently took an entomology class during Master Gardener training that left me feeling like I had just nuked my whole yard. Sevin has one of the highest toxicity ratings (to humans) of all of the commonly used pesticides, falling into the category only slightly less toxic than Dursban and Nicotine. I had just sprayed the yard for fleas and was quite concerned with the effects to our beneficials. If the green beans are not being eaten to the point of killing them, I suggest nothing more than a sharp spray of water. Insecticidal soap and Pyrethrum are also low impact (low toxicity). I'm not trying to preach to you, but we all have to be very aware of what we add to the starts at home.


RE: Can I use Sevin?

Sevin is not close to the top of the list in toxicity to humans according to this agricultural report. Look under the column "Dermal dose to kill a 150 lb. person (lbs.)"

Pyrethrum is more toxic to humans than Sevin is, according to this table compiled by West Virginia University.

Here is a link that might be useful: Relative Toxicity of Some Common House and Garden Insecticides

RE: Can I use Sevin?

hi kubotabx2200,
I see that the LD50 that you are referring to indicates that a 850mg oral dose of Sevin can kill a 150 lb human, whereas a dose of 1,350 mg of Pyrethrum would be needed to produce the same death. It does appear that the dermal dose for pyrethrum is lower (meaning more toxic). Another website I found agrees with your findings:

I found some interesting information regarding chronic toxicity (as rhizo indicated earlier):

I have my handout from class, but cannot find the online supporting documentation, after 2 hours of looking...I give!

Can we agree that we shouldn't be spraying when we don't know what the pest is?


RE: Can I use Sevin?

Can we agree that we shouldn't be spraying when we don't know what the pest is?


Can we all also agree that nobody should ever use any pesticide if they haven't at least read the label instructions and precautions? ;-)

RE: Can I use Sevin?

And if you watch the Integrated Pest Management Series above, you'll learn that labels can be deceiving...

RE: Can I use Sevin?

I have taken the test for restricted use pesticide multiple times for college classes and passed it three for three. The one thing that you must do is READ THE LABEL. If any of the answers for the test had this phrase on it that was the answer. Labels need to be studied and if you don't understand ask questions. All the answers are on the label one just needs to learn how to read them properly.

RE: Can I use Sevin?

I will tell you this ..... Pyrethrum is very toxic to humans. I don't care what class you have taken to say it is ok to use just because it is natural. I am a wildlife biologist, and I choose to use Sevin in my garden. I have done all of the tests, and read all of the studies. People claim that Pyrethrum is ok just because it is a natural insecticide. Well, if you want to go that route .... so is arsenic.

To make a long rant short, I would gladly use liquid Sevin on my garden liberally before coming within 10 feet of Pyrethrum. Use Sevin .... you will be perfectly fine. Truth be known they use much harsher insecticides on the veggies you buy in the store or eat at a restaurant.

RE: Can I use Sevin?

To make a long rant short, I would gladly use liquid Sevin on my garden liberally before coming within 10 feet of Pyrethrum. Use Sevin .... you will be perfectly fine. Truth be known they use much harsher insecticides on the veggies you buy in the store or eat at a restaurant.

Interesting. I wonder why mosquito foggers often use pyrethrins and not Sevin? I would think the manufacturers of these products realize the foggers are airborne therefor human skin contact and inhalation are to be expected. Why would they not choose Sevin? Hmmm... ;-)

The LD50 of a pesticide is simply the does at which 50% of those exposed would die. It's almost not worth considering given that most pesticides available to those without a license have low acute toxicity/high LD50s. The reasons are pretty obvious as most home gardeners aren't going to wear protective clothing and respirators necessary to apply more acutely toxic pesticides safely.

Of more concern to me is the fact that there are generally no long term exposure studies for humans. No studies of how a young, developing child's exposure may differ from that of an adult. It isn't so much eating the sprayed produce (after the waiting period has elapsed either (although it's a concern), it's the repeated incidental exposure from skin contact and inhalation while mixing and applying.

However, of even more concern to *me* is the toxicity to things I don't want dead. Pretty much every university extension service I have read agrees those who regularly use broad spectrum insecticides in their gardens end up with more pest problems than those who do not. The logic is straightforward. All insects die, not just the pest. Pest bugs reproduce faster than bugs which eat them so as soon as the pesticide wears off the pest bugs are now able to enter the garden and reproduce with reduced predation.

Before too long one is spraying often enough that they exceed the maximum number of applications per crop the label indicates or they start mixing the pesticide at a stronger dose than the label allows.

Given the availability of more selective pesticides in many cases or broad spectrum pesticides with a shorter lifespan in the environment I guess I don't get why one would go for something like Sevin as a garden cure all.

To each their own, I guess.

RE: Can I use Sevin?

Look at some of these. You can't always group the same catagory as harmful. Look at the Carbamate one has a LD50 of 307 and one 1. Alot of difference in "Sevin" and "Temik". Alot of diffrent info on LD50 doses. Alot of people have diffrent views on "Sevin". My brother in law once told me that "sevin" was organic. I tried to tell him no but he had one of his friends tell him so. He is one of those types of guys. Or am I wrong? Almost everything has some type of LD50 look at table salt's LD50. Yes, you can use sevin but read, read and follow, follow Label.

Carbaryl ("Sevin") Oral LD50 in Rats(mg/kg) of 307
Aldicarb ("Temik") Oral LD50 in Rats(mg/kg) of 1
Plant extract
Pyrethrins Oral LD50 in Rats(mg/kg) of 200
Rotenone Oral LD50 in Rats(mg/kg) of 60

Let us assume a gardener wants to control Colorado potato beetle. He or she has several insecticides available, including Thiodan, Bacillus thuringiensis variety san diego (sold as M-ONE), or Sevin. Thiodan (endosulfan) has a dermal LD 50 value of 74, or in other words, 0.011 pounds for a person weighing 150 pounds. Bacillus thuringiensis variety san diego is nontoxic. Sevin (carbaryl) has a dermal LD 50 value of 4,000, or 0.600 pounds for a 150 pound person. From an acute toxicity standpoint, Bacillus thuringiensis is the safest product. Of the two synthetic pesticides, Sevin is much safer than Thiodan. In fact, Sevin is 54 times safer than Thiodan (4,000/74 = 54). A gardener who is concerned about acute toxicity might use either Bacillus thuringiensis or Sevin, but would probably not choose to use Thiodan for controlling Colorado potato beetle.

Oral LD50 of Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in rats is 11.9 g/kg . [5]
Oral LD50 of Grain alcohol: 10.6 g/kg in young rats, 7.06 g/kg in aged rats.[6]
Oral LD50 of Table Salt: 3 g/kg in rats[7]
Oral LD50 of Nicotine: 50 mg/kg in rats.[8]
LD50 of Tetrahydrocannabinol (active ingredient found in Cannabis): 1270 mg/kg in rats.
LD50 of Batrachotoxin: estimated at 1 to 2 g/kg in humans.[citation needed]
LD50 of Polonium 210: estimated at 10 ng/kg (inhaled) to 50 ng/kg (ingested) in humans makes this one of the most toxic substances known. One gram in theory could poison 100 million people of which 50 million would die.

RE: Can I use Sevin?

Excellent post, ccromwell78 !

Reading the labels is mandatory to even have a hope of safe pesticide usage and the LD 50 is something to consider, BUT...

there is much more than the LD-50 to look at.

Some folks simply 'get it' and will do their homework and make informed decisions as to what they will or will not use and under what circumstances.

Many others will not as your friend who insisted Sevin was organic illustrate. Organic or man made seems like a rather arbitrary designation anyway when comparing pesticides.

Sometimes I feel like a preacher on the topic of pesticides and I suppose I am.

I guess I am OK with that as long as I keep encountering people who clearly are not even reading the labels on the products they use or folks who call nervous system disruptors or chemicals known to affect human and mammalian reproductive systems 'benign'.

To each their own, but yikes! Anyone who gives produce away or has children or pets, in my opinion, has an ethical (and in my opinion they ought to have a *legal* obligation) to at least read the stinkin label and use the pesticide in accordance with those instructions.

I really don't feel too badly about 'lecturing' people who aren't doing that. They are a threat not only to themselves, but everyone and everything that comes in contact with the edibles they used the pesticide on.

RE: Can I use Sevin?

How does a simple question end up causing a debate?? For me, it was can Sevin be used in a Veggie garden.

Now knowing Sevin is less toxic then Nicotine, I'm going to use it without worry. Shoot, I put Nicotine in my mouth everyday so if I end up eating a little Sevin in a month or so, it's not a cause to worry.

BTW, I still don't know what's eating my bean plant leaves. When I checked today, it hasn't gotten any worse and I'm really thinking it's some kind of beetle. My reasoning is because a neighbor. When I was speaking with her last night, she said she found beetles munching on her plant leaves. She didn't know what kind of beetles they were but she's now ready to spay too.

RE: Can I use Sevin?

You can safely use Sevin if the 'beetle' and the vegetable are on the Sevin label. You'll need to check the label for proper dosing.


RE: Can I use Sevin?

How does a simple question end up causing a debate?? For me, it was can Sevin be used in a Veggie garden.

I think because you are in possession of a pesticide whose label you did not read. Had you read the label you wouldn't have asked the question.

The very front label on the product indicates the types of plants it is suitable to use on.

While Sevin is less toxic than nicotine in terms of it's LD-50 if that is all you really care about then you may as well spray RAID on your veggies. It's less toxic too.

What you put on your edibles that only you eat is your business, but frankly it scares me that people are OK with being so careless as to not even read a label on a pesticide.

You life, your health, your call and I just hope you don't cause too much damage to living things beyond your property boundaries.

Many chemicals that a 5 year old could buy from Wal-Mart have since been restricted from residential use (such as Daconil for turf grass use) precisely because users couldn't be counted on to use the product according to label instructions that they weren't even reading and environmental damage was the end result. This means damage extending well beyond their property and person.

Unfortunately nobody is tracking the damage to humans caused by home gardeners spraying their edibles with pesticides they haven't a clue how to use (because they haven't read the label) and then allowing others to eat unaware they were being fed pesticides used in ways the label indicated as unsafe.

Again, sorry to be preachy, but READ THE FREAKIN LABEL!!!! You are using a toxin known to kill earthworms, pollinating bees, disrupt *human* nervous systems and is a *known* carcinogen and is suspected to be a ground water pollutant and you haven't even read the label to know what it says for use on edibles.

Use Pesticides Responsibly

Hi justaguy2,
It is a violation of Federal Law to use a product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling. We can all be held responsible for harming others and the environment by misuse of pesticides, both criminally and there may be hope yet!


RE: Can I use Sevin?

You can safely use Sevin if the 'beetle' and the vegetable are on the Sevin label.

I'm not sure this was phrased in the best way. It makes me want to ask... so it's not 'safe' to use it on a beetle that is not on the list? It's 'safety' or 'toxicity' is the same regardless.

While some people are worried about what they are putting in their own bodies, it is also important to understand how using systemic pesticides affects the insects we do want in our garden which pollinate, eat our pests, and contribute positively to our gardens and wildlife. Carbaryl is an insecticide and like any other insecticide, it must be toxic to insects to be effective. And, like all pesticides, carbaryl is also toxic to certain nontarget organisms, including humans.

We do know that carbaryl is quite toxic to honey bees, certain beneficial insects such as lady beetles, and parasitic wasps and bees, certain species of aquatic insects, and some forms of shellfish such as shrimp and crabs. Care must be taken when using carbaryl in areas where these organisms exist.

See the full article on Cornell University’s Website:

You can do a search for any pesticide's Material Safety Data Sheet.

This is the result for carbaryl:

Tech Pac, LLC - July 2001

A creamy, tan, odorless liquid:
* Harmful if swallowed.
* Extremely toxic to aquatic and estuarine invertebrates.
* Highly toxic to bees.
* Causes injury to Boston Ivy, Virginia Creeper and Maidenhair fern. During early season, may injure Virginia and Sand pines.
ROUTE(S) OF ENTRY: Ingestion
EYES: May cause minimal irritation.
SKIN: May cause slight irritation.
INGESTION: Harmful if swallowed.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS: Harmful if ingested. This product causes reversible cholinesterase inhibition. Repeated overexposure may cause more severe cholinesterase inhibition with more pronounced signs and symptoms. May lead to rapid onset of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, involuntary shaking, excess salivation, pinpoint pupils, blurred vision, profuse sweating, temporary paralysis, respiratory depression, and convulsions.

There are plenty of things "less toxic than nicotine" that I won't drop dead from tomorrow. But it's the accumulation of those little things over time that can cause triggers later in life. The body is a complex machine and I personally have no desire to injest any more toxins than I have to. We have enough of them in the paint on our walls, the standard household cleaners, etc. As a gardener, my nature is to preserve life, especially the little guys that create and maintain the ecosystem in my yard.

As someone else suggested, it's easy to create an effective deterrent by grinding up some marigold leaves and roots with water and a teaspoon of citrus dishsoap. Lavender works well too. There are so many methods that are safe, so much less expensive and nature friendly, why not use them?

Here is a link that might be useful: Journal of Arboriculture

RE: Can I use Sevin?

pkponder that is not quite what the chart says. If you look under "Oral dose to kill a 150 lb. person (lbs.)", it shows that dose of of 0.128 POUNDS of pure sevin, taken orally, would be lethal to half the people who weigh 150 lb. Not milligrams here, POUNDS (as in 2 OUNCES).

0.128 pounds equals 58,000 milligrams, not 850 milligrams. Huge difference.

However, Ortho Garden Dust is not pure Sevin: it is diluated to only 5% Sevin and 95% powder so you would have to injest 20 times that amount, or 2.6 pounds of Ortho Garden Dust to pick up a lethal dose. I doubt most of us could force ourselves to eat and keep 2.6 pounds of ANYTHING never mind eat 2.6 pounds of Ortho Garden Dust.

What you are looking at in the other column is Oral LD50 (mg/kg), which means 850 mg of Sevin per every kilogram of body weight, would kill half the people. A 150 pound human weighs 68 kilograms and so it would take 68 x .850 = 57 grams = 2 ounce = 0.128 pounds of pure sevin to kill 1/2 the people. The other half of the people would require more sevin to kill them.

I agree with you that people should not indiscriminately spray willy-nilly without having an idea what the local pests are and what is it you are trying to kill.

However, once a person makes an informed decision to use an insecticide and we are discussing safety risks, I prefer to rely on ACTUAL TEST RESULTS for the facts, and in this case the facts are well established. Otherwise it borders on scare tactics, or prostelytizing.

If somebody chooses to grow organically, because it works, because they want to save the earth, it seems agreeable with their politics, or to add to their karma -- fine. We are adults here and that is personal choice. I choose organic methods because they work for me at this time, and I see no reason to change them as long as they continue to work for me. They might not work for you. However, when people overstate the effects of pesticides and bring in the scare factor, that's where fairness demands we look at the actual numbers.

For example regarding chronic effoects of carbaryl, according to the National Institute of Health

"Chronic Health Effects: MSDS: Neurotoxicity: Carbaryl is not considered to be a neurotoxin in the sense of producing direct histopathological changes to nerve tissue. Delayed and irreversible neurotoxic effects have not been observed in vertebrate species including man."

"Teratogenicity: Carbaryl is not considered to be a teratogen or a chemical that causes birth defects."

"Mutagenicity: Carbaryl has demonstrated positive findings when tested in some in vitro systems; however, results from in vivo mammalian investigations have been negative."

Here is a link that might be useful: Carbaryl MSDS from National Institute of Health

RE: Can I use Sevin?

An observation on this subject............ The use of Sevin [or any toxic material] on young plants before the fruit is formed would be less problematic than dusting or spraying it on the edible fruits or leaves. Also the timing and amount used is a signifigant factor too.

RE: Can I use Sevin?

When I was a pesticide inspector for NYS (I'm giving my credentials as others before have done), we always told our "audience" that "The label is the law." So if you have not identified your plant (you have) or your pest (you have not), how can you tell if you are following the law. Since the label is the law, you MUST read the label, then follow it. If you have not done these things, and someone were to consume your veggie, or get "drifted" upon by a spray, you could face great liability. Even if it was not true, you'd have to defend yourself because anyone can sue for anything, true or false. Your only defense would be that you read the label, identified the pest and plant, then applied the material in the prescribed manner.
If the threat of putting something in your body isn't enough to make you follow these guidelines, perhaps a potential lawsuit would raise your "understanding" of the responsibility of of using poisons.
Just as in medicine you use the least harmful material to achieve the desired affect within the law.

You could take a sample of your plant to the county extension office where they may help you identify what the problem is. Then you'd have information to begin your search for either a chemical or an organic was to solve the problem. It may be something as simple as slugs eating the bean leaves at night. I've had this happen, and got up early several mornings while it was still cool and hand picked the critters off the plants. It cuts down considerably on the damage and does so in a way that won't hurt other organisms.

I grow organically. If I didn't I'd just go to the store and buy things that have already been sprayed with whatever pesticides were used. Don't push the envelope and use things when you don't know EXACTLY what you are doing to WHAT and for WHAT.

Everyone should take this seriously for yourselves, your kids, your neighbors, the good bugs, etc.

RE: Can I use Sevin?

Nuke them from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.


RE: Can I use Sevin?

Can I use liquid Sevin or Sevin powder on my rhubarb to control Lixus concavus aka rhubarb curclio aka snout beetle.?? I live in Idaho and my rhubarb is under attack.

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